Center for PAInT


Center for PAInT Leadership

Denise Davis-Cotton, EdD, the Director of the Florida Center for PAInT. She is an esteemed professional and educator and author of Losing My Mind over Education (Finding My Way Back to Me), in which she shows the discord between the preparations of her educational journey along life’s landscape, what she discovers, and what needs to happen to reignite the educational spirit.

She is a Milken Foundation internationally recognized educator, Michiganian of the Year, and Past President of Arts Schools Network in which she made historic contributions to education and the cultural renaissance. She is the founder and served as the First Principal of Detroit School of Arts (DSA). She also received two Keys to the City of Montgomery (Alabama), as well as the Congressional Record Recognition by the 106th Congress, and she is recognized as a Distinguished Alumni – Alabama State University.

Her dream of teaching performing arts to inner-city school children evolved to the founding of what many believe became an icon of cultural education throughout the country. Through Dr. Davis-Cotton’s leadership, academics and arts are not only recognized but also revered. As a result of her vision, she provides strong comprehensive arts integration programs; promotes creativity, imagination, and innovation; and designs educational curricula that prepares and educates a workforce for the Creativity and Innovation Paradigms.

Dr. Davis-Cotton hails from Montgomery, Alabama and is dedicated to promoting achievement through science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (S.T.E.A.M.) initiatives, thus providing a balanced intellectual sphere that includes divergent thinking and creativity.

She interacts with corporate, cultural, collegiate, and community institutions to help prepare learners to enter multiple aspects of the creative industries and other professional arenas upon completion of high school through arts integration and workforce development trainings. She has established her reputation as an extremely capable, effective, community and civic leader, as well as an international/national representative for a balanced education.

She is thorough, efficient, and knows the reality of establishing priorities to benefit the mission of promoting arts integration and professional development training in schools and communities.  Her enthusiasm, innovativeness, and genuine concern for education are exemplary. Her demonstration of the highest level of professional commitment and competency allow her to share with others her belief in the importance of arts integration in schools, thereby garnering the distinct honor as a woman of vision, keen insight, and action.

She has led by example for others to emulate, thereby earning the enviable reputation as an educator who truly cares about children, learners, teachers, artists, schools, and community. She holds an earned doctorate from Wayne State University, an Education specialist certification from Wayne State University, a Master of Arts from the University of Montevallo, and a Bachelor of Science from Alabama State University.