We began in 2008 as part of the Madisonville Arts Center, transformed from a forgotten building into a fully renovated, multi-use arts and education venue. Our goal was to promote and support community arts through performances, classes and exhibitions on every level.
It soon became clear that the demand for the arts was best served directly in the schools and communities. With transportation issues negated and logistics simplified, we had a growing and receptive after-school audience–and convenience for parents, students and educators.
We quickly saw a dramatic increase in demand: what began as a single school being served in 2009 has steadily increased each year. CAI is now recognized as the go-to source for free-of-charge-after-school arts programming. Contact us today to see how you can get involved:
Debbie Hill | Founder & Executive Director
Dr. Diane M. Carr
Experienced Servant Leader
Dr. Diane Carr is an experienced and dynamic leader who has built her career focusing on organizational leadership, development strategies for sustainable growth, advancing volunteer, mentor and outreach service programs, and defining community relationship development. She holds degrees from NKU (EdD in Leadership and Nonprofit Management, MEd in Education, BA in
English, Theatre and History), Xavier University (MBA in Marketing & Management) and University of Cincinnati (MA in English). Her dissertation, The Impact of a School-based Theatre Arts Program on Potential Parent Involvement, was published in 2018.
Today, Dr. Carr serves as advisor to nonprofits and state arts organizations, providing student and adult leadership training, project development and oversight. Key initiatives have included introduction of music and theatre skills for persons with disabilities 1 and establishment of volunteer structure for small
to medium nonprofits. In 2018, she was recognized as one of the 100+ women who have impacted the arts in Cincinnati; see ArtsWave’s publication - Power of Her. In addition to her work with Community Arts Initiatives’ (CAI) Kaleidoscope Dr. Carr serves as an Executive Board member for the Cappies of Greater Cincinnati.
Erin Carr is currently working as a professional actor, theatre educator, and movement/kinesics consultant out of Cincinnati, OH. She is a proud graduate from NYU-Tisch, recently received her MBA with a focus on Entrepreneurship, and is currently working on her neuro-linguistic programming certification. Along with performing and collaborating, Erin works as a teaching artist, director of educational theatre, and advanced physical theatre practitioner throughout the Cincinnati community as well as around the U.S.
In addition, she is the Co-Artistic Director of the feminist-centric theatre company, ReVamp Collective, based in Philadelphia, PA, as well as the Co-Founder of Solasta Theatre Lab in Cincinnati, OH. Erin joined the CAI family in 2020 at the start of The Kaleidoscope Project (TKP) and has found it to be one of the most rewarding experiences of her life. All of the superstars in TKP constantly remind Erin of the power of theatre, and that artistic expression is the tissue that connects us all together.
MBA, Theater Practitioner
Brooke Steele has been teaching for Community Arts Initiatives since 2010. Brooke is a local performer and majored in theatre studies with a minor in dance at Northern Kentucky University. Brooke has appeared on many local stages, including Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati and The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. Brooke loves to share the arts with the students in CAI’s classes. She believes that all the arts, visual and performance, are vital to boosting self confidence and expression. Brooke is grateful to be a part of this program which allows her to share these methods of expression with so many young people. Community Art Initiatives brings the arts into schools and gives opportunity to create to all students.
When not teaching or performing Brooke spends time with her daughters, husband, and small black dog in Pleasant Ridge, Ohio.
Karina has lived in Cincinnati since 1996 and moved back home after graduating from Bob Jones University in 2010 with a degree in Health, Fitness, and Nutrition. She helped coach swim team for the Blue Ash Rec center for several summers and worked primarily with the elementary aged swimmers. She did this while also working in food service.
In 2015 Karina and her husband started a small pop up shop business, Gadabout Doughnuts that operates on the weekends. She uses her life long love of food and creativity to bring people together over hand crafted artisan doughnuts.
In her free time she enjoys training and running full/half marathons, cooking/entertaining, being outside, spending time with her family and friends and being a wife and mother. Karina has been teaching with CAI since 2018.
Health, Fitness & Nutrition Practitioner
A great cause has great effect...and support.
We couldn't do what we do without assistance from our educators, volunteers and those who provide much needed financial support:
Alva Jean Crawford Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation
Anonymous Foundation (2)
Anonymous Foundation/Greater Cincinnati Foundation
Christ Church Cathedral Foundation
Community Learning Center Institute
The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation
The Cincinnati Woman's Club
Robert & Adele Schiff Family Foundation
Toyota Motor North American Community Grant