COCA Executive Director Kelly Pollock Named 2016 Eisenhower Fellow

By Krystin Arneson
In Culture

Center of Creative Arts executive director Kelly Pollock was named to the 2016 class of Eisenhower Fellows, COCA announced on Friday. As one of 10 fellows from around the US, she’s now among a prestigious global network of public, private and nonprofit leaders, and what she takes away from her forthcoming experience as a fellow will help St. Louis leverage cultural resources in new, innovative and broadening ways, according a press release from COCA.

COCA executive director Kelly Pollock. Photo courtesy of COCA.

COCA executive director Kelly Pollock. Photo courtesy of COCA.

During Pollock’s fellowship, according to an email from COCA announcing her selection, Pollock will be traveling to Brazil and Northern Ireland. These trips are part of an individualized four- to five-week program aimed at examining how arts and culture can be used as tools for inclusive social and economic development in global cities. She’ll also be exploring innovative arts education with experts in that field and looking at effective place-making projects that foster community engagement through art in public spaces.

“I am particularly interested in how forward-leaning cities are using their artistic and cultural assets to not only drive their economy, but also to address inequities that exist in their communities,” said Pollock. “I plan to explore how, through more intentional cultural planning, arts and culture can help shape a more distinctive identity for St. Louis and develop greater social and community cohesion in our region.”

Fellow St. Louisan Vanessa Cooksey, senior vice president and head of community affairs at Wells Fargo Advisors, was also selected as an Eisenhower classmate. The Eisenhower Fellowships is a nonprofit and independent organization that, since 1953, has selected 2,000 fellows as part of its mission to nurture leadership and international understanding through global exchanges of ideas and information.

The complete list of 2016 USA Eisenhower Fellows is comprised of:

  • Mason Ailstock, COO, Research Triangle Park Foundation, Raleigh, NC;
  • Quinn Bauriedel, co-founder and co-artistic director, Pig Iron Theatre Company, Philadelphia;
  • Vanessa Cooksey, senior vice president and head of community affairs, Wells Fargo Advisors, St. Louis;
  • Kathryn Finney, founder and director, digitalundivided, NYC;
  • Daniel Gallant, executive director, Nuyorican Poets Café, NYC;
  • Tatiana Garcia Granados, co-founder and executive director, Common Market, Philadelphia;
  • Jennifer Hashley, director, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, Friedman School of Nutrition and Policy at Tufts University, Boston;
  • Susan Patrick, president and CEO, International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), Washington, DC;
  • Kelly Pollock, executive director, Center of Creative Arts, St. Louis;
  • G. Nagesh Rao, chief technologist and entrepreneur-in-residence, U.S. Small Business Administration, Washington, DC.
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