Center of Creative Arts (COCA): Find Your Artistic Niche
COCA is one of the largest multidisciplinary arts organizations in the country, offering classes by more than 250 teaching artists in dance, music, design, theater and visual arts. Its halls hum with activity at all hours, from children learning the ropes of acting out fairytale dramas to adults challenging themselves to master a new genre of dance after a long day at work. The diversity is part of COCA’s draw—everyone will find someone who looks, talks or moves like them.
Thanks to its popularity (it offers 1,300 classes per year in its core arts-education program), COCA is in the midst of an expansion project. Its current building has been renovated, and work is moving forward on new construction that will effectively double the amount of space available for classes, performances and studios. It’s scheduled to open in January of 2020.
Among COCA’s unique forms of outreach are COCAbiz and COCAedu, programs designed for business leaders and arts students and educators, respectively. These help ensure that creativity extends into what may be hard-to-reach corners of our community. The Pre-Professional Division works with talented young artists on training and performance as well as life skills—and it offers the chance to be part of its student companies in dance, vocal performance and theater.
While you’re in the neighborhood …
St. Louis Artworks
Scores of students have received unique job training through arts apprenticeships that teach life skills, financial literacy and employment preparation.
5959 Delmar Blvd.
Saint Louis Story Stitchers Storefront Studio
Storytelling serves as a tool for promoting literacy, civic engagement and intergenerational unity on topics like gun violence and mental health.
616 N. Skinker Blvd.
Regional Arts Commission
This grant-making nonprofit strengthens the local arts scene and trains professionals to use art as a tool for change.
6128 Delmar Blvd.
Images courtesy of Carmen Troesser.