LOUISVILLE, KY. (Sept. 19, 2023) – The 2023 Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts program concluded on July 29, with a class that represented more than half of the Commonwealth’s 120 counties. The conclusion of the program marked the second year the program has had an increased class size thanks to supplemental funding from the Kentucky Department of Education*. Growing from 256 students to more than 500 students, the tuition-free program took place during two consecutive three-week sessions (Session 1: June 11 – July 1; Session 2: July 9 – July 29) with students divided into each. Both sessions were hosted at The University of Kentucky.
During the three-week program, student-artists from 73 counties were immersed in a rigorous schedule of daily seminars, creative projects, master classes, and lectures. Instruction was offered in nine disciplines: Architecture+Design, Creative Writing, Dance, Drama, Film+Photography, Instrumental Music, Musical Theatre, Visual Art and Vocal Music.
Graduates from Lawrence County include:
|Shawn||Thacker||Lawrence County High School||Musical Theatre|
Special activities and performances for GSA 2023 included a visit to Louisville to visit the Speed Art Museum and see a performance of the Broadway Series performance of To Kill a Mockingbird as well as Kentucky Shakespeare in Central Park.
This year’s class also witnessed a performance from a countertenor heralded for his wide vocal range, Key’mon Murrah (Vocal Music, 2007), and the final performance of Bourbon Baroque, a period instrument ensemble founded by the late violinist Nicolas Fortin and GSA alumnus John Austin Clark (Class of 2000, Vocal Music). Other events included guest speakers like visual artist LaNia Roberts, poet Frank X. Walker, and 2023 Kentucky Poet Laureate and author Silas House.
Since 1987, more than 8,000 rising high school juniors and seniors have descended on a college campus setting to immerse themselves in an arts intensive environment, with cross-discipline learning, special guest artist performances and lectures, and the opportunity to access critical life-changing college scholarships.
GSA was approved for $2,850,000 from the American Recovery Plan (ARP) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Summer Enrichment funds (Office of Teaching and Learning) to be awarded over a three-year period. Federal ESSER funding was provided to state education agencies as part of the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act). The $2,850,000 ESSER grant covers 43% of the expanded GSA program, with an additional 32% ($2,121,746) financed by private sources, and the remaining from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Kentucky Performing Arts and program administrators are working to secure additional financial support, including fundraising, to allow for the program to accommodate 500 students after the three-year grant term ends in 2024.
ABOUT THE KENTUCKY GOVERNOR’S SCHOOL FOR THE ARTS:
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, David F. Young and Cheryl Cahill, Toyota Motor Manufacturing and more than 300 corporations, parents, educators, alumni and friends of GSA.
ABOUT KENTUCKY PERFORMING ARTS
Bringing world class performances to Kentucky, connecting artists with the community, and providing arts education opportunities, Kentucky Performing Arts lives its statewide mission of to connect and inspire through the arts. Kentucky Performing Arts has a significant impact on the Commonwealth’s tourism and local economy, contributing more than $15.8 million in an average year with our patrons spending an additional $10.5 million annually. As an integral member of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet, Kentucky Performing Arts, along with the other agencies, seeks to preserve and promote the history, heritage, and arts of the Commonwealth.
Three locations in Louisville make up the family of venues under the Kentucky Performing Arts umbrella:
- The Kentucky Center at 501 W. Main St.
- The Brown Theatre, 315 W. Broadway
- Old Forester’s Paristown Hall, 724 Brent St.
ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS
The University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts offers Kentucky’s broadest collection of visual and performing arts academic programs with four academic units. The college also is home to the Singletary Center for the Arts and the UK Art Museum. The College of Fine Arts declares that the arts are essential to the life of the individual and the community. We express our commitment to the arts through dedication to teaching, scholarly research, artistic experimentation, performance, outreach, and exhibition.