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Center of Creative Arts (COCA)

524 Trinity Ave. University City, MO 63130 | Delmar/ The Loop | 314-725-6555
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  • Calendar: Highlights
    In many ways modern dance is all about adaptation -- choreographers take their views of the world, and the subtexts therein, and envision those concepts as movement. Dancers then take that...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    It's one thing to have wanderlust, to yearn to live a little, be a gypsy, get around and pick your feet up off the ground (to paraphrase a very famous songwriter we hope won't sue us); it's...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    Arthur Ransome wrote a series of children's stories set in the English Lake District about two groups of children who have adventures while on holiday. The Walker children consider...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    Take an international trip without the cost of airfare or having to find your passport in an embarrassing blunder at the ticket counter. (It always happens.) Color...My World: Stewart...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    Grief is a foreign country that we all visit. Elements of this other land are familiar, but different in a peculiar way. The food tastes duller there, the landscape is hollow and empty and...
  • Culture: Reviews
    They have tongues like razor blades; it's almost impossible for the four members of the Lyons family to open their mouths without inflicting flesh wounds. Yet there can be something...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    Per E.M. Forster's famous dictum, we should strive to "only connect." A perfectly sound ideal but of course it's easier to achieve for some than others. One particular family in crisis...
  • News: Featured Stories
    "Let me tell you Bobby's best celebrity story," Wayne Salomon says. Salomon and his devoted friend Bobby Miller are not only each other's best buddies; they are each other's biggest...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    You will not see the finished project at the opening reception for Hap Phillips and Nita Turnage: We See Saw art installation at 6 p.m. Friday, June 21, in the Millstone Gallery at the...
  • Culture: Reviews
    "Welcome to Mrs. Mannerly's School of Manners!" With this single embracing sentence, we are admitted entrance into a refined world of courtesy and decorum. On surface the second-floor rumpus...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    As inhabitants of a civilized society, we should -- nay, must -- uphold certain standards of living. For example, let's all make a commitment to return our shopping carts to the corral,...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    Whoever first claimed "might makes right" never heard tell of the mouse in Julia Donaldson's children's book The Gruffalo. Though the mouse's size keeps him low on the forest food chain, his...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    The artists included in Ideas of Order, the new exhibition at the Center of Creative Arts (524 Trinity Avenue, University City; 314-725-6555 or www.cocastl.org), approximate the illusion of...
  • Culture: Reviews
    Long before Woody Allen struck a chord with viewers in his time-traveling movie Midnight in Paris, playwright Richard Greenberg took audiences on a similar kind of ride in The Violet Hour,...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    Those looking to get something different out of their theater-going experience need to grab a seat for Richard Greenberg's subversively humorous play The Violet Hour, staged by St. Louis'...
  • Culture: Reviews
    Paul Rudnick — playwright, screenwriter, essayist — is a man with a mission. He advocates for a tolerant world where acceptance triumphs over fear. His scripts about gay life are...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    The 21st century is twelve years old now, but most of the time those years feel like mere weeks. So much change, so quickly. How does a playwright register the warp-speed velocity of the...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    You don’t have to go to New York for innovative dance -- or wait for an NYC company to visit. Inspired choreography happens here, too, and Dawn Karlovsky proves it yet again with...
  • RFTmusic: Interviews
    Elizabeth Mitchell didn't set out to sing children's songs -- or, more specifically, "all ages folk music." Along with husband Daniel Littleton, she was best known as the main voice of Ida,...
  • Culture: Reviews
    Dailiness confronts the apocalyptic and bizarre in a series of intimate paintings and drawings by Washington University instructor Belinda Lee. A rash of chartreuse lighting in a lavender...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    Dance can't be neatly defined as just moving to the music, especially with companies like Galumpha around. This group cheekily stretches the bounds of what can be classified as dance -- and...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    The Disney princesses and their stories hold a certain magic for children, it's true, but after seeing these tales play out a million times, even the little ones wouldn't mind a bit of a...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    Few writers capture a sense of place as well as Daniel Woodrell. With a journalist's eye for detail and a poet's sense of language, the native Missourian weaves narratives that never hit a...
  • Culture: Reviews
    Featured Review: Four Chapters in the Present We Were After interviewing a passel of Americans old enough to possess memories of World War II, the Kennedy assassination, the 1969 Apollo moon...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    Our memories are our strongest connection to the past, but they're oddly unreliable; or rather, we somehow make a decision about what to remember and what to discard, which makes our...
  • Culture: Reviews
    It is June 1975, and Eppie Lederer, who is better known to her 60 million newspaper readers as syndicated advice columnist Ann Landers, is living alone in a fourteen-room high-rise apartment...
  • Music: Column
    Children's music isn't just about Raffi, Disney and Kidz Bop anymore, and thank goodness for that. From They Might Be Giants to Elizabeth Mitchell, more and more respected artists are trying...
  • Dining: Columns
    The Center of Contemporary Arts has added culinary arts to its repertoire. Participants in COCA's new cooking classes range from kindergarteners to kitchen klutzes to bachelors (no one is...

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Business Description

COCA was founded in 1986 by Richard Baron, President of McCormack Baron Salazar Inc., in conjunction with the late Dorothy Dubinsky, Mark Twain Banks, Robert Orchard, the Sachs Fund and Trivers Associates. A $2 million renovation in 1985-86 transformed the former B'nai Amoona Synagogue in University City, designed in 1946 by renowned architect Eric Mendelsohn, into an ideal site for a community based arts center. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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