NOCCA Foundation now accepting applications for Executive Director position

NOCCA Foundation now accepting applications for Executive Director position


The NOCCA Foundation champions the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. We build philanthropic, lasting partnerships. We invest in young artists, their mentors, alumni, and the community through programs that encourage educational excellence and artistic innovation.


The NOCCA Foundation – the support organization for the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), Louisiana’s widely acclaimed arts conservatory – is seeking a dynamic and innovative professional to serve as its next Executive Director. Reporting to the NOCCA Foundation Board of Directors and overseeing an annual operating budget of $4.1M and a staff of seven, the Executive Director will play an instrumental role in advancing NOCCA’s mission and vision, spearheading the Foundation’s efforts to raise supplemental funding for NOCCA and advocating for the school’s world-class program within the broader community. The ideal incumbent will possess an impressive combination of lived and professional experiences that will set them on a path to success in the role, including experience in an executive- or leadership-level position; a track record of generating contributed and earned revenue from local and national sources; political savvy; an inclination for collaboration; business acumen; and compelling communication skills.


The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), celebrating its 50th anniversary, was chartered in 1973 by the State of Louisiana and opened its doors to students in 1974. Today, NOCCA is Louisiana’s premier arts conservatory for high school students, offering intensive instruction in Classical Music, Creative Writing, Culinary Arts, Dance, Drama, Entertainment Production Design, Jazz, Media Arts, Musical Theatre, Vocal Music, Visual Arts, and academics. Students come to NOCCA from across Louisiana, attending via full-day, afternoon, and after school sessions. Admission to NOCCA is by audition, and there is no tuition.

For more information about NOCCA, please visit

As NOCCA’s nonprofit partner, the NOCCA Foundation (the Foundation) provides financial support for the school, its programs, its facilities, and its students. Some of the Foundation’s more notable endeavors include: a Student Success Program that pays for students’ classroom supplies as well as fees associated with important summer training programs across the country; an Artists-in-Residence Program that brings more than 100 professional visiting artists into NOCCA’s classrooms each year; the capital campaign for NOCCA’s current home and expansion projects like Press Street Gardens; a wide array of arts classes for adults; and concert, gallery, and literary events for the community.

The Foundation currently owns the Chevron Forum, one of two buildings on NOCCA’s campus, of which 70% is leased to the school for its academic and culinary arts program. The Foundation oversees rentals of the NOCCA campus, making it available to arts organizations, individuals, corporations, and other groups.


The Executive Director serves as the strategic leader of the Foundation, directing the organization’s comprehensive efforts to generate financial support for NOCCA from both contributed and earned revenue sources.

The Executive Director leads, manages, and mentors a staff of seven, which includes the Director of Advancement; the Director of Development and Communications; the Director of Alumni Affairs; the Director of Finance and Operations; the Business and Human Resources Manager; the Facilities Manager; and a part-time Development Assistant.

The Executive Director reports to the Foundation’s Board of Directors, a diverse group of 45 community leaders. The Foundation’s leader works closely with all Board committees, including Nominating, Finance/Investment, DEI, Real Estate, Gala/Special Events, Major Gifts, and 50th Anniversary. The Executive Director is responsible for implementing a Strategic Plan adopted in 2021 and coordinating with staff to adjust or complete goals and timelines as indicated.

The Foundation’s leader works in partnership with the President and CEO of NOCCA to support the school’s areas of greatest need, including programs, capital, FF&E, direct student support, faculty and staff professional development, and legislative advocacy. Importantly, the Executive Director maintains productive relationships with NOCCA’s department chairs, the directors of arts and academics, and faculty members.

The Executive Director is highly engaged within the community, developing and nurturing relationships with peer organizations across the local arts and education sector, serving as an advocate for NOCCA and its extraordinary offerings, and fostering a supportive ecosystem for NOCCA’s mission and work.


Drive increases in contributed and earned annual revenue to support NOCCA
The Executive Director will formulate and direct strategies to strengthen the Foundation’s contributed revenue streams – which are primarily focused on annual giving and special event sponsorships at present – while, equally as important, developing innovative strategies and cultivating new opportunities for philanthropic growth, particularly in the areas of alumni giving, major giving, mid-level individual giving, and institutional giving. The Foundation generates earned revenue from Chevron Forum tenants, facility and garden rentals on the NOCCA campus, and culinary services; the Executive Director will seek new avenues to augment sources of earned revenue for the Foundation. In all efforts to expand financial support for NOCCA, the Executive Director will continue to cultivate support from the local New Orleans community, while also broadening the Foundation’s donor base to include individual and institutional givers with both regional and national footprints.

Commemorate NOCCA’s 50th anniversary
The Executive Director will be responsible for executing the Foundation’s 50th anniversary commemoration – a multi-faceted effort focused on celebrating NOCCA’s storied history and progress over the past five decades; increasing awareness of the school within the broader community; generating augmented financial support; and engaging the school’s base of diverse and talented alumni.

Secure public funds to complete the purchase of NOCCA’s flagship facility.
In Spring 2023, the Louisiana State Legislature approved a $8.1 million capital outlay appropriation which will enable the NOCCA Foundation to pay off the remaining interest-free debt on NOCCA’s Chevron Forum building – the fully renovated, 60,000-square-foot facility that provides essential classroom, lab, and studio space for NOCCA, while also generating rental revenue. The Executive Director will play a leading role in ensuring that these funds become available to NOCCA.


While no one candidate will possess every experience and characteristic outlined within the position profile, the ideal candidate will possess a compelling combination of the following personal and professional traits, skills, and qualifications:

  • Previous experience in an executive- or leadership-level role in a nonprofit organization.
  • Knowledge of the arts and culture sector; a familiarity with arts education; an understanding of the local arts and culture context and environment.
  • Proven ability to build fruitful funding relationships and generate revenue, both contributed and earned, for a nonprofit organization. Knowledge of the local philanthropic landscape is essential; experience securing funding from state, regional, and national sources is highly desired.
  • Experience working with a nonprofit Board of Directors; basic knowledge of nonprofit governance structures and best practices is essential.
  • Familiarity with the Louisiana legislative process; experience influencing public policy and advocating for arts funding would be additive.
  • A propensity for collaboration; recognition of the role that the NOCCA Foundation plays as an organization that exists to provide support for NOCCA.
  • An appreciation for NOCCA’s central role in the perpetuation of New Orleans’ cultural formation and identity.
  • Business and/or operational acumen; experience managing a place-based organization would be additive.
  • A convincing public presence; the ability to inspire and motivate others.
  • Concrete experience building, supporting, and mentoring a high-performing staff team.
  • In word and in deed, a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Unwavering enthusiasm regarding NOCCA, its mission, and the students, alumni, constituents, and broader community it serves.

The salary range for the Executive Director position begins at $185,000, commensurate with experience. The Foundation offers a competitive benefits package. The Executive Director must be located in, or willing to relocate to, the Greater New Orleans area.


The NOCCA Foundation search committee is partnering with The Jones Group of New Orleans to recruit the Foundation’s next Executive Director. Applications, including a resume and cover letter; nominations; and/or inquiries should be directed to Yvette Jones and Brinkley Serkedakis, in confidence, at No calls, please. For priority consideration, application materials should be received by March 29, 2024.

The NOCCA Foundation is an equal-opportunity employer. The NOCCA Foundation hires, trains, and promotes qualified employees without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, or any other protected status.