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California Exemplary Arts Education Award

Recognizes some of California’s exemplary schools for excellence in Arts Education. Schools selected for the Exemplary Arts Education Award demonstrate broad-based achievement in Arts instruction and for advancing the Arts for all students.


The California Exemplary Arts Education (EAE) Award is a school-based program that acknowledges local educational agencies (LEAS) who demonstrate a commitment to equity and provide all students access to standards-aligned arts education.

All eligible kindergarten through grade twelve (K–12) schools can apply for the award. The award program will run every three years. Schools recognized as a California EAE School Awardee will hold the title for three years, and can reapply. The 2022–23 application process is the same for elementary and secondary schools.


The EAE Program allows schools to share their exemplary arts education programs and practices which have contributed to their success. These schools serve as model Arts programs for the California Department of Education (CDE).

Program Description

Eligibility Requirements

California elementary, middle and high schools, including direct-funded charter schools, juvenile court and community schools, and alternative schools of choice, may apply. Magnet and charter schools with competitive audition, exclusive, and/or merit-based admissions protocol are not eligible. Please note – this is a school-based award. Districts may not apply.

To apply for the CDE’s EAE Program Award, K–12 schools must do the following:

  • Offer discrete and/or integrated instruction in a minimum of three arts disciplines (dance, media arts, music, theatre, and/or visual arts) during the regular school day.
  • Demonstrate that special populations have equal opportunities to access these programs.
  • Complete the application and submit three pieces of evidence for each prompt.

California Exemplary Arts Education Schools

View the list of 2023 Exemplary Arts Education Awardees (XLSX)

Questions:   Exemplary Arts Education Awards Program | | 916-319-0893
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, April 17, 2024