What We Do

Our Mission

To advocate, educate, and celebrate modern-day issues and narratives from modern-day youth.

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Our Story

In December of 2019, one small acronym written in founder Olivia de Guzman's notes would come to the formation of Community Outreach and Activism Through Art, a student-led organization aimed at supporting young artists and their passions. Now with over fifty members, COATA provides an online platform for members to display their work and tell their story. Moving beyond the internet, COATA aims to offer support and services to other grass root movements and organizations our advocates believe in. Despite its initial creation aimed at bringing a voice for change, Community Outreach and Activism Through Art has become a reflection, movement, and narrative for youth in America and beyond.

What We Do

At COATA, young artists come together to create a platform and put their voices into the world. Members work together on a local and international scale, hoping to spread awareness, acceptance, and empathy. During the summer of 2020, a group of COATA members took part in the Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Frederick, Maryland. During the months of September and October, COATA hosted Paint and Protest events, allowing members and passersby to create artwork related to the Black Lives Matter movement that would later be posted around town. We work with other local organizations, as well, including a recent project with DC Teens Action.

We also release a monthly article; Mental Health Monthly. Each month, we send a prompt to our artists to encourage thought and artistic expression. We then post these submissions in installments that can be found on our website.

COATA recently began our Education Initiative project, in which we aim to tackle common problems students face in schooling. With recent communication with the high school principals of Frederick County Public Schools, as well as with Representative Jamie Raskin, COATA aims to introduce discussion around student mental health, as well as spark change in initiatives surrounding drug use/awareness, sexual education, and LGBTQ+ awareness.

We are most active on our Discord server, which holds a community of young artists from all over the world. Artists come together for support, communication, and more.

Olivia de Guzman, they/them

Founder and President

Olivia founded COATA in 2019 with the intent of creating a platform for diverse youth narratives. Driven by their journey with mental health and autism, Olivia plans to attend college for Political Science with a focus in intersectionality and human rights. They currently attend the Academy for the Fine Arts and intern at DC Peers.

Phoenix, she/her

Communications Lead + CEO of cool hair

Phœnix is a junior visual arts student. She specializes in character design and storytelling. Her favorite mediums are pencil, ballpoint pen, watercolor, and digital. You can find her on Instagram @hydroculus and twitter @SordidSun.

Yoko Cahill, she/her

Think Tank Lead + Bird Lover

Yoko is a literary artist. She believes the written word can create space for personal and community development. She hopes to teach future generations how understand each other and themselves through their writing. You can find her on Instagram as @vengeful_dm and on Twitter as @VengefulDM!

A group of COATA members at the Botanical Gardens in Washington, DC

Are You Interested?

All youth are welcome to join. There are no participatory, artistic, or time obligations!

Use the contact information down below to join us today!