“We’re not only developing future artists through [our summer musical program], but also we’re developing kids that have a lifelong love of the arts after participating in shows like this. If they don’t go on and pursue the arts, they learn that they really, really love it and become supporters and audience members of the arts. They also become better community members because they’re meeting kids from all across the city of St. Louis, from all different areas and regions, from urban kids to rural kids, and I think that’s a really important opportunity for them to develop as young people. All of those things are super important to me because I have been involved in the arts since I was a small child doing local theatre productions, and I know how meaningful that was for me and how much that changed and shaped who I was. So to be able to do that for young people and to see them grow and change is really exciting and important to me.” – Shawna Flanigan, director of arts education at COCA (Center of Creative Arts)

To learn more about COCA and it's Summer Musical, Disney's "Beauty and the Beast", visit COCAstl.org