Friday, July 30, 2021

Dr Chen brings creativity to the arts programs in JAX

The Cathedral Arts Project (CAP) has appointed Dr. Lucy Chen as its first Vice President of Advocacy & Community Engagement. She will begin her service on August 23, 2021. Dr. Chen currently serves as Head of Music Programs for the Count Basie Center for the Arts and Director of its Monmouth Conservatory for Music in Red Bank, New Jersey.

She will lead CAP’s advocacy efforts in support of the organization’s vision: for Northeast Florida to lead the nation in providing essential and accessible arts education that recognizes, grows and amplifies every child’s unique skills and strengths. Her responsibilities will include convening the Any Given Child Jacksonville collaborative in partnership with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; promoting Jacksonville’s LEAD artlook® map in partnership with Ingenuity and the National Endowment for the Arts; and fostering a network of stakeholders to maximize the impact of advocacy for equity and access to arts education.

Increasing access to arts education is important to Dr. Chen, as private arts education was out of reach for her as a child. “Like many first-generation immigrants, my parents worked long hours juggling multiple jobs to make ends meet,” said Dr. Chen. “Fortunately, the public elementary school I attended offered a plethora of arts programs, which became a treasured outlet for me. While I didn’t know it at the time — I thought the arts were just for fun — I was learning valuable life lessons. Orchestra taught me teamwork, theatre helped me overcome language barriers and gain comfort with speaking in public, and drawing class taught the value of persistence and hard work. Quality arts education instills grit and perseverance and transforms a child’s outlook on life.”

“Dr. Chen has a compelling personal story of how arts education changed the trajectory of her life as a child, an experience that has led her to successfully advocate throughout her career for more children to have access to arts education,” said Rev. Kimberly Hyatt, CAP President & CEO. “Wherever she’s led, Dr. Chen has demonstrated her capabilities by fostering relationships with parents, elected officials and administrators in order to bring quality arts education to more children.”

In speaking about her new role, Dr. Chen said, “The Cathedral Arts Project is an organization that I have long admired. Its quality arts education programs contribute to Jacksonville’s cultural fabric and enrich the lives of youth in Northeast Florida. I’m honored to serve alongside a dedicated team of arts leaders, and excited to share the CAP vision with our Jacksonville community and beyond.”

Prior to her current role at the Basie, Dr. Chen served as Chair of the Music Department and the Honors College at Edward Waters University. She earned her Bachelor of Music from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from Boston University.

In addition to her administrative and advocacy experience, Dr. Chen has extensive experience in education, including service as a teaching artist for CAP’s Lift Every Student arts integration initiative. She founded the Keys on Parade group piano program to serve students at two public schools in Duval County. Her education programs have been featured around the country and many of her students have won national and international competitions and awards, including the Royal Conservatory of Music Development Program Award, the American Protégé International Piano Competition and the ABRSM Distinction Award by the Royal Schools of Music.

Dr. Chen is also an award-winning soloist and collaborative pianist who has performed at St. Martin-in-the-Fields (London), Carnegie Hall (New York City) and the Spring of Shanghai Concert Series.

“The creation of this new position is an important part of CAP’s strategy to advocate for Northeast Florida to lead the nation in providing quality and transformative arts education for children,” explained Hyatt.

About the Cathedral Arts Project: The Cathedral Arts Project (CAP) is a nationally recognized nonprofit provider of quality visual and performing arts instruction for school-aged children in Northeast Florida. CAP’s mission is to empower every child’s creative spirit, elevate arts educators in their field and advocate for access and equity in arts education. Learn more at

Clara White Mission and JuCoby Pitman’s recovery

Councilwoman Pitman continues to recuperate in a local hospital and has been urged by this writer, to rest and get her strength back. Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

From the office of Clara White Mission:
“Thank you for your concerns and prayers for our staff and CEO. We appreciate those who have reached out. Your support during this difficult time has meant the world to us. Through these hard times we will continue to stand in our commitment to carry on Eartha's work of supporting and uplifting her community through nourishing food and housing.

Each summer we adjust our schedule and crops to the season. With blazing temperatures and 12 hours of sun, it's too hot for most crops. We use this time to plant cover crops and plan for the fall. Our volunteer hours are now MWF 8-noon. Sign-up is still through Eventbrite.

We are thankful for the opportunity to serve Moncrief Creek every last Saturday of the month with a creek clean up. This month the clean-up is on Saturday, July 31st, 9 am - noon in partnership with the Saint Johns River Keeper. Please come and make it as successful as the last! In June, we were able to fill a garbage container full of trash and clear some of the branches and debris caused by weather and time. When we left, we were able to see the creek floor and watch the water flow quicker. This is just the start of a long journey of restoring our creek to its natural spring status. There's still lots of trash to catch and remove from the creek floor. More info HERE.

We also have our community council meeting coming up on Thursday, July, 29th from 6-8pm. Join us as we plan Fall events, Creek clean ups and youth programming. More info provided below on our social media pages.

White Harvest Farmer's Market: Our Market will be closed July, August, and September. We will resume October 2nd 2021 through June 25th 2022! Our weekly market is on hiatus over the summer. We will be donating what we grow to the Clara White Mission and our beekeeping partner, Mika from The Herban Bee will be selling some of our crops at the DIG Local Farmers Market on Penman Rd along with her honey and soap products!

We are excited to begin selling our produce at our farmers market next year in our new space! We are currently in the stage of laying the foundation for the metal Quonset Hut to sit on. We will keep you updated through the summer on our progress.

We are excited to be able to invite more farmers to be part of the market and get more fresh, healthy produce out into our community!

On Saturday, July 31st, we are hosting another creek cleanup. This time, with the help of the St. Johns River Keeper! We want to send another thanks to the Cleanup Cruiser for the mobile cleanup van! We are excited to host these events every month. We're happy to say we are making progress on the waterway with better water flow and less trash. With all the rain coming this month, we are expecting more debris to wash down the creek. Come prepared with rain boots, waders and clothes that cover your skin! There are bugs so bring the repellant. Registration is required. See you there!

For the months of July - September, we change our hours to adjust to the hotter months of the Florida summer. They are Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8-noon. We hope you can still join us for our weekday volunteer hours.”

White Harvest Farms
5348 Moncrief Rd.
Jacksonville, FL 32209