The arts community is vital to the city of New Orleans, and there’s one institution that has truly made a mark in guiding young artists toward successful futures: the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, fondly referred to as NOCCA. The Culinary Arts program is one of the newest projects, and the long-awaited classroom addition is under construction while enrollment rates are soaring. At the annual Art & Soul, funds – and spirits – were raised in honor of this program as well as other programs for NOCCA.

On May 17 the gala took place on campus, presented by the NOCCA Institution and the Lupin Foundation. Preceding the main event, a patron party took place from 6 to 7 p.m., with a wide array of culinary treats made by chefs of New Orleans and NOCCA’s Culinary Arts students.
Those who missed the patron party satisfied their palates at the gala with food items by the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. Republic Beverage Company provided an open bar that kept the drinks flowing, which led to guests dancing the night away to performances by the Hot Club of New Orleans, Nola Nova and NOCCA Alumni All-Stars.

Another highlight of the event was the Art & Soul Auction, chaired by Brian Menard, which featured artwork, vacation packages, home furnishings and contributions from some of the city’s best known restaurants and stylish boutiques.

Honorary chairs of the evening were Alden and Emeril Lagasse, and co-chairs of Art & Soul included Donna and Russell Klein; Pam and Ralph Lupin; and Leslie and Harold Stokes.