For eighteen years, Kelly Pollock has been an integral leader at COCA-Center of Creative Arts in St. Louis, serving as the organization’s Executive Director since 2010. Under Pollock’s leadership, COCA has expanded its reach and impact through innovative new programs that push boundaries, all aimed at building St. Louis’ creative capacity. Before becoming Executive Director, Pollock served as COCA’s General Manager as well as its Director of Development for eight formative years as the organization grew its annual budget from $1.7 million to $5 million and successfully achieved a $10 million capital campaign.
In 2016, Pollock was selected as of one of ten U.S.A. Eisenhower Fellows and has traveled to Northern Ireland and Brazil to understand the role of arts and culture in bridging divides and driving economic development. She is regularly sought after to speak on arts education nationally and was recently invited by the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts to speak at the National Council on the Arts meeting in Washington, DC. In the 2015 Innovation Issue, ALIVE Magazine named Pollock one of the 35 “bold minds creating a better St. Louis,” and in 2014, she was one of 50 international arts & culture CEOs selected to participate in the National Arts Strategies’ Chief Executive Program.
She is a graduate of the FOCUS Leadership St. Louis and CORO Women in Leadership Programs. She serves on the Board of Directors for Missouri Citizens for the Arts and LUME Institute of University City Children’s Center. Additionally, Pollock serves as Adjunct Faculty at Webster University, teaching in the Master of Arts Administration Program. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Washington University and a Masters Degree in Public Policy Administration from University of Missouri, St. Louis.