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Packed gallery for December artwalk (top). (Bottom left to right) Christine Babic during CoCA Lab residency; Artist, Gabriel Marquez, Artist, Randi Ganulin and performance shot of Dayna Hanson Projects during "35 Live: CoCA Members' Show"

New Year Message from the Director

CoCA started its 35th birthday celebration with over 1500 of our closest friends attending the opening receptions for our Artist Members in 35 Live: CoCA Members’ Show in 3 locations: Capitol Hill, Pioneer Square, and Georgetown. The year was filled with significant art and exhibitions including wearable art and jewelry in Bling it On, to the fresh tech-meets-art exhibit and catalog of augmented reality in CoCA Pop-Up (AR)t, to providing a safe space for artists with race and social justice focused art in JuarezX: Dragged Across BordersAmerican Power and What You See Is What You Sweat. We really showcased our ability—and mission—to be a forum and catalyst for the advancement, development, and understanding of contemporary art.

There is a moment in American Power that really exemplified our impact in 2016. The show featured strong social commentary with work by Tracy Boyd,  Chris Crites, Rebecca Cummins and Troy Gua alongside the reinterpreted and colorful KKK robes among other bold works by Paul Rucker from his Rewind Exhibit. Talk about a catalyst for conversation! We were simultaneously flipped off and congratulated on a daily basis for presenting this show, but we held fast to a space for community to engage—where the art was respected and celebrated. On the day of Paul Rucker’s lecture, early visitors let me know that our website wasn’t working - in fact, it had been hacked. It was obviously calculated since Paul had poignant works commenting on America's unjust prison system for African Americans and every page on the site was redirected to the FBI’s Most Wanted list. I know we are doing something right when the conversation around art is so powerful that someone would try to keep it out of hearts and minds of visitors. Thanks to an IT specialist on the Board, we got our info to visitors eventually and the standing-room-only crowd was riveted and inspired listening to Paul Rucker’s wisdom and insight about his art created from years of personal experience and research.

In reflecting back over 35 years of CoCA, we remain strong because our mission requires us to have a broad worldview: what is happening, to whom and why. Our bylaws also state that minimum 25% of the Board must be ‘working artists’ and, including staff, we clock in at 50% currently.  Out of our membership, roughly 80% of you are artists. Many of our supporters think from the right side of the brain. CoCA’s founders had it right: as artists and administrators of this scrappy and resilient nonprofit arts organization, it’s our responsibility to understand and comment; to dig deep to create art/experiences that reflect and help to illuminate the world around us.

2016 made it very clear the importance and richness that our work provides for our region. From the $35,000 we paid directly to artists this year, to free hugs during a powerfully emotional show, the work we do transforms lives. Please consider CoCA in the many choices you have for end of year giving and as you are able to pay it forward. If you have already made a gift, thank you!

Already with your strong community support, we made a triumphant acquisition of a permanent home in the Tashiro Kaplan Building in September. We couldn’t be happier to end 2016 in our new Pioneer Square home surrounded by an inspiring community. This is thanks to the steady and generous support of you, our CoCA donors, members, and volunteers.

Your continued support for CoCA says YES to ongoing strength for art and culture in Seattle and provides you with the knowledge that our city will remain an engaged cultural sanctuary for all. As Seattle Weekly Art Writer, Trenton Flock, said in two concurrent reviews this fall, “I recommend a trip to its Pioneer Square gallery for a dose of sobering sanity and...a little hope.”

Making a donation is as easy as a couple clicks on our website: just hit that big red donate button below. CoCA is a registered 501c3 non-profit and 100% of your donation is a tax deduction. Additionally, our incredible Board of Directors will match your donation up to $1500 through December 31. Help them spend their money and make a donation today!

Thank you for everything you do to support our region’s arts community in a way that is generous and fitting for you.

Looking forward,
Nichole DeMent


CoCA serves the Pacific Northwest as a catalyst and forum for the advancement, development, and understanding of Contemporary Art

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