New Orleans Center for Creative Arts is a regional, pre-professional arts training center that offers students intensive instruction in culinary arts, dance, media arts: filmmaking & audio production, music (classical, jazz, vocal), theatre arts (drama, musical theatre, theatre design), visual arts, and creative writing, while demanding simultaneous academic excellence.

NOCCA was founded in 1973, with doors opening in 1974, by a diverse coalition of artists, educators, business leaders, and community activists who saw the need for an institution devoted to our region’s burgeoning young talent. Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Harry Connick, Jr., Terence Blanchard, Jeanne-Michele Charbonnet, Wendell Pierce, Anthony Mackie, Mary Catherine Garrison and Gary Solomon Jr. are only a few NOCCA graduates who can attest to the extraordinary educational opportunity the Center represents to the children of Louisiana. NOCCA’s track record over the past decades speaks for itself: every year a remarkable 95 – 98% of NOCCA graduates go on to college and conservatory programs across the country. Furthermore, approximately 80% of NOCCA students receive scholarships to pursue such higher education. The key to NOCCA’s success is the ethic of discipline and responsibility it instils in students, which prepares them for productive adult lives whether or not they choose to pursue art careers. Admission to NOCCA’s tuition-free programs is by audition only. Our annual application season takes place each fall for the following school year. Auditions take place each spring from applications received within the posted application deadline. Students may apply for full-day, mid-day or afterschool instructional opportunities. For more information please visit our admissions area.


We believe in the transformative power of the arts. We aspire to create an educational community that nurtures and challenges young people to become more curious, kind, empathetic, engaged, and willing to grapple with complex problems in order to create a just, sustainable, and joyful world.



NOCCA’s mission is to provide a world-class, pre-professional arts education for every young person in Louisiana with the curiosity, creativity, talent and motivation to pursue a life in the arts as they realize the best possible versions of themselves and their futures.


Core Values

The Arts, Community, Creativity, Curiosity, Discipline, Diversity, Equity, Integrity

NOCCA alumni have realized success in all arts fields. Notable alumni include:

Zarouhie Abdalian
Darren Bagert
Jonathan Batiste
Susan Bernofsky
Terence Blanchard
Wanda Boudreaux
Marcus Brown
Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet
Harry Connick, Jr.
Nicole Cooley
Anthony Dominici
Lolis Eric Elie
Felicia Finley
Sullivan Fortner
Mary Catherine Garrison
Anne Gisleson
Lori Guilbeau
Donald Harrison
Moses Hogan
JoNell Kennedy
Doreen Ketchens
Donald Lewis
Pablo Lopez
Paul Mauffray
Branford Marsalis
Delfeayo Marsalis
Jason Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis
Anthony Mackie
Sasha Masakowski
Irvin Mayfield
Kesha McKey
Geoff Munsterman
Brandan “B-Mike" Odums
Terrance Osborne
Wendell Pierce
Gregory Schramel
Ann Schwab
Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
Chris Severin
Gary Solomon Jr.
Trombone Shorty
Poppy Tooker
Christopher Trapani
Virginia Warnken
Hardy Weaver
Lorna Williams

Visual Artist, 2000
Broadway Producer, 1988
Jazz Musician & Band Leader, 2004
Writer, 1984
Musician, 1980
Visual Artist, 1980
Visual Artist & Educator, 2000
Opera Singer, 1981
Musician & Actor, 1983
Novelist & Poet, 1984
Film & Television Director, 1988
Writer, 1981
Musical Theatre Performer, 1990
Jazz Musician, 2003
Actor, 1992
Writer & Educator, 1986
Opera Singer, 2003
Musician & Composer, 1975
Musician, 1984
Actor, 1985
Actor, 1981
Writer, 1989
Musician & Conductor, 1988
Musician, 1978
Musician, 1983
Musician, 1985
Musician, 1979
Actor, 1996
Vocalist, 2004
Jazz Musician, 1995
Dancer & Educator, 1991
Writer, 2003
Artist, 2003
Visual Artist, 1992
Actor, 1981
Dancer, 1978
Visual Artist & Educator, 1987
Jazz Musician, 2001
Jazz Musician, 1976
Lighting Designer & Event Producer, 2004
Musician, 2003 (Troy Andrews)
Writer & Chef , 1975
Musician & Composer, 1998
Grammy Winner & Vocalist, 2002
Musical Theatre Performer, 2004
Visual Artist, 2004

Translate »