Arts Integration

COCAedu Arts Learning

COCAedu Arts Integration Model

Arts integration incorporates the arts throughout the learning process by infusing some form of art—such as theatre, music, dance, drawing, poetry, or other expression of creativity—into the core curriculum. It is experiential in nature and encourages “learning by doing.”

Using arts and community resources to expand the ways teachers teach and students learn has been proven to achieve measurable results. Arts integration also helps develop the whole child, ensuring a well-rounded education.

Integrating arts and cultural programs throughout the learning process is in addition to—not a substitution for—fine arts classes. COCAedu strongly supports classes devoted exclusively to instruction in art and music, in addition to having a full range of the arts as part of the learning experience in all subject areas.

Arts Integration Programming

COCAedu Arts Integration in School

Arts Integrated School

School engages in a partnership with COCAedu at multiple levels and includes arts integration as a critical part of their overall vision and goals. COCAedu provides support for implementing and maximizing programming throughout the building and over the course of the year.

COCAedu Arts Integration STEM to STEAM


School values arts integration within the STEM setting and partners classroom science teachers with COCA teaching artists for multi-week residencies.

COCAedu Arts Integration

Arts Integration Residency

School values arts integration within the general education classroom. COCA teaching artists partner with classroom teachers to engage in a multi-week interdisciplinary unit.

COCA Arts Integration Professional Development

Professional Development

COCAedu provides classroom teachers, administrators, and teaching artists with onsite coaching, intensive arts integration institutes, school-year workshops, opportunities to participate in national arts education programs, and access to a network of professional learning communities within schools and cultural institutions.  


The concept for COCAedu’s arts integration work emerged in 2003 when the Ford Foundation approached COCA about a grant to use arts integration as a vehicle for academic improvement in the St. Louis Public School District. This funding allowed COCA and its partners to launch Interchange (now known as COCAedu) as a community collaboration of arts and cultural organizations in 2006. Interchange expanded its model to focus on using collaborative arts integration residencies as a way to provide professional development for classroom teachers in 2008.

Today, COCAedu has built upon the rich history of the program formerly known as Interchange, and provides collaborative arts integration residencies that partner teaching artists from local arts and community organizations with teachers from the St. Louis Public Schools, University City Public Schools, Ferguson-Florissant School District, and many more.