Trip report: COCA Group Trip to NYC

It was a pleasure working with COCA for their first-ever donor trip to New York City. COCA (Center Of Creative Arts) is a large non-profit organization in St. Louis, MO, offering a multidisciplinary arts program including adult and youth education, performances, and much more. 

The main reason for their trip to NY was to see Antonio and Kirven Douthit-Boyd in their final NY performance with Alvin Ailey. Antonio started dance at COCA as a young teen and they have both been recently named co-artistic directors of dance at COCA - so there’s a lot to celebrate. In addition to Alvin Ailey, it was a great opportunity for the donors and COCA staff to connect, visit some other arts organizations, and visit with COCA alumni in a variety of professional fields in the NY area.

I worked with COCA to help create, arrange, and fine-tune each element of the program, including hotel, transportation, tours, dinners, performances, attendee communication, room amenities, and more. I was also onsite to run the program and make sure all went smoothly. 

We had a group of 32 people at the Viceroy Hotel in Midtown (close to Central Park) for three busy days, including:

  • A welcome cocktail reception at the amazing Viceroy rooftop bar
  • Group dinners at two unique midtown restaurants
  • Broadway show: The Audience, including a post-show Q&A with one of the actors (a COCA alum)
  • A private brunch at Lincoln Center (with COCA alumni)
  • Private tours of Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Opera House
  • Private tours of Alvin Ailey Studios
  • Premium seats for Alvin Ailey at Lincoln Center 
  • A private afterparty at a pub near Lincoln Center with donors, alumni, Alvin Ailey performers, family, and fri end

Feedback from my contacts at COCA was wonderful and so kind:

I just finished working with Kevin on the first donor trip COCA has ever taken, and am delighted to give him excellent reviews on all counts!  His planning, record keeping, attention to detail, willingness to roll with our punches and changes, attention to donors and their every whim, offering special touches, and calm, cool leadership was just outstanding! 

Pam Mandelker
Director of Advancement

You have been unendingly patient, professional, and proactive with the planning of this trip. It truly means so much that you are continuously willing to go above and beyond to help us meet COCA’s needs and the needs of our donors! You have presented us with opportunities and possibilities that we would never have been able to accomplish on our own.

You have been beyond great during this planning process. We really appreciate your extreme attention to detail, and your willingness to go above and beyond! 

Kathleen Dean
Assistant to the Executive Director

I'm definitely looking forward to working with COCA on more travel experiences in the future.