Scholarship Program

Larry Baza Arts Scholarship
Guidelines and Application

This grant has been established and provided by the Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Foundation in memoriam of Larry T. Baza, champion and lifelong advocate of the arts and civil rights within and outside of San Diego. Larry’s passion for the arts began in his youth. As a high school student, the arts community provided Larry with a sense of belonging and San Diego’s theater and visual art communities unlocked new worlds for him. For more than 40 years, Larry advocated tirelessly for San Diego’s artistic and cultural community at the local, state, and national levels.

The purpose of this grant is to foster artistic endeavors of San Diego Unified School Seniors, whether it be through a traditional post-secondary educational track or through other means. The Larry Baza Arts Scholarship, through the VAPA Foundation, has scholarship assistance available to students from San Diego Unified High Schools so that they may pursue higher education in an undergraduate college or technical school of their choice. Scholarships of $1,500 will be awarded to each student selected.

This scholarship is intended to assist graduating seniors from the geographical operating area of the San Diego Unified School District. We are seeking individuals who have demonstrated a desire to create art in their communities and will continue to foster a spirit of creativity. For this reason, scholarships will be awarded based on artistic merit and financial need. Applicants should fully complete the application form, provide an explanation of their financial need, and submit transcripts from their high school.

Applications are now open and grant recipients will be announced on a date yet to be set.


Eligibility requirements

Graduating San Diego Unified School District high school seniors in any art discipline are eligible to apply. Applicants must comply to the requirements below. All applications must include the listed items at the time of submission in order to be reviewed, ranked, and considered for funding.

If submitting in video, audio, visual format, acceptable file types would be .jpg, .png, .docx, .pdf, .mp3, etc.

  • Artist work samples – Applicants must include three examples of their work. Acceptable file types would be .jpg, .png, .docx, .pdf, .mp3, etc.
  • Letter of support or testimonial – Applicants must provide a written signed statement from an individual or organization familiar with their body of work that can substantiate the artist’s practice, impact in their community, and financial need.
  • High School Transcript– applicant must supply a high school transcript reflecting a minimum overall GPA of 2.0 or higher
  • Enrollment in a Post-Secondary Education Institution– student must be planning to enroll/ be enrolled for the Summer/Fall 2023-24 school year (with verification i.e. acceptance letter) in a conservatory, university, college, community college, vocational or other post-secondary arts program or institution at the time they are notified as a finalist.
  • Artists narrative – Applicants must provide a brief personal story on how the arts have impacted their life, including a description of their background and focus, explanation of financial need and how the funds will support the artist’s professional practice.

Application Review Criteria

A review panel will adjudicate complete and eligible applications based on the following criteria. Application questions will address these same criteria:

  • Personal impact – demonstrates the artist’s clear and strong personal, artistic, and professional impact that would be achieved with VAPA support.
  • Artist’s merit – describes the artist’s personal story, artistic practice, financial challenges, and long-term aspirations.
  • Financial need – demonstrates the artist’s financial need.

Key Dates

  • Application Opens: March 1, 2024
  • Application Deadline: April 21, 2024 11:59PM
  • Finalists Contacted: May 1, 2024
  • Deadline to Verify Enrollment: May 10, 2024
  • Winners Announced: May 20, 2024