NOCCA Foundation

Capital campaigns for NOCCA’s learning environment

“When you are dealing with the arts, especially with new technology, it’s important to have a space that’s designed for what you are trying to do.” — Wynton Marsalis

NOCCA’s facilities and industry-standard equipment are designed to support students’ skill development and understanding of what it means to be a professional artist. 

Since its founding, the NOCCA Foundation has supported capital and equipment projects that have helped NOCCA increase the number of students served, broaden the range of arts disciplines offered, and improve the training that NOCCA faculty provide.

The most transformative project was the Capital Campaign for NOCCA|Riverfront. A crumbling, turn-of-the-century elementary school was home to one of the finest pre-professional arts-training programs in the world during NOCCA’s first 26 years. The NOCCA Riverfront Campaign, launched in 1991, provided for the studios, practice rooms, stages, workshops and technology NOCCA’s program needed to fully grow. Since 2000, a village of five buildings set on five acres along the Mississippi River has served as home base for NOCCA’s first disciplines–Classical Music, Creative Writing, Dance, Drama, Jazz Music, Visual Arts, and Vocal Music–along with new departments for Culinary Arts, Media Arts, Musical Theatre, and Theatre Design.

The Foundation’s current fundraising effort is the Capital Campaign for the Chevron Forum. The Forum was key in establishing Culinary Arts as a first-of-its-kind high school program (right in New Orleans where it belongs!), and the Academic Studio as an groundbreaking curriculum that teaches academics using NOCCA’s highly successful arts pedagogy. The Academic Studio integrates learning across subjects–sciences, humanities, academics, and arts. The 60,000-square-foot Forum since in a renovated, historic 1830s warehouse and provides a synergistic learning environment that meets the essential classroom, lab, and studio needs for sciences and humanities classes, Culinary Arts, and other arts departments, while also providing some rental revenue.

Everything about New Orleans swirls around NOCCA’s campus, be it the river, the calliope, port activity, the French Quarter, or the small neighborhoods of St. Roch, Faubourg Marigny, and Bywater that welcomed each new wave of residents. All have impacted our unique arts and customs and now speak to NOCCA teachers and students as the custodians of our culture.

For information about equipment needs, the Capital Campaign for Chevron Forum, or gift naming opportunities from $10,000 to $2 million, please contact Elizabeth McMillan at