COCA’s mission is to enrich lives and build community through the arts. With a commitment to equity and access, COCA serves as a regional hub for learning in and through the arts for all ages from all backgrounds. One of the most diverse cultural institutions in St. Louis, COCA serves over 50,000 students, audience members, artists and families from over 220 zip codes across the St. Louis region every year. The fourth largest multi-disciplinary arts organization ion the country, COCA is committed to supporting the vitality and creativity of over 200 artists at the heart of the work we do in schools, community centers, local business, cultural organizations and on-site at our campus in University City.
In all the work we do, COCA is committed to actively and intentionally operating as an anti-bias, anti-racist institution. As such, we know art is a powerful instrument for social justice. It is a means for people to share history, culture, and perspectives, celebrate differences, challenge assumptions, and find common ground. As we extend the opportunity for submissions to the public – we seek to strengthen our relationships and continue our commitment to making COCA a welcoming environment for its Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. We recognize that furthering equity charges us to recognize the land our campus rests on as we open the new building. We encourage this lens of equity to be included in the commissioned artist’s installation, an example of which is giving gratitude to the indigenous people that are a part of the long-standing history of St. Louis. (Read COCA’s full Equity and Inclusion Commitment and review COCA’s values here.)