Sowing the Seeds of Learning
 

A couple of years ago at “Art In Bloom,” which is always one of my favorite events, I had the pleasure of hearing Marguerite Green give a fantastic lecture about flowers. Green is a naturally talented gardener and a witty and engaging speaker; she’s also the Director of Press Street Gardens at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. A project of The NOCCA Institute (the nonprofit organization that provides supplemental funding to NOCCA’s programs), Press Street Gardens is a vibrant and engaging green space that benefits NOCCA students across all disciplines of study.

Gardens and urban farms as venues for learning are popping up all across New Orleans – and across the entire country. Even in this digital age of smart boards and laptops, educators are not discounting the invaluable benefits of hands-on learning. At NOCCA, Press Street Gardens functions as an outdoor classroom in which faculty members teach classes that run the gamut from science to visual art. Most importantly, Press Street Gardens is a central component of NOCCA’s Culinary Arts program.

Distinguished Alumni Go Beyond
 

When most of us think of NOCCA students we think of ballerinas, musicians or perhaps fine arts students. After all, NOCCA is a world-class school for the arts that counts the Marsalis brothers, the actor Wendell Pierce and the one and only Trombone Shorty among its notable alumni. In years to come, however, I’m certain that we’ll be adding the names of famous chefs to that list. Culinary Arts is yet another one of NOCCA’s excellent programs, with Press Street Gardens and neighboring Press Street Station playing key roles in the curriculum.

The NOCCA Institute’s Press Street Station is a full service restaurant that also hosts cooking classes and workshops. For those in the Culinary Arts program, the restaurant offers unlimited opportunities to learn the restaurant business. Students may work both on the floor and in the kitchen as their schedules allow, and future plans include launching a series of dinners dreamed up and prepared solely by Culinary Arts students. The restaurant, which is housed in a wonderfully inviting space, also serves as a venue for performances by NOCCA students.

Superstars of Tomorrow
 

The development of the Press Street corridor has added an exciting new dimension to NOCCA, particularly in the way it invites the public to enjoy the creative output of its talented students. And with the holidays upon us, The NOCCA Institute is offering several options for gift giving.

The Art Market at Press Street Gardens (which will include works from the NOCCA community as well as a variety of local artists) will be open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., every Saturday between November 28 and December 19. For online shopping, visit the NOCCA Marketplace at Shop.NOCCAInstitute.com where, among other things, you’ll find delectable treats from the Culinary Arts students, gift certificates to Press Street Station, holiday cards and works of art from NOCCA’s 5 Press Gallery.

All proceeds benefit The NOCCA Institute, which, in turn, helps support the extraordinary programs, faculty and students of NOCCA. Perhaps in supporting NOCCA today, you’ll be making a difference in the life of a superstar of tomorrow. 
 

Press Street Gardens  Press Street Gardens
 


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or email Morgan@MyNewOrleans.com with the subject line “Making A Difference”