On Sunday, May 17, “The Big 4-Oh! Gala,” hosted by New Orleans Center for Creative Arts parent and 1980 alumnus Terence Blanchard and NOCCA Parent Robin Burgess, will celebrate NOCCA’s 40th birthday. This very special celebration will take place in the new Chevron Forum on Press Street starting at 6 p.m., with a special “Twilight” party to follow.

Student Imani Gaudin-County; NOCCA Institute Board President Joel Vilmenay; NOCCA Institute Board Member and parent Debbie Patrick; and NOCCA Institute Board Member and 2004 alumnus Gary Solomon Jr. appear on our cover with Blanchard, to encourage you to attend.

The entertainment will be provided by Grammy award-winners Pedrito Martinez and Terence Blanchard. Chefs, including Tory McPhail, Aaron Burgau, Justin Devillier and Frank Brigtsen, will prepare gourmet fare, while NOCCA’s Culinary Arts students and faculty will create hors d’oeuvres. There will even be silent and live auctions and additional entertainment by NOCCA students and alumni.

“The Big 4-Oh!” supports the NOCCA institute, the center’s nonprofit community support and advocacy organization. The success of the event relies heavily on the generous support from the friends of NOCCA, and all profits go to the institute.

Tickets start at $350 per person or $600 per couple. To learn more about sponsorship levels and benefits, browse auction items or to purchase tickets, visit myab.co/events/xp

Special thanks to Richard Read, Director of Marketing for the NOCCA Institute, and Katrina Weschler, Associate Director of Development for Events and Programs for the NOCCA Institute, for all of their invaluable assistance.