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:

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