This summer, The Kentucky Center will celebrate 25 years of arts education and appreciation as it celebrates the silver anniversary of its unique Governor's School for the Arts (GSA) program, this year taking place at Lexington's Transylvania University from June 17 to July 7.
GSA is a public/private partnership inaugurated in 1987 by The Kentucky Center, The Commonwealth of Kentucky and numerous private supporters. Since then, more than 4,500 talented high school sophomores and juniors have attended the GSA summer program.
During this year's three-week stay, 225 rising high school junior and senior artists from 43 counties will be immersed in a rigorous schedule of daily seminars, master-classes, lectures, hands-on workshops and field trips to regional arts attractions. Instruction will be offered in nine disciplines: Architecture, Creative Writing, Dance, Drama, Instrumental Music, Musical Theatre, New Media, Visual Art and Vocal Music. For three solid weeks, the students live, breathe, eat and sleep the arts. It's a thrilling, often life-changing experience, as they meet new friends, explore their creativity, and discover new things about who they are and who they can be in the future. The program will culminate on July 7 with an all-day festival that celebrates the achievements of Kentucky's young artists.
GSA is free to all students selected for the program. GSA pays the entire cost of $2,800 per student through the General Assembly under the leadership of the Governor, along with donations from individuals, corporations and private foundations. GSA creates opportunities far beyond arts instruction. Almost 100% go on to college, and 93% earn scholarships at an average value of $59,000. GSA alumni also score on average 6 points higher on the ACT than the national average.
Graduates of the summer program are eligible for a host of scholarships and educational opportunities in all fields of study. Representatives from as many as 70 colleges and universities from across the country audition and interview graduates in the fall during GSA's College and Career Day. Students can meet with representatives from such prestigious programs as the Savannah College of Art and Design and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, along with great programs from the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville, Transylvania University, Morehead State University, Bellarmine University, Centre College, Eastern Kentucky University, Western Kentucky University, and many more. Plus, twenty-one colleges and universities welcome GSA alums with scholarships, just for having completed the program.
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.
For more information about the Governor's School for the Arts program, please visit www.kentuckygsa.org.