NOCCA Foundation

Quotes from NOCCA alumni

“Equal attention should be paid to schools of the arts.  They are an integral part of the educational system.  Because, if we hope to be competitive in the best sense of the word, we have to spur the imagination of American youngsters and there’s no better way to do that than through the arts.”

The late Ellis Marsalis, Founding NOCCA Jazz Instructor

“When this level of talent constantly comes from this school, there has to be some process used here that works.  I truly believe what we received at NCCA in terms of artistic accomplishment and sense of direction is unparalleled in the world.”

Terence Blanchard, Alumnus (or year), Trumpeter, Composer, Teacher, GRAMMY Award-Winner, Academy Award Nominee

“The city of New Orleans has an important position in American culture.  And the people who come to NOCCA come out of the soil of New Orleans.  They have an opportunity to receive a first class education.  We have to send these students out like ambassadors around the world. They will say, ‘Yes, I’m from the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and this is what our city is all about.”

Wynton Marsalis, 1979, Trumpeter, Composer, Teacher, Jazz At Lincoln Center Artistic Director, GRAMMY Award-Winner, Pulitzer Prize-Winner.

“Arts link the entire history of the world.  If you are addressing a piece of Duke Ellington’s music, in some way it is related to Beethoven’s music which is in some way related to a piece of Bach’s music, which is in some way related to Gregorian chants, which in some way is related to the music of the Pygmies in Africa.  Art deals with relationships and connections.  The arts safeguard the integrity of your culture and constantly replenish it, informing generation upon generation.”

Wynton Marsalis

“That’s one of the greatest things about NOCCA.  At an early age you are given the opportunity to develop yourself, not only as an artist but as a person.”

Wendell Pierce (1981), Actor, Director, Producer, Businessman, Tony Award-Winner, Laurence Olivier Award Nominee

“I remember the first lesson I learned at NOCCA, the very first day of class.  The theatre teachers walked in and said, ‘NOCCA is not fair, we are not fair, life is not fair.’  Then they walked out of the room and left us sitting there.  I was immediately motivated.  I thought, well they are going to be fair to me.  I’m going to demand respect by doing good work.”

Wendell Pierce

“NOCCA is one of the greatest creative arts schools in the world now.  No other school in such a short time has produced so many artists who are not only successful but who’ve actually changed the course of their craft.  NOCCA is a hidden jewel, that diamond in the middle of that rock that no one has chipped away yet.”

Wendell Pierce