During the development of the compound eye of Drosophila several signaling pathways exert both positive and inhibitory influences upon an array of nuclear transcription factors to produce a near-perfect lattice of unit eyes or ommatidia. Individual cells within the eye are exposed to many extracellular signals, express multiple surface receptors, and make use of a large complement of cell-subtype-specific DNA-binding transcription factors. Despite this enormous complexity, each cell will make the correct developmental choice and adopt the appropriate cell fate. How this process is managed remains a poorly understood paradigm. Members of the CREB binding protein (CBP)/p300 family have been shown to influence development by (1) acting as bridging molecules between the basal transcriptional machinery and specific DNA-binding transcription factors, (2) physically interacting with terminal members of signaling cascades, (3) acting as transcriptional coactivators of downstream target genes, and (4) playing a key role in chromatin remodeling. In a screen for new genes involved in eye development we have identified the Drosophila homolog of CBP as a key player in both eye specification and cell fate determination. We have used a variety of approaches to define the role of CBP in eye development on a cell-by-cell basis.