COCA-Center of Creative Arts has offered support to staff and faculty of Central Visual and Performing Arts High School (CVPA) over the past weeks. Beginning Wednesday, November 9, COCA will house CVPA faculty and staff as they prepare return-to-school plans and conduct virtual learning.

“COCA is honored to be able to provide a space for the CVPA staff and faculty to gather following the recent tragedy at their school. We stand ready to support our community partners in their time of need, especially performing arts institutions,” said Alesha Henley, Interim Executive Director at COCA. “At COCA, we know the arts can provide opportunities for healing, and it is a privilege to be here for the CVPA team.”

Antonio Douthit-Boyd, COCA’s Artistic Director of Dance and a 1999 CVPA graduate, and our many shared teaching artists have been instrumental in connecting COCA with CVPA during these challenging weeks.

“As an alumnus of CVPA, it was of the utmost importance to me to let the community heal and be at the ready to support the school in whatever capacity possible,” Douthit-Boyd said. “Utilizing the space at COCA will not only strengthen our bond as community partners but allow the arts to lead us into a brighter tomorrow for our current and future arts community.” COCA is committed to hosting CVPA faculty and staff through the coming weeks and will remain in contact with SLPS should COCA be able to support further.



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 more than 50,000 students, audience members, artists, and families from more than 200 zip codes across the St. Louis region every year. The fourth largest multi-disciplinary arts organization in the country, COCA is committed to supporting the vitality and creativity of more than 200 artists at the heart of their work in schools, community centers, local business, cultural organizations, and on-site at its campus in University City