Lucy Gossett Headshot

Lucy Gossett Steps into New Role as Director of Alumni & Donor Relations at COCA 

This spring, COCA announced Lucy Gossett as our inaugural Director of Alumni & Donor Relations. While it’s a new role for Lucy, she’s been a familiar face at COCA since her childhood—she’s a proud COCA alumna and has served seven years as Director of Executive Administration & Special Projects and Executive Assistant. We are thrilled to welcome Lucy to this position where she will focus on nurturing lifelong connections with our alumni and lead initiatives with our COCA Associate Board. 

This is the first time COCA has had a role focused on maintaining relationships with our alumni. Her priority as she’s stepped into this position is to establish the foundation for COCA’s future alumni outreach. She’s started reconnecting with alumni to get an understanding from them for how they’d like to be engaged with COCA, what they’re interested in, and how COCA can meet them where they are. 

“We have a large group of alumni out there…I think they want to see the next generation of artists thrive, and whether it’s their time, treasure, or talent, they want to continue to support COCA’s mission in the way that it helped them while they were here as students,” said Lucy. 

COCA is inclusive—our arts experiences serve people of all ages and skill levels, from enthusiastic amateurs to emerging professionals. We are a place for everybody to engage in the arts and develop essentials skills that can help them in school, work, and life. 

“If you feel like COCA has served you as a place that meant something to you and you’ve participated in our programming in some way as a kid or adult, then you are COCA alumni!” 

Lucy labels herself as an “artsy kid from the get-go.” She’s always loved drawing, acting, writing songs, and playing the piano. She credits her parents for encouraging her as she made up plays to perform as a young child. 

“My parents were always supportive of what I wanted to do and also a very generous audience for all of my creative endeavors. Even when I wanted to quit when things got hard or frustrating…Today, they still encourage me to pursue art because they know that I love it. Art is something that makes me happy and it’s something I’m good at.”   

Lucy was first introduced to COCA through Summer Arts Camps with her siblings. Some of her favorite camp experiences were Stage Combat and Circus.  

“Every time the COCA catalog came to my house, I would circle all the camps and classes I wanted to take, hand it back to my mom, and say ‘I want to take this!’” 

Her most memorable moment as a COCA kid was in one of her acting classes for a final performance when she acted out a scene with a partner. 

“We were supposed to have a food fight in this scene. We couldn’t use actual food, so I chopped up old dish rags and put them in a casserole dish. We used that for the food fight—and I won’t forget the patience of the Teaching Artist to let us throw pieces of rags everywhere!” 

Lucy continued to follow her passion for music through high school and college. She earned her Bachelor of Music from Loyola University New Orleans. Since graduation, Lucy has worked with a variety of nonprofits and returned to COCA in 2016. 

“Based on the nature of my role as Executive Assistant, I learned a lot about COCA and our organization’s history. It made me cherish everything about COCA’s past and feel a deep appreciation for everything that we do here.” 

As Lucy navigates her new role, she’s looking forward to connecting with COCA’s alumni to learn more about their artistic experiences and share their love of the arts!