For 20 years, Kelly Pollock has been an integral leader at COCA-Center of Creative Arts in St. Louis, serving as the organization’s Executive Director since 2010. Pollock has expanded COCA’s reach and impact through innovative new programs that push boundaries, significantly grown the organization’s budget reserves and endowment, and forged key new partnerships. She is committed to using the arts and arts education to address issues of inequality and has shaped COCA’s ambitious vision for the future: to use the power of the arts and education to build a vibrant St. Louis that is creative, connected and inclusive. Most recently she has led the organization through the conception and implementation of the Create Our Future Campaign to raise $45 million for the renovation/expansion of COCA’s historic facility and to solidify its endowment.
In 2016, Pollock was selected as of one of ten U.S.A. Eisenhower Fellows and traveled to Northern Ireland and Brazil to understand the role of arts and culture in bridging divides and driving economic development. She was also named one of 35 “bold minds creating a better St. Louis” by ALIVE Magazine, one of 2015’s Most Influential Business Women by the St. Louis Business Journal and is the winner of a 2015 Saint Louis Visionary Award.
Pollock is regularly sought after to speak on arts education nationally and was invited by the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts to speak at the National Council on the Arts meeting in Washington, DC. In 2014, she was one of 50 international arts & culture CEOs selected to participate in the National Arts Strategies’ Chief Executive Program.
She is a graduate of the FOCUS Leadership St. Louis and CORO Women in Leadership Programs. She serves on the Board of Directors for LUME Institute of University City Children’s Center and the Radio Arts Foundation, and is a past board member of Missouri Citizens for the Arts. Additionally, Pollock serves as Adjunct Faculty at Webster University, teaching in the Master of Arts Administration Program. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Washington University and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy Administration from University of Missouri-St. Louis.