The Center for Contemporary Arts is celebrating its 30th year in University City.

COCA serves 50 thousand people a year. Now the fourth largest community arts center in the country is expanding. The $40 million campaign kicked off in January and $25 million has already been raised.

“We love our building, it’s obviously a historic building here, on the national register of historic places, and we have done as much as we possibly can to adapt the former sanctuary to a theater space, but we’ve been limited,” says Catherine Wermert, Director of Administration.

When construction kicks off next year, many of those limitations will be addressed with a state of art theater, parking spaces, an additional 8000 square feet of studio space and new community space. Tonight, the board hopes to raise another million toward that goal with it’s annual COCA-Cabana fundraiser.

“Over 200 zip codes come here. You see every color, every age, and bringing those kids together to feel like home here and feel good about yourself on the stage, we’re just going to double our size and be able to do more of that,” says Major Gifts Officer Virginia Howell.

The project kicks off next year and is expected to be wrapped up by late 2019.

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