Kennedy Center Recognition Programs

The Kennedy Center recognizes individuals, schools, and organizations that demonstrate exemplary support for the arts. Partnering with other national education organizations in the evaluation process and recognition events, Kennedy Center recognition programs encourage outstanding work that makes the arts an essential part of a student's education.

Kennedy Center and National School Boards Association (NSBA) Award Program

Nominations are no longer being accepted for the 2016 Kennedy Center and NSBA Award. Check back in summer 2016 for the next round of nomination applications.

The 2017 application deadline will be available in summer 2016.

Since 1989, the Kennedy Center and the National School Boards Association (NSBA) have provided an annual award to a school board that has demonstrated support for and commitment to high-quality arts education in its school district. This national award recognizes districts that have included all four major artistic disciplines—visual arts, music, theater, and dance—in their programs.

There is no limit on the number of applications per U.S. state that may be submitted to the Kennedy Center and NSBA for adjudication. Final selection is made by a national panel of arts educators and arts administrators including representatives of the Kennedy Center and NSBA. The national award is presented every year at the annual national conference of the NSBA.

Kennedy Center and NSBA Award Past Winners

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Schools of Distinction in Arts Education Award Program

From 1999 to 2010, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Schools of Distinction in Arts Education Awards Program recognized schools that did an outstanding job of making the arts essential to the education of their students.

The national award was suspended in 2010, but many Alliances for Arts Education still carry out state-level award programs. Contact your State Alliances to learn about awards programs in your area. View previous national award winners.