The Center of Creative Arts (COCA) has selected Indigo K. Sams as President and CEO, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). She began her tenure on February 14, 2023.
Sams is a trusted nonprofit leader with 30 years of demonstrated experience in resource development, facilities operations, and recruitment strategies. Prior to joining COCA as President and CEO, she had served the organization in various roles, including Director of Community Service and Executive Coordinator. Sams also held a 17-year tenure at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, most recently as Vice President of Operations and Club Services. While there, Sams led the Club’s efforts to identify partnership opportunities and provide relevant, creative, and impactful programming solutions. She guided the development and implementation of the Program and Operational strategy, assessing the goals of the organization and aligning them with the needs of the communities. Sams also oversaw the execution of all funded programs, serving as a liaison to current and prospective donors to secure annual support and major gifts.
A long-term St. Louis resident and strong community advocate, Sams has served as a member of the St. Louis College Fair Committee and on Boards of Directors for the Martin Luther King Support Group and the STL Rhythm Collaborative. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in Urban Education–Public Administration from Harris Stowe State College. She has also completed various leadership programs, including Advanced Leadership Program, Inside the CEO, and LeadershipNEXT.
In making the announcement, President of COCA’s Board of Directors William Carson said, “On behalf of the entire COCA Board and Search Committee, I am thrilled to welcome Indigo back to the COCA family as we prepare for COCA’s next chapters in innovative arts education and programming in St. Louis and beyond. We look forward to the exciting and transformative work ahead to secure our future, and we are deeply grateful to the COCA leadership team, faculty, and staff, who maintained COCA’s artistic, financial, and operational excellence during this interim period.”
“I am honored to have been selected to lead one of the top arts organizations in the nation. The arts have always been my passion, and this opportunity comes full circle for me,” said Sams. “I am excited to return home to start this next chapter of my career and am looking forward to all we will do together for our community."
“Congratulations to Indigo K. Sams as she takes on President and CEO roles at the COCA,” said ACG Senior Vice President Menon Dwarka. “ACG has been privileged to work with the exceptional search committee, board, and staff on this placement. Indigo is a trusted and inspiring leader whose innovative vision and dedication to St. Louis communities will further advance COCA’s leadership position in the arts and culture sector.”