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History: COA was conceived in 1978 when a group of volunteers met with the Fine Arts Chair and Superintendent of the East Greenwich School Department to explore ways to provide all school children with quality cultural arts programs. In January 1980, COA was founded and incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in the State of Rhode Island and established a Board of Directors & Representatives from each school in East Greenwich.


Programs: Supported by a volunteer board, the COA Director researches, and plans carefully curated, diverse and age-appropriate artistic programs for each school within the district. The Director handles all negotiations with the teaching artists for the best possible block-booking rates, secures contracts and payment, and coordinates the artists’ scheduling and performance/presentation needs at each school. 


Fundraising: At the start of each school year, COA sends a donation appeal letter to the families in East Greenwich public schools. The total funds earned from private/family donations average approximately 45% of COA’s total programming revenue. Since the late 1980s, COA has relied upon each school’s Parent-Teacher group to make an annual contribution to COA, and 100% of these funds go directly into cultural arts programming/assemblies at each school within the district. Lastly, COA depends upon the financial support provided by the East Greenwich School District to cover key operational and administrative expenses.


Impact: Since 1979, COA has brought hundreds of globally acclaimed artists in music, theater, performing arts, storytelling, literature, and visual arts into East Greenwich schools via hands-on, interactive workshops and assemblies. During the last 40 years, COA has reached over one million students through 400 different cultural arts programs in all six East Greenwich public schools with current enrollment at over 2500 students. 


Partnerships: Over the years, COA has cultivated many mutually beneficial partnerships that together strengthen the arts in our town. Some examples include; Main Street Association, East Greenwich Turkey Trot, SAFO/Summer’s End, East Greenwich Rotary, The Greenwich Odeum, Citizens Who Care, East Greenwich Parent Teacher Groups, East Greenwich Schools, and many more. 


Non-Profit Tax-Exempt Status: (EIN: 050386984)

COA is registered within the State of Rhode Island and recognized by the IRS under Section 501(c)(3) 

as a Non-Profit Charity Corporation. Donations to COA are tax-deductible. We file a report with the Secretary of State’s office to renew the non-profit status annually after the closing of fiscal (tax) year on June 30th. Since COA’s gross receipts total less than 50k, we file the short Form990-N (e-postcard) with the IRS.

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