Each year the Arizona Art Education Association recognizes those who have gone above and beyond in their service to the field of Art Education. These award recipients are announced and honored at our annual State Conference. AAEA would like to encourage you to nominate an individual or organization for these prestigious awards in order for them to be recognized and honored.  Contact aaea.awards@gmail.com with any questions.

Award Nomination

Only current members of AAEA/NAEA are allowed to be nominated for awards.  Any questions or concerns for nomination submissions please contact aaea.awards@gmail.com

To nominate: 

All nominees will be notified and are required to submit, by email, the following to the Awards Chair on or before the end of August:

Completed nomination packets will be sent to the Awards Committee to assess nominations based on the corresponding rubric for that particular award. View the NAEA Awards Program Rubrics.

The timeline allows the selection committee sufficient time to review documentation, verify membership, make final decisions and submit the names of winning recipients to the AAEA President.

Award Presentation

Winners of awards will be notified prior to the annual AAEA Conference.  Upon notification, each award recipient is asked to attend the awards banquet at our annual conference to be honored and receive his or her award. 

Additional guest meal tickets may be purchased.  Contact aaea.treasurer@gmail.com for details.

Awards FAQs

Who may nominate?

Anyone, member or non-member, may nominate an eligible AAEA member for an award.

Who is eligible?

AAEA members who meet the established criteria are eligible to be nominated for awards. However, membership is not required for the Distinguished Service Outside the Profession award, the COMC J. Eugene Grigsby award, or the Eisner Lifetime Achievement award.

How do I submit a nomination?

What does a Nominee need to provide?

What is the deadline for nominations?

Nominations must be submitted before July 31st.

Nominees must submit their required documents before August 31st.

Where should I send nominations?

Nominations are submitted through our online form and must include all required documents.

Do I need to submit all required documents together?

All required nomination documents are submitted together through the online form.

Who should write nomination and support letters?

The individual who is making the nomination must write a letter of nomination. Letters supporting the nomination can be written by AAEA members, as well as non-members.

What are AAEA Divisions?

The Arizona Art Education Association is divided into six job-alike categories called Divisions: Elementary, Middle Level, Secondary, Higher Education, Supervision/Administration, and Museum Education. Division award nominees must spend at least 51% of their workday in the job division in which they have been nominated. 

How are awards selected?

The AAEA awards committee chair verifies that all nominees are eligible and that their nomination information is complete.  The selection committee uses a standardized rubric to score nominations. Results are reported to the AAEA President.

Please Note: If no nominees meet the criteria for a specific award, a recipient will not be selected. 

When are awards presented?

Awards are presented in the Fall at the AAEA Annual State Conference.

How are awards publicized?

All Award recipients are announced in the AAEA Newsletter as well as on the AAEA website.

Who do I contact with my questions? 

Contact the AAEA Awards Chair at aaea.awards@gmail.com.

Award Descriptions

Arizona Art Education Association membership is required to be nominated for an award with the exception of the Distinguished Service (Outside the Profession).

Please read the description of the submission requirements for each award carefully to ensure that you are submitting what is required. Further information may be needed in order for applicants to be nominated for regional and national levels of awards.

Arizona State Art Educator Award  One outstanding AAEA member is honored for service and contributions to art education that merits recognition and acclaim.  Eligibility: Active NAEA members who hold membership in the state/province in which they are nominated.

AAEA Division Art Educator Awards   AAEA has seven job-alike categories called Divisions: Elementary, Middle Level, Secondary, Higher Education, Preservice, Supervision & Administration, and Museum Education.  Eligibility: Division award nominees must spend at least 51% of their workday in the job division in which they have been nominated. 

New Professional Art Educator Award To recognize excellence and achievement by new art educators.  Eligibility: Individuals in their first year of teaching within the K-12 level will be eligible. This award is intended to recognize excellence among new art educators based on their success in student teaching and as a first-year teacher.

Rising Star Award (High School Student)  To promote art education as a career by recognizing talented, active NAHS Members. Recognition as a “Rising Star” will be given at the AAEA State Convention* along with a 4-year complimentary AAEA student membership (with proof of college enrollment as an art education major).  Eligibility: Senior high school NAHS students seriously interested in becoming art educators. Submit to AAEA: A cover sheet containing nominee’s name, home address, telephone number, e-mail address, school name, school address, school telephone, NAHS Sponsor’s name, and chapter number; three letters of recommendation (one by an art educator, two from teachers and/or administrators); official high school transcript; a student personal statement regarding art education goals; a disk containing five digital samples of the nominee’s artwork; and a list denoting artwork titles and media used. All work must be original and not copied from other sources.

Distinguished Service Within the Profession Award  To recognize outstanding achievement, contribution, and service in previous years to the field of art education and to National and State/Province Associations.  Eligibility: Active AAEA members who have performed outstanding service on national and regional levels. 

Distinguished Service (Outside the Profession) Award  To recognize outstanding achievement and contributions in previous years by persons, or organizations outside the field of art education.  Eligibility: Membership is not required for the Distinguished Service (Outside the Profession) award, but the nominator must be a member. 

Outstanding Leadership Award: This award recognizes outstanding contributions and service to the profession by a current or past state/province association officer in the performance and/or development of specific programs, goals, or activities at the state/province association level. Eligibility: Past or current NAEA state/province association officers are eligible. This is the only NAEA award that is open to current state officers.

Special Needs Art Educator of the Year Award: This award recognizes an AAEA/NAEA member who has made distinguished professional contributions to art education for students with special needs through scholarly writing, research, professional leadership, teaching, and/or community service. Eligibility: Active AAEA/NAEA members who have brought distinction to the profession of special-needs art education through an exceptional and continuous record of achievement that has had a significant impact on students with disabilities and special-needs are eligible to receive the award.

Emeritus Art Educator Award: This award recognizes continuous outstanding service to art education by an individual before and after retirement. Eligibility: NAEA/RAEA members who have been retired at least 3 years and have brought distinction to the field of art education by exceptional and continuous records of achievement through teaching, professional leadership, and community service before and after retirement are eligible to receive this award.

Outstanding National Art Honor Society Sponsor Award: This award recognizes the dedication of an NAEA member who sponsors an outstanding NAHS Chapter. Eligibility: Sponsors of active NAHS Student Chapters.

Outstanding National Junior Art Honor Society Sponsor Award: This award recognizes the dedication of an NAEA member who sponsors an outstanding NJAHS Chapter. Eligibility: Sponsors of active NJAHS Student Chapters are eligible to receive this award.

Agent of Change in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Award: The purpose of the award is to honor an individual who exemplifies, demonstrates, and/or leads social impact or social justice efforts in the work they do within visual arts, design, and media arts education. We acknowledge that addressing systemic transformation requires agents of change, allies, and accomplices. The award intends to honor and amplify voices that have and continue to be marginalized and the added intellectual and emotional burden that such art educators face in the work they do in contributing to the advancement of equity, diversity, and/or accessibility in art education. Eligibility: Active NAEA members who have presented on topics of ED&I in localized and/or institutional ways in art education while demonstrating sustained practices of social justice and offer a critical voice in the field and work collaboratively to uplift the voiceless and encourage positive outcomes as part of larger solutions to social change. ED&I Commissioners are not eligible for nomination.