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, 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. 

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 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: 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. 

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.


East Bay Center’s 60+ faculty members represent a spectrum of performing disciplines and culture-specific art forms. They mirror the richness of the Bay Area’s diverse populations, giving vigorous expression to our living artistic traditions. All are working artists, continually refining their own practice and repertoire. Individually, these artists contribute to the Bay Area’s rich cultural environment. As a group, they create a regionally unique cross-cultural, cross-disciplinary resource and underscore East Bay Center’s historical commitment to quality equity and access. 


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.


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. 

Currently we are offering our classes virtually through zoom and pre-recorded videos. We are hopefully going to start more group classes in person for the spring session and summer programming. This all depends on CDC recommendations. 

How to Apply


The Center will accept applications for the Young Artist Diploma Program until Friday, March 31, 2023.

Application Form

Nomination Form

Entering students will begin the Program on Monday, June 26, 2023 by participating in the 5-week Summer Intensive, which runs from  Monday, June 26 through Friday, July 28th , 2023. 

*Please note: we require all students ages 5 and up to be fully vaccinated in order to participate in East Bay Center classes.


The Center will prioritize applicants with a love of the arts and who are entering the 7th through 10th grades in the Fall of 2023. 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.


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 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 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 we encourage students to enroll in group classes in the fall 2023 and spring 2024 and they are encouraged to re-apply the following year.

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

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

Kwesi Anku

Director: Student Development and Training