Arts & Culture

UK Named Future Home of Governor’s School for the Arts

Promotional video on The Kentucky Center Governor's School for the Arts.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 23, 2018) Officials with University of Kentucky and The Kentucky Center announced today that UK has been named the future home of The Kentucky Center Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA), an annual three-week intensive summer arts residency program for Kentucky high school sophomores and juniors. Beginning in 2019, UK College of Fine Arts will host the program for four years.

“We look forward to hosting a program that has such a positive impact on Kentucky students with a passion for the arts,” said UK Provost David Blackwell. “In areas of creative scholarship, UK has been home to Kentucky poet laureates and the National Book Award winner, Broadway stars and successful screen actors, as well as award-winning costume and set designers, Metropolitan Opera competition winners, respected playwrights, and Windgate Fellowship winners. We are excited for the opportunity to introduce GSA students to the thriving artistic culture and tradition on our campus.”

GSA most recently resided at Centre College, where it has been presented for the last five years. UK was selected as host campus after a request for proposals process. GSA is a statewide arts education program managed by The Kentucky Center.

Home to not only a wide array of studies in the College of Fine Arts, but also creative programs in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Design, UK is well-suited to host this program which brings together more than 200 of Kentucky’s finest young artists in nine different disciplines:

  • Architecture + Design,
  • Creative Writing,
  • Dance,
  • Drama,
  • Film + Photography,
  • Instrumental Music,
  • Musical Theatre,
  • Visual Art, and
  • Vocal Music.

GSA’s 2019 summer program will take place June 23–July 13, 2019.

“I am thrilled to have the University of Kentucky join GSA in our vital efforts to empower the Commonwealth’s next generation of creative leaders,” said GSA Director Nick Covault, who is also an alumnus of GSA’s Vocal Music program. “UK offers GSA an amazing summer home with their high-quality arts facilities, impressive housing and beautiful campus — but even more importantly, UK brings a commitment to Kentucky’s young artists and a deep level of partnership to GSA’s work. I look forward to the collaboration between our institutions as we remind young artists that they are valued and crucially important to society.”

During their stay at UK, GSA students will discover the power of their art and their place as an artist. They will participate in daily seminars, masterclasses, lectures, workshops and field trips to regional arts attractions led by a gifted group of professional artists.

The GSA faculty are master artists and educators, including many UK alumni, whose work maintains a sense of relevancy and immediacy demanded within their craft. Nationally and internationally acclaimed, these artists are chosen for their skills as educators, personal artistic development and their ability to act as positive role models for young artists. GSA faculty act as mentors to the students, providing insights into the professional world of the arts, art careers and advanced arts education and training.

While at UK, GSA scholars will have the opportunity to utilize many of the College of Fine Arts’ facilities and event venues, including Singletary Center for the Arts; UK Art Museum; UK Art and Visual Studies Building and Bolivar Art Gallery; Guignol Theatre, Briggs Theatre and Little Black Box Theatre in the Fine Arts Building; the Schmidt Vocal Arts Center; creative spaces in Holmes Hall, the Creative Arts Living Learning Program residence hall; and the Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center. The college, which offers the state's most comprehensive array of educational programs devoted to the visual and performing arts, comprises four academic units: the School of Art and Visual Studies, the Department of Arts Administration, the School of Music and the Department of Theatre and Dance.

Dean Mark Shanda said the UK College of Fine Arts family is excited to have this prestigious program on campus, “Hosting the Governor's School for the Arts on the University of Kentucky campus helps the College of Fine Arts to further declare our mission that the ‘arts are essential to the life of the individual and the community.’ We look forward to fostering the next generation of artistic talent from throughout the Commonwealth through this new partnership with GSA.”

GSA students attend the summer program for free, with the program covering all expenses for tuition, room, board and supplies. A public/private partnership, inaugurated in 1987 by The Kentucky Center, the program is made possible with support from the state through the Governor’s Office and the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, as well as The Kentucky Center Endowment Fund, Toyota Motor Manufacturing and a multitude of corporations, parents, educators, alumni and friends of GSA.

Since 1987, more than 6,100 talented high school sophomores and juniors have attended the GSA summer program. The program culminates with an all-day festival that celebrates the achievements of Kentucky’s young artists.

GSA alumni are highly competitive prospective college students routinely scoring higher GPAs and ACT scores than both the state and national averages. Ninety-eight percent of GSA alumni attend college and/or receive scholarships to a higher education institution. Additionally, 29 colleges and universities offer scholarships to alumni of GSA.

In addition to GSA, The Kentucky Center leads several arts education programs designed to increase awareness of the arts, including ArtsReach, which works in underserved communities by collaborating with community centers and nonprofits to provide professional development, quality arts programs, performance opportunities and ongoing studio arts instruction to thousands of youth, families and adults with disabilities. And through the Gheens Great Expectations Residency Program, made possible through the support of the Gheens Foundation, the center brings some of the world’s finest young performers to Louisville for performances and residencies that engage and inspire youth in the community as well as funding performances at GSA during the summer program.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2019 summer program at www.kentuckygsa.org. The deadline to apply is Jan. 11, 2019.

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