New Orleans Center for Creative Arts
The city’s stellar arts high school, NOCCA, as it is known to all, boasts an impressive list of alumni that includes Wynton Marsalis and Harry Connick Jr. Since 1973 the school has shaped thousands of young writers, dancers, musicians and actors, who must audition in order to enroll. Students, such as high school senior Julian Labat (far right) and Martin Mazakowski (with cello), spend half days in traditional schools before heading to NOCCA’s gloriously renovated warehouse complex below the French Quarter, where they learn at the feet of former professionals and visiting masters. The NOCCA Jazz Ensemble is a must-see at the city’s legendary Jazz & Heritage Festival.