Governor’s School for the Arts takes the Centre stage for second year

Posted by Centre News in News, Performing Arts 17 Jun 2015

Creative Writing students complete their stories to showcase at last summer's Governor's School for the Arts.Centre College will welcome the largest-ever class of the Kentucky Center Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA) to campus this summer. This is the College’s second year hosting GSA, a statewide arts education program managed by the Kentucky Center that gathers talented rising high school sophomores and juniors from across the state for an annual intensive summer arts residency program.

Two-hundred and fifty-six students from every region of the Commonwealth make up this year’s class. During their stay, they will be immersed in the program’s rigorous schedule of daily seminars, master-classes, lectures, hands-on workshops and field trips to regional arts attractions. Instruction is offered in nine disciplines: architecture and design, creative writing, dance, drama, instrumental music, musical theatre, new media, visual art and vocal music.

“This is the largest class that GSA has been able to support,” says Matthew Hallock, who serves as the College’s liaison to GSA. “It’s always kind of remarkable when you think of the fact that every student attending is participating tuition-free. This is an entirely donor- and taxpayer-supported enterprise.”

On the first full day of the program, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear will visit campus and speak to this year’s scholars.

“It’s an opportunity for the students to understand how important this program is to the life of the Commonwealth and how much the governor is genuinely interested and invested in it,” Hallock explains. “It allows the program to receive the spotlight when the governor shows up.”

Hallock also notes that Centre has “a strong presence within the everyday workings of the program,” with numerous students, faculty and alumni working on staff as resident advisors, discipline assistants and instructors.

Kristi Hughes ’98, an instructor in GSA’s drama discipline, has toured with Cirque du Soleil and most recently performed as a puppeteer in the German production of War Horse.

Margaret Fenton ’05, an instructor and chair of the new media discipline, has done documentary multimedia work focusing on non-profits in the U.S. and abroad.

Doug Drewek, director of Centre’s jazz ensemble and adjunct instructor of saxophone and clarinet, will serve as one of GSA’s instrumental music instructors and Sarah Hahn, adjunct instructor of ceramics, will serve as a visual art instructor.

Along with other staff members, they will help students see that “they can take this thing they love and make it a serious, life-long pursuit, or see how it can fit into their other serious, life-long pursuits,” Hallock says.

He also feels providing a home for GSA at Centre is an “important act of service to the Commonwealth.”

“As a residential and community-based liberal arts college, Centre is the perfect fit for the program,” Hallock concludes. “It’s a really natural extension of our core values, to look at ways that different disciplines are actually very much related to each other and are entirely tied to critical thinking and creative thinking impulses.”

The Kentucky Center Governor’s School for the Arts will take place on Centre’s campus, June 21–July 11.

by Hayley Hoffman ‘16
June 17, 2015