Recipients Gallery


34 Employees | 290 Faculty & Teaching Artists | 30 Years

Enriching lives and building community through the arts.

Mission Statement

With a successful track record of exceeding benchmarks in their arts education and youth development programs, COCA has been steadfast in their commitment to positively impacting thousands of St. Louis children annually through the arts. For three decades, COCA has been particularly dedicated to removing barriers of participation for disadvantaged students. The support of the Dana Brown Charitable Trust Foundation is helping to strengthen COCA’s role as a vital education resource by sustaining its annual Arts Education outreach services.


For 30 years, COCA programs have enabled students to: think critically and creatively; work collaboratively; build self-confidence and motivation to pursue goals and stay engaged in school; live healthy lifestyles; and develop empathy and imagination. COCA provides meaningful arts experiences and programming to more than 5,000 students annually with more than 50% of these children receiving full support services including access to arts education programs at a subsidy or no cost; scholarship support; free tickets to COCA shows; transportation to and from COCA; dancewear/dance shoes; access to tutoring and college preparation through partnerships with Washington University and College Bound; and career counseling and mentorship. Over the past 16 years, 100% of COCA’s advanced students in the dance programs have matriculated to college/post-secondary study, with several graduates each year being the first in their families to attend college. With 30 years of alumni to point to, students who do not pursue careers in the arts are transformed by their experiences at COCA—they have become adults equipped to approach their lives and work with the creative and collaborative skills that resulted from their practice of the arts.