Arts & Culture

You're Invited to GSA: Catch Kentucky's Young Creative Minds in the Act

Learn more about the programming presented the final day of the Governor's School for the Arts.

Watch GSA Director Nick Covault talk about the Governor's School for the Arts above. Videos by Jenny Wells-Hosley/UK Public Relations and Strategic Communications. 


LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 10, 2019) You may have seen (or heard) them on campus the last three weeks — a young artist covered in clay or paint, the profile of a dancer practicing a perfect pirouette, a writer scribbling away in a notebook or a vocalist rehearsing the solo of a beloved Broadway tune. This weekend is your chance to see the finished product as the Governor's School for the Arts (GSA) comes to a close July 13.

"If folks are wanting to connect with GSA and see what Kentucky's brightest young creative minds are up to and what they're producing, I invite everyone to join us on GSA's final day," GSA Director Nick Covault said. "It's an amazing celebration. We'll have performances, readings of poetry, amazing visual art exhibitions all across campus."

And, Covault promises the experience will offer visitors much more than an opportunity to check out new art.

"These students will give you hope. They will make you feel like the world is going to be OK," he said. "And it's an amazing feeling to connect with that. I can really say that GSA is one of the happiest places on Earth. That may sound a little cliché, but it's true. And it's because the joy of these students creating their work is impossible to not connect with – it causes the audience to reflect on the joy within themselves.”

Demonstrations of work in GSA's nine different disciplines will be presented from 10:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, July 13. A schedule of programming by area is as follows:

  • Architecture + Design: 10:45 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Holmes Hall LLP and the Art and Visual Studies Building;
  • Creative Writing: 11 a.m.-3:40 p.m. at Briggs Theatre in the Fine Arts Building;
  • Dance: 11-11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.-2:45 p.m. at Holmes Hall LLP and the Singletary Center for the Arts Concert Hall;
  • Drama: noon-3 p.m. at Guignol Theatre in the Fine Arts Building;
  • Film + Photography: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Art and Visual Studies Building;
  • Instrumental Music: 11:50 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Band Room in the Fine Arts Building and in the President's Room and UK Art Museum at the Singletary Center;
  • Musical Theatre: 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. in the Singletary Center Concert Hall;
  • Visual Art: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Art and Visual Studies Building; and
  • Vocal Music: noon-4:30 p.m. in the Singletary Center Recital Hall.

GSA is the Commonwealth's flagship initiative for its brightest young artists. Since 1987, more than 6,100 talented high school sophomores and juniors have attended GSA.

Each year, GSA auditions and reviews applications from thousands of students from across the state who are passionate about their art form. Selected participants attend a tuition-free summer residential program that focuses in nine different disciplines. The intense experience fills the students' schedules with seminars, masterclasses, lectures, workshops and field trips from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week for the duration of the three weeks.

At UK, 2019 GSA participants were hosted by UK College of Fine Arts in collaboration with architecture and creative writing programs in the College of Design and College of Arts and Sciences. The students resided at Holmes Hall, the Creative Arts Living Learning Program residence hall.

A public/private partnership of The Kentucky Center, GSA 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.

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, 30 colleges and universities offer scholarships to alumni of GSA.

photo of 4 dancers at GSA in Singletary lobby
photo of 3 GSA students in Architecture + Design working with Bruce Swetnam
2 students from GSA creative writing working in notebooks
photo of GSA drama students, young man in forefront with mask
photo of group of Film+Photography students at fair
3 GSA students play perccussion instruments
photo of GSA musical theatre students with young lady in front rehearsing
photo of young lady in GSA visual arts class working
photo of GSA vocal music student with faculty member and accompanist at lesson
photo of 2019 GSA participants in Student Center on social staircase