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The Young Artist Diploma Program is a tuition free intensive performing arts program, designed to give students a critical set of skills they will be able to use in college and beyond.

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Six-Years of Tuition-Free Study

The Young Artist Diploma Program provides up to six-years of tuition-free study for students ages 12-18. 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, dance, theater, filmmaking/digital media arts 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.

What Parents and Alumni Have to Say...

My two girls went through the diploma program and they were taught not only music but received exposure to world-class performing arts -- ballet, spoken word, steel drum, african and mexican dance, acting, singing. And all they ask was the commitment. This is a truly amazing place.

Mario M.Parent of child in the Young Artist Diploma Program

In college, I meet new people every day and the Center taught me how to interact with people of different cultural backgrounds. Exploring a variety of performing arts in summer intensive also taught me to be open to new experiences.

Quetzalli M.Alum of the Young Artist Diploma Program

Amazing program and we are grateful to everyone who are leading and supporting it!

Carina D.Parent of child in the Young Artist Diploma Program

The Center was my second home for a long time and I would wake up every morning excited to go hang out and take classes with my friends. I still talk to most of those friends on a daily bases and the center gave me fun skills to have and grow with.

Arturo A.Alum of the Young Artist Diploma Program

I can definitely say that I am a proud alumna of the East Bay Center for The Performing Arts! Not only did its faculty and staff give me all of the tools I needed to develop my artistic abilities, but they also helped me prepare for college, and I’m touched by the ways in which they support the community.

Maria F.Alum of the Young Artist Diploma Program

The Young Artist Diploma Program is broken into three 2-year periods

Below is a brief overview of each 2 year period.

Years 1 and 2

Youth Beginning Ballet

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

teenage kids sitting in chairs on stage

In consultation with staff and faculty, students are placed in more advanced courses according to their chosen discipline of study and commitment.  Participation in the summer program continues and a minimum of 4 hours of study per week is required during the academic year.

Years 5 and 6

band playing on stage

Students who have successfully completed four full years of program work requirements are guided to more advanced level training, college application preparation assistance, peer mentorship and leadership opportunities. If students continue, this will include participation in the summer program and in an ensemble during the academic year.


The Diploma Program’s Summer Intensive is an annual 5-week summer program for all Young Artist Diploma students.

Over five weeks during the summer, 100 7th-12th grade students are onsite Monday through Friday for full-day training and instruction. 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.


Applications for 2024 are now open!

Application deadline: Friday, March 29, 2024

All applicants must complete the Diploma Program Application Form as well as receive an online 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.

Apply Today!
Nominate a Student

Your Interview

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, group classes are free for all students, and they are encouraged to re-apply the following year.

The Center will prioritize applicants with a love of the arts and who are entering the 7th through 10th grades. However, entering 11th grade 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.

kids working in kitchen


Dedicated staff provide academic support, counseling, and referrals for East Bay Center students and their families. For our college-bound students, we help research and identify schools, programs, grants, scholarships, and financial aid opportunities. We also assist in creating and editing student personal statements and preparing audition videos/artistic documentation or other admission materials for college/scholarship applications.

Recent graduates have continued their studies at campuses throughout the country, including University of California and Cal State University systems, Barnard College (NY), Columbia College (Chicago), John Hopkins, Peabody Institute of Music, Sarah Lawrence, Stanford, Yale, Wesleyan, Howard, and Berklee College of Music (Boston), as well as other countries, including the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

For More Information

Please contact Kwesi Anku, Director of Student Development and Training