The Art of Cool Project (AOCP) is a 501(c)(3) jazz presenting non-profit organization that strives to cross artistic, economic and social boundaries to bring together a diverse mix of people, cultures, experiences and creativity. The mission of AOCP is to present, promote and preserve jazz-influenced music in ways that build and uplift the community. The goal is to expand the audience for jazz-influenced music.

The Art of Cool’s Core Values:

  1. To present the best jazz in the Triangle
  2. To build a culture excited about jazz, education and innovative thought
  3. To expand the Triangle jazz audience
  4. To educate young musicians
  5. To inspire others through music, entrepreneurship and culture


In 2014 AOCP launched the first Start of Cool Summer Camp (stArt of Cool) to educate young people on the fundamentals of jazz.  The camp is held annually with a camp in Durham and Raleigh NC. The Start of Cool Summer Camp (stArt of Cool) has educated over 150 young people to date and many more to come.


In 2015 AOCP launched the first annual Innovate Your Cool Conference to celebrate the power of cool ideas and its impact on Innovation, Music and Culture. This free conference has welcomed over 2,500+ attendees since its inception to Downtown Durham, NC during AOCFEST.

Board of Directors

Executive Board of Directors 2018-2019
  • Cicely Mitchell, DrPH (President)
  • Al Strong, IV (Vice-President)
  • Michele Johnson-Bertram (Secretary/Interim-Treasurer)


Special thanks to our supporters
  • Efrem Yates
  • Desmond Miller
  • Merry Rabb
  • Steven Sharpe
  • Clevonne Jacobs
  • Tonya Locklair
  • Regina Youngblood
  • Angela Wilson
  • Amy Lindsay
  • April Harris Britt
  • Carolyn Mitchell
  • Knottie By Nature



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