Five dancers in blue skirts. Text: Young Artist Diploma Program

**Application deadline extended to August 31, 2020 Application information here**

The Young  Artist Diploma Program provides up to six-years of tuition-free study designed to give students a critical set of skills they will be able to use in college and beyond. Through the intensive study of music, filmmaking/digital media arts, theater, dance, as well as participation in our community’s civic life, the program challenges students to discover their individual gifts and build a vision of their direction in a complex world. The Young Artist Diploma Program is broken into three 2-year periods. Here is a brief overview:

Years 1 and 2: All Diploma students complete the first two summers of intensive 5 week breadth work and cross training in music, dance, theater, filmmaking and digital arts as well as a minimum of 6 hours of study per week during the rest of the academic year. 

Years 3 and 4: In consultation with staff and faculty, students are placed in continuing and accelerated courses according to their chosen discipline of study and commitment.  

Years 5 and 6: Students who have successfully completed four full years of program requirements are guided to more advanced level training, college application preparation assistance, peer mentorship and leadership opportunities.  

Commitment: Diploma scholarships are valued at over $9,000 per year, and include 43 weeks of instruction, public performance opportunities, college readiness and youth leadership/social justice engagement support. This is an intensive program requiring year-round commitment with important breaks and balance for rest, education and family life.

How to Apply


The Center will accept applications for the Young Artist Diploma Program until August 31, 2020. 

Entering students will begin the Program in the Fall of 2020.


Due to limited space this year, the Center will prioritize applicants with a love of the arts and who are entering the 7th and 8th grades in the Fall of 2020. However, high school students who are a good match for the program can still apply and will be accepted as space becomes available. High School students at an intermediate level in music, dance, theater, or media,who have a passion to deepen their study of the arts in college and who have not had access to sustained professional instruction are strongly encouraged to apply. 


All applicants must complete the Young Artist Diploma Program Application Form, as well as receive a written nomination by a school teacher, school administrator, artist, or mentor from the community. Applicants who complete their application form and receive a written nomination will receive a personal interview conducted by members of East Bay Center’s staff on a first come first served basis until all available slots are filled. This is a formal interview but not an audition, though the interview includes a request to listen to or watch a few minutes of you sharing your live performance in music, dance or theater. This interview and seeing you perform - even at the very beginning level - enables us to better place students in the most appropriate classes, as well as determine if the program is a good match for you at this time. Even though we are not able to accept all applicants, scholarships are available for those who are not accepted to enroll in group classes in the fall 2020/spring 2021 and are encouraged to re-apply the following year.

Application form is available HERE

Nomination form is available HERE.

For more information, please contact Kwesi Anku, Associate Director of Student Development and Training, at 510-323-4495 or

Para más información en español, favor de comunicarse con: Lolis Garcia, Asociada de Programa: formación y desarrollo del estudiante, al 510-323-2019 o

Summer Intensive

Group classes are continuing remotely through the summer months. This year Diploma students are participating in a distance learning curriculum in place of the traditional five-week Summer Intensive. Current East Bay Center students are invited to extend their Center classes into the summer, free of cost. Center families can contact Kwesi: for more information.

The Diploma Program's Summer Intensive is an annual 5-week summer program for all Young Artist Diploma students. One hundred and thirty teens take class Monday through Friday from 8:30AM- 4:30PM. The Summer Intensive requires cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary training, as well as technical instruction in music, dance, and contemporary theater forms. The Summer Intensive culminates with three evenings of presentations that highlight what the students have learned together in just five weeks. Catch a glimpse of our students in action with our Summer Intensive Highlights video. 

Kwesi Anku

Associate Director: Student Development and Training