Debbie Hill is founder and executive director of Community Arts Initiatives. Since 2011, CAI has been providing free after-school arts programming in area schools. Students range in age from six to 19, and classes are tailored to the desires of each school’s students. Current classes include cooking, drama, cheerleading, fine arts sampler, dance fitness, and yoga. CAI built raised-bed gardens at three Cincinnati schools, which also include outdoor classroom space and one garden also has an orchard.
In addition, CAI provides programming during the school day for a self-contained, special needs high school class of 40 students. In addition to the fine arts sampler class and yoga, CAI has partnered with Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati and their community outreach program to provide weekly classes in drama. These students run the Dater Depot school store and Bare Necessities, which provide personal care products to those in need. Both services teach skills needed for gainful employment once students graduate. A yoga/meditation class is in development that will be piloted with in-school suspension students beginning in September 2017 in both a high school and an elementary school.
Debbie attended the University of Cincinnati, where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, and is a graduate of Endicott College. Past board affiliations include The Cross-Boundary Leadership Team and Beyond Healing.