COCA has activated the power of arts education in the heart of our St. Louis community for over 30 years. To leverage that power to meet our shared needs today and fulfill the potential of tomorrow, it’s time to grow.

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Join us in creating our future


For a personal conversation about COCA’s future, please contact:

Kelly Pollock
Executive Director

Pam Mandelker
Director of Advancement

As we know from three decades of experience, the impact of a promise kept extends across generations.

With your help, we will raise $40 million to support the construction of our facility expansion as well as capital reserves and endowment funds for scholarships, support services, artistic and educational programming. The ambitious project positions COCA to meet evolving community needs and serve its growing student base, while also sustaining its long-term commitment to ensuring access.

As a community, we will do all of this together.

Project Highlights

With a planned start date in early 2018 and completion in late 2019, the project includes:

  • A state-of-the-art theatre (450 seats) to both meet COCA’s growing performance needs as well as expand opportunities to host local and touring visiting artists.
  • More than 8,000 square feet of new studio space for COCA’s growing programs, including its nationally acclaimed Pre-Professional Program and joint MFA in Dance offered in partnership with Washington University in St. Louis.
  • A visually stunning and highly functional Performance Lab restoring the original architecture of Mendelsohn’s sanctuary and providing a central studio, rehearsal hall and informal presentation/event space.
  • New art & design lab and multipurpose instructional space equipped with tools to foster exploration and creativity.
  • New community space – located throughout the project – to create a more hospitable, welcoming second home for COCA’s families and visitors.
  • A designated, safe, and accessible drop-off and pick-up configuration.
  • A new parking garage: COCA’s patrons will be accommodated across the street in a new 200+ space shared-use parking garage in development with Washington University.

News & Updates

COCA Unveil Plans for $28 Million Construction Project

COCA-Center of Creative Arts has begun work on a $28 million renovation and construction project to transform the community arts organization’s University City campus. On March 12, 2018, the University City council approved the expansion project, which will extend COCA’s current building to the east. Work on the first phase—renovations to COCA’s landmark Erich Mendelsohn- designed main building—is underway; groundbreaking for the expansion phase is scheduled for this summer, and it is set to open in early 2020.

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Campaign Leadership & Project Team

Launched quietly in early 2015, the campaign is spearheaded by a 12-member Steering Committee chaired by Cheryl Holman, with Honorary Chairs Alison and John Ferring. Meet the Create Our Future campaign leadership and project team.

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