Governor’s School for the Arts nurtures potential of young artists in fourth year at Centre

A total of 256 student artists, representing 100 high schools in 47 counties, are on Centre College’s campus for the 2017 Kentucky Center Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA).

This is the fourth year Centre has hosted GSA, a statewide education program, managed by the Kentucky Center, that brings talented rising high school sophomores and juniors from across the state for an annual intensive summer arts residency program.

“In our fourth year, we’re really rolling,” said Professor of Dramatic Arts Matthew Hallock, who serves as the liaison between Centre and GSA. “The faculty, staff and administration of GSA feel very ‘at home’ at Centre and the Centre community has truly embraced their presence on campus.”

As the students start week two of the program, Hallock shared how he’s struck by the students’ high level of gratitude for the people they’re meeting and the experiences they’re having.

In its 30th year, GSA has helped improve arts education in Kentucky by supporting and strengthening the artistic abilities of several young artists.

“Many of these 256 students come from schools with strengths in arts education, but many, and I would venture to say most, do not,” Hallock said. “For them to have the chance to experience education and training at this level helps to simply legitimize the arts as a genuine and worthwhile field of study.

“It also helps reinforce that value of what they’re studying at GSA provides them not only with instruction in the craft of their medium but they deal directly with the impact of the arts on cultures and communities,” he continued.

In addition to GSA supporting arts education in the lives of students, the program has also left an impact on Centre’s arts program, which is being shown through the enrollment of new students.

“I’m starting to see a few more GSA alumni in my own classes, which is always heartwarming,” Hallock said. “The connections we are making between Centre and GSA help us connect to a larger community of Kentucky artists and arts educators.”

The final day, July 8, showcases the students and the hard work they have put into the three weeks of the program. The event is free and open to the public.

by Kerry Steinhofer
June 26, 2017