Central Oregon Center for the Arts

Imagine attending Disney’s “The Lion King,” or Puccini’s “La Boheme,” or Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in a comfortable, acoustically perfect concert hall …

But that’s not possible because Central Oregon has no such hall.

We plan to rectify that by building the Central Oregon Center for the Arts.

Our goal is nothing less than to create a world-class performing and visual-arts facility.

Central Oregon Center for the Arts

Such a center would provide a cultural watering hole, a place of spiritual replenishment, for the growing population of Central Oregon. It also would provide a gathering place for artists and teachers to share their knowledge, vision and voice via music, theater, dance, exhibitions, installations, lectures, workshops, and all other manners of creative expression.

Who We Are

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization comprised of professional and business people, educators, musicians, and patrons of the arts. We believe that it is time for a modern, multi-use performing arts center in Central Oregon. Read more About COCA and our Board of Directors.

Central Oregon Center for the Arts: Our Vision

What We Envision

  • A fully equipped state-of-the-art theater of at least 1,200 seats
  • A smaller theater of about 600 seats for concerts and productions
  • that don’t require a larger space
  • A “black box” space of up to 400 seats for small productions
  • and presentations
  • A green room, dressing rooms and backstage restrooms
  • A visual-arts gallery
  • Visual-arts work spaces
  • Rehearsal spaces
  • Instrument-storage spaces
  • Space to support an arts education program to help engage
  • the community
  • An anchor restaurant/brew pub that would be open during regular business hours
  • Retail shops and community areas that will provide broad returns on investment and new creative opportunities
  • Adequate and easily accessible parking
Central Oregon Center for the Arts: Impact

What Impact Can We Expect?

By providing comprehensive access to arts, theater, music and dance to residents and visitors, the Central Oregon Center for the Arts (COCA) will make significant and dependable cultural and economic contributions to the vitality of Bend, Deschutes County and Central Oregon.

  • The building’s size will be approximately 92,000 square feet
  • The entire facility, including parking, likely will cover from
    5 to 10 acres
  • Its estimated cost will be approximately $80 million

COCA will be paid for through a comprehensive fundraising strategy that includes a capital campaign, special events, e-marketing, and more.

The Numbers

A study commissioned by The Oregon Arts Commission in 2017 reported:

Central Oregon Center for the Arts: Get In On the Ground Floor!


Total arts and cultural annual expenditures in the Central Oregon region

Central Oregon Center for the Arts: Conductor


Event-related spending, excluding the cost of event admission

Central Oregon Center for the Arts: The Numbers


Full-time-equivalent jobs were supported by arts and culture

Central Oregon Center for the Arts: Choir


In household income paid to Central Oregon residents

Central Oregon has continued to experience explosive growth in the wake of that study. It seems clear that the above numbers therefore have grown, making COCA even more viable and more necessary.

The Need

Read what our performing arts community leaders are saying and hear the need for a Central Oregon Center for the Arts:

“Central Oregon’s performing arts organizations have steadily outgrown their available venues, many of which are rented from churches and schools. Meanwhile, Bend has grown into a city deserving of first-rate traveling productions from Broadway and elsewhere. Nothing would unleash the creative energy and vigor of our local arts culture more than a first-class performing arts center.”

Clyde Thompson, Founder and Director Emeritus, Central Oregon Mastersingers

“A performing arts center is mandatory for Central Oregon as evidenced by continued sold out shows in venues that do not provide the space, rooms, wings, technology, etc. required for any quality production.”

Michelle Mejaski, Choreographer/Director of Mejaski Productions

“The Central Oregon Center for the Arts would provide our community with a deeper connection with the performing arts to help enrich our cultural world, especially our youth. Such creativity has proven to be the most important step to human development.”

James Knox, Professor of Music, Central Oregon Community College; Founder/Director Bend Children’s Choir

See all testimonials

Get In On The Ground Floor

A feasibility study is the starting point on this journey and will help us identify the most effective ways to move forward.  Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today to help us make this dream a reality in Central Oregon.