Arts & Culture

Governor's School for the Arts to Return to In-person Classes at UK This Summer

photo of 4 dancers and 2 instructors in 2019 GSA class in atrium of Singletary Center
Members of the 2019 Governor's School for the Arts class at the Singletary Center. Photo by Ed Boomershine.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 17, 2021) — Kentucky Performing Arts has announced that the statewide arts education program for high school students, the Governor’s School for the Arts, will return to in-person and traditional instruction at the University of Kentucky this summer. One of many events and educational programs impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic that started in early 2020, last summer’s Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts was shifted to a successful online and nontraditional instruction.

The three week, arts-immersive program for rising high school sophomores and juniors across the state has for 34 years traditionally gathered hundreds of students on a Kentucky college campus to learn, collaborate and study various art forms. Students, educators and administrators have often noted the peer-support learning element of the program, with attendees connecting with like-minded peers and often leaving with new lifelong friends afterward.

This summer, students will once again be able to learn in-person, with numerous safety measures and protocols in place. Kentucky Performing Arts is working closely with the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet and the University of Kentucky to ensure students are safe, with numerous safety measures in place. Safety protocols will include mask-wearing, social distancing, reduced room capacities, and omission of public-facing performances.

The tuition-free three-week program will take place June 27–July 17, 2021. Student-artists from 43 counties will be immersed in a rigorous schedule of daily online seminars, creative projects, master classes, and lectures. Instruction will be offered in nine disciplines: Architecture+Design, Creative Writing, Dance, Drama, Film+Photography, Instrumental Music, Musical Theatre, Visual Art and Vocal Music.  


GSA is a public/private partnership inaugurated in 1987 by The Kentucky Center (now Kentucky Performing Arts), the Commonwealth of Kentucky and numerous private supporters. Today, the vital funding required to make GSA a reality is provided by the state through the leadership of the Governor’s Office and the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, as well as The Kentucky Center Endowment Fund, Toyota Motor Manufacturing and more than 300 corporations, parents, educators, alumni and friends of GSA. 


The University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts offers Kentucky’s broadest collection of visual and performing arts academic programs with four academic units. The college is also home to the Singletary Center for the Arts and the UK Art Museum. The College of Fine Arts declares that the arts are essential to the life of the individual and the community. We express our commitment to the arts through our dedication to teaching, scholarly research, artistic experimentation, performance, and exhibition. 


The mission of Kentucky Performing Arts is to build lifelong relationships with the arts. As an integral member of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet, Kentucky Performing Arts, along with the other agencies, seeks to preserve and promote the history, heritage and arts of the Commonwealth.

Three locations comprise the family of venues under The Kentucky Performing Arts umbrella:

The Kentucky Center is located at 501 West Main Street, Louisville, KY 40202

The Brown Theatre is located at 315 West Broadway, Louisville, KY 40202

Old Forester’s Paristown Hall is located at 724 Brent Street, Louisville KY 40204

To learn more, visit and

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.