Why the Arts?

Every child has a creative spirit. For some, it comes alive through the visual arts: turning blank pages and digital canvases into expressions of hope. For others, it breathes through their bodies – transforming notes, choreography, and words into personal statements of joy.


Children develop the technical skills to prepare for these moments through instruction in the arts. Along the way, the arts develop their unique strengths – like self-confidence, creative thinking, self-respect, empathy and perseverance.  

Fast Facts

So many reasons to support arts education.

Participation in the arts creates extraordinary change in the lives of children that sets them up to succeed in school and in life.


A strong and lasting impact.

CAP has undergone several independent research studies, the results of which consistently show significant differences between CAP students and their non-CAP peers.

children smiling

On average, CAP students:

Evaluation tools include pre- and post-program assessment surveys, artist journals, classroom observation, student performance evaluation, mid-term evaluations of student grade averages and attendance records. Twelve different metrics—seven behavioral and five discipline-specific—are monitored.

Percentage of students who saw improvement in CAP classes:


Demonstrate skills needed to produce quality arts or performance


Actively participate in class sessions


Behave in a cooperative way with others in a group


Communicate effectively with peers


Improved in at least one metric

Quotation Marks

The most important thing I learned in my CAP class was how to believe in myself.

My experience as an art teacher for the Cathedral Arts Project has been so rewarding because of the impact on and connections with my students. These connections make me appreciate the gift of teaching art every single time I teach class.

Being a CAP student changed the course of my child’s life. If it wasn’t for CAP, my children would not be string students. One child attending a violin class changed a whole family. Now all four play strings in arts schools at a higher level.

Being in CAP helped me do better in school because I learned self-control. I learned how to talk to others and solve problems.

Through CAP programs, students explore an area where they can enhance their talent and grow in confidence and self-esteem. All of these lead to growing students that have a greater sense of belonging and are more successful in the classroom.

CAP provides students with a safe place to experience the arts, learn about staying healthy and the importance of teamwork. Most importantly, it gives many students an opportunity that they may otherwise not have the chance to experience.

CAP gave my daughter a sense of self confidence and accomplishment. It gave her something to be proud of.

Being in my CAP class makes me more confident with myself and my work

Our visual arts classes enrich the lives of our students and introduce many of them to hidden gifts they never knew existed.

The most important thing I learned in my CAP class, was that you should do what best suits you and be yourself and do the artwork you love… I love art and my CAP class has taught me that art is a wonderful journey.

CAP helped shape Alanna’s life by helping her be an enthusiastic, fun-loving, ready-to-go-out-there-and-get-it student. She has come into her own when making decisions and being more mature. She is someone who can stick up for her friends and is a friend to everyone.

CAP’s programs allow students to have an opportunity to develop their creative skills with the direction of a teaching artist. Students who normally wouldn’t be able to benefit from a media arts class now have the opportunity to enhance their creativity.

Access to the arts is so important for our youth. CAP does an amazing job at providing all types of expression to a great range of communities. They also do an incredible job of making it a wonderful experience for their teaching artists. Across the board I was so impressed and inspired by my experience with CAP

Research Supporting

Arts Education

Research from organizations like the Arts Education Partnership, National Endowment for the Arts and National Guild for Community Arts Education shows clear links between arts involvement and positive outcomes in academics, creative and critical thinking, personal behavior, and social and civic participation.

These benefits reinforce the essential value of the arts to enrich not only individual children, but also their communities.

The Arts and Human Development

by National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The convening showcased new research and evidence-based programs that identified the cognitive, social and behavioral outcomes of arts interventions. In response to calls to address “the whole person” in health and education policies, this paper proposes a framework for long-term collaboration between NEA, HHS and other federal agencies to align the arts with specific human developmental outcomes over a person’s lifespan.

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A Population-Level Analysis of Associations Between School Music Participation and Academic Achievement

by Journal of Educational Psychology

This large-scale study identified evidence of positive relationships between school music participation and high school exam scores in English, mathematics, and science using population-level educational records for over 110,000 students in British Columbia, Canada. Participation in school music (especially instrumental music) was related to higher exam scores, and students with higher levels of school music engagement had higher exam scores.

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Arts Education Benefits Literacy Skills

by Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

The study found that students in the program performed better in six categories of literacy and critical thinking skills — including thorough description, hypothesizing and reasoning — than did students who were not in the program. The children were assessed as they discussed a passage in a children’s book, Cynthia Kadohata’s “Kira-Kira,” and a painting by Arshile Gorky, “The Artist and His Mother.”

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Join CAP in advocating for access to quality arts education in Northeast Florida.