The Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network (KCAAEN), Performing Arts Centers and Schools affiliates, and Kennedy Center IMAGINATION CELEBRATION national sites assist with the identification and nomination of up to five nominees for this event. State Alliance for Arts Education organizations serve as the primary point of contact.
This initiative reflects a mission of the Kennedy Center, shared by its affiliates, to provide national and global recognition for the valuable role of the arts in education and in the development of artistic achievement among young people.
To showcase high achievement in the performing arts by young people (individuals and performance groups)
To include examples from every state
To emphasize the value that achievement in the arts brings to the student's basic education
The Kennedy Center established panel of artists and arts educators to select young artists for the showcase from among those nominated from each state, based on the following selection criteria:
Previous recognition* of Proficiency and Aesthetic Quality of performance in dance, drama or music or related performing arts discipline
Previous recognition of Above-average Academic Achievement or confirmation** that the student is (or majority of the performance group are) not failing in any other subject area
Non-profit status (i.e. cannot be a professional/for-profit performer or performance group) and k-12 school student
Nomination by either a Kennedy Center-affiliated organization or state arts agency (including sign-off by the state Alliance for Arts Education organization)
* (e.g. recipient of an award or special recognition by a local or state arts or education institution or organization)
** (as verified by a school administrator or counselor-does not require an official grade report)