The Kentucky Center Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA), an annual intensive summer arts residency program for Kentucky high school sophomores and juniors, has announced that it will relocate to Centre College in summer 2014. The program has resided at Transylvania University for the previous fourteen years. After recently completing a request for proposals for a host campus for 2014-2017, the arts education program selected the Danville-based college to serve as the new campus. The Governor’s School for the Arts is a statewide arts education program managed by the Kentucky Center.
As one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges that strives to create a nurturing environment where creative young people have transformative experiences, Centre College is excited to host GSA beginning the summer of 2014. Students will be on campus June 22 – July 12.
“As the Governor’s School for the Arts moves to a new host site at Centre College, we know that the program will continue to enhance the education of our young artists-in-training across a range of arts disciplines,” Gov. Steve Beshear said. “In turn, these young people’s talents and future arts contributions have the potential to touch Kentuckians across the Commonwealth. We’re proud to partner with Centre for this new chapter in the legacy of GSA, and to invest in our young people and their college and career readiness as a way to reach Kentucky’s future workforce objectives.”
“As a state institution, it is the goal of The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts to extend ourselves to people and communities across the state,” said Stephen Klein, president of the Kentucky Center. “We are delighted to join Centre College in the effort to continue bringing arts education to the young people of Kentucky.”
Each summer, the Kentucky Center hosts over 200 eager young artists from every region of the Commonwealth.
During their three-week stay, student artists are immersed in a 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, Creative Writing, Dance, Drama, Instrumental Music, Musical Theatre, New Media, Visual Art, and Vocal Music.
“We look forward to welcoming talented high school students from across the state as part of the Kentucky Center Governor’s School for the Arts next summer,” said John Roush, president of Centre College. “This will give us the unique opportunity to share with them a tremendous range of well-equipped academic teaching facilities as well as our entire campus.”
While at Centre, GSA scholars will have the opportunity to enjoy the College’s many artistic venues, including the Norton Center for the Arts, an 85,000 square-foot complex designed by architect William Wesley Peters of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. The Norton Center has hosted leading international performers and two vice presidential debates. Home to Newlin Hall, a 1,470-seat proscenium theater; Weisiger Theater, a 367-seat thrust theater; an 80-seat recital hall and a 40-seat black box theater; the Norton Center also offers numerous dance, drama, and music studios.
Additional arts facilities include the Jones Visual Arts Center, which is among the finest and most distinctive college visual arts facilities in the region. A renovated industrial warehouse with exposed rafters and original plank wood floors known affectionately as the “Art Barn” or “JVAC,” the building features large painting/drawing studios with 15-foot north facing windows, along with specialized studios for ceramics and glass. The ceramic studios offer three new hard brick gas-fired kilns, and the state-of-the-art glass studio is designed and used by Centre art professor Stephen Rolfe Powell. The JVAC also includes the AEGON Gallery exhibition space, classrooms, projection room, and a slide library.
“It’s critical that we expand our reach across the state in multiple ways,” said Carrie Nath, executive director of GSA. “Our move to Centre is emblematic of that mission, and enables us to remain accessible and available to students living in every corner of Kentucky.”
Since 1987, more than 4,900 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. Additionally, 23 colleges and universities currently offer scholarships to alumni of GSA.
GSA is a public/private partnership inaugurated in 1987 by The Kentucky Center, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and numerous private supporters. 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.
In addition to GSA, The Kentucky Center leads several arts education programs designed to increase awareness of the arts. ArtsReach 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.
ArtsReach Kentucky is supported by the Kentucky Arts Council and expands the effort across the state, offering services to communities by partnering with organizations to support growing and vibrant arts communities.
The Gheens Great Expectations Residency Program, made possible through the support of the Gheens Foundation, 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. Arts in Healing, is part of an international movement that works to infuse the full spectrum of the arts into healthcare settings, including visual, performing and literary arts, creating environments that are uplifting for caregivers, patients, families, and visitors.
By Michael Strysick, Centre College director of communications, and Rob Thomas, the Kentucky Center director of marketing and communications