Award Programs

Kennedy Center LogoIAAE is a member of the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network--a consortium of 35 state alliances across the United States dedicated to arts advocacy and quality arts education for the nation's children.

Here are awards available for presentation annually by IAAE and the Kennedy Center.

Arts Ed. School Board of the Year

Arts Administrator Award

Schools of Distinction Award

Inspirational Teacher Award




Arts Education Awards

IAAE, in cooperation with the Kennedy Center and other leadership organizations, presents the following awards. Nominations can be made at any time and those nominations will be held until the next award cycle. If you have questions, please contact the webmaster.

School Board Arts Education Award

North Winn Board AwardCedar Rapids Board






Nodaway Valley School Board (small school) & Cedar Rapids School Board (large school) Iowa 2010 winners

In cooperation with the Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB), IAAE is participating (for the 23nd year) in an awards program to recognize local school boards for outstanding support of the arts in education. The national program is co-sponsored by the Kennedy Center/Alliance for Arts Education and the National School Boards Association.

Each IASB member school board has the opportunity to nominate itself for consideration by IASB and the IAAE. Together, the two organizations will select the one Iowa school board that will compete for the national award. National winners will receive $10,000 in cash for their arts education program! Encourage your board to nominate themselves or volunteer to file the nomination yourself!

The state nomination deadline is October 20, 2012 and nomination packets must be arrive in the hands of IAAE president David Law no later than that date. The selection criteria and nomination form can be filled out from a Word Document or a PDF and attached to an email or printed and snail mailed to David Law.

Please submit the nomination form and related materials to

David Law
1560 Pleasantview Drive
Marion, Iowa 52302

319-377-5203 home
& cell

roger wilcox

Arts Administrator Award

These are examples of Great Administrators! They should be nominated for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Art, School Administrators of Iowa and Iowa Alliance for Arts Education.

Apply any time during the year. Applications are held until June 30 for the annual award.

More information...

Kennedy Center Schools of Distinction in Arts Education

The Schools of Distinction Awards Program, provides an important outlet for expanding recognition of the role individual schools play in providing a creative learning environment for outstanding student achievement. This awards program provides a platform for the KCAAEN and the Iowa Alliance to highlight schools that have developed exemplary arts education programs.
Through the nomination of schools for the Schools of Distinction Awards, exemplary arts education programs in district elementary, middle and high schools will be identified. To be considered for a Schools of Distinction Award, (the state level honor) the schools' arts education program should include two or more of the following characteristics:

· The school should teach all the arts (music, visual arts, dance, and theatre) as specific disciplines as well as integrated into other subject areas.

· The program should use creative approaches to learning, provide appropriate learning environments for teaching the arts, and recognize that the arts are critical and essential to education.

· The program should provide opportunities for parental involvement in the educational lives of their children through hands-on, creative, arts-based activities.

· The program should provide students various opportunities for learning about other cultures through the arts, enabling them to explore differences in ways that are devoid of cultural bias.

· The program should provide community connections that build value and respect for the community by offering students diverse experiences beyond the classroom.

The School of Distinction Awards are designed to honor individual schools exclusively. Accordingly, certificates provided by the KCAAEN should be used only for the purpose of recognizing individual schools of excellence. School DISTRICTS that exemplify these characteristics should be nominated for the KCAAEN and NSBA Award.

Nominations should be submitted to the IAAE using the forms provided. Nominees may be identified by the following methods:

Letter of recommendation from a representative of a parent group, PTA, honor society or similar organization, or a school administrator.
The State Alliance Board of Directors or Executive Director may select nominees.
A teacher, school principal, or other administrator familiar with the curriculum may submit the nomination to the Alliance.
Nominations may include one DVD or VHS tape and up to ten color JPEG's on CD showing examples of student work, exhibits, class activities and/or performances that demonstrate how arts education has been integrated into the curriculum. For state award winners to be considered for national honors, the visual documentation is required.
Nominations must be submitted in advance of the April 4th national deadline for considering state level nominations and establish a committee to review the nominations to ensure the accuracy of information. (Please note that the cover page of the nomination form is different for submitting the national level nomination. Please create a new cover page with your national submissions so that your nominations will be complete.)

Nomination Form in Word Format

National Information on the Kennedy Center website

The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards

In many people's lives there is at least one teacher who inspired them, and helped them become who they are today. In our early years, when we are still being formed, they often see in us more than we see in ourselves, more than our families see and, as a result, help us to evolve into who we ultimately become. These inspirational people are not often recognized for the life changing role they have played. These are the teachers who define us, teachers who widen our horizons and encourage us to explore. These teachers are touchstones to paths of achieving more than we might have otherwise accomplished, in directions we might not have gone. To celebrate the significant role of teachers in society, The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards will spotlight some of the country’s most inspirational teachers and recognize them for their contributions.

The Award
Each year, The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards will solicit nominations from the general public and notable public figures, providing the opportunity to submit stories about teachers and professors who made a significant difference in their lives.

On March 22, Stephen Sondheim's birthday, a select number of these teachers will each receive The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award - $10,000 in appreciation for their contributions to the field of teaching. Awardees will also be showcased, along with the people they inspired, on The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards web site.

The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards were created in honor of Stephen Sondheim's 80th birthday and were initiated and funded through the generous support of Freddie and Myrna Gershon.
For The Students (Nominators):

Nominators must be at least 18 years of age
Nominators must have been the Nominee’s student; no nominations by peers, parents of students, etc. will be accepted.
For The Teachers (Nominees):
Nominees must be legal residents of the United States
Nominees must teach or have taught in a K-12 school, or college, or university in the United States
Teachers of all grade levels and subject areas are eligible

How to Nominate Your Teacher:
Did you have a teacher who inspired you? One who changed your life? Is there a teacher you credit with helping you become the person you are today? Do you remember a specific interaction with your teacher that proved to be a moment of inspiration and transformation? Share your story.

Create your written, audio, or video story. The content and quality of the story is more important than the format you choose. For example, read Kathleen Parker's, A sprig of verbena and the gifts of a great teacher. Written submissions must not exceed 500 words and must be in plain text (.txt) or Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) formats. Audio or video submissions must not exceed 3 minutes. Video must be in AVI or WMV format, minimum resolution 320x240. Audio must be in MP3 or WAV format.

Complete the online nomination form or download the form. In order to complete the nomination, you will need to provide contact information for the teacher you are nominating. Do your best to provide accurate contact information. If you submit a great story but we are unable to locate your teacher, we will not be able to consider her/him for the Award.
All required materials must be submitted online or postmarked by the deadline, December 6, 2012.

Questions? Visit Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page or contact the Kennedy Center at