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'This is a transformational moment' | Kentucky summer arts program doubles in size

The Governor's School for the Arts received more than $2.8 million in supplemental funding from the Kentucky Department of Education.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — For the next three summers (2022, 2023, 2024), more than 500 high school students in Kentucky will be able to attend the statewide arts education program, the Governor’s School for the Arts.

Kentucky Performing Arts announced GSA received more than $2.8 million in supplemental funding from the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) allowing the program to double in size.

The million-dollar investment comes from funds provided by the CARES Act, specifically the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Summer Enrichment funds, and will be awarded over the three-year period. 

“Education continues to be the key to ensuring the future of Kentucky remains bright,” Governor Andy Beshear said. “Investing this supplemental funding into GSA is a positive step towards ensuring that education and cultural opportunities reach students in every community throughout the commonwealth."

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Every summer for the past 35 years, the tuition-free program brought 250 rising sophomores and juniors in high school from across the state to study in one of nine art forms on one of Kentucky's college campuses.

GSA’s summer program, which currently takes place at the University of Kentucky, immerses students in a rigorous schedule of seminars, creative projects and masterclasses.

Artforms taught include architecture and design, creative writing, dance, drama, film and photography, instrumental music, musical theater, visual art and vocal music.

“This is a transformational moment for GSA, but also for the entire state,” Program Director Nick Covault said. “This increased investment not only means more of Kentucky’s creative youth will be empowered, validated and affirmed as artists; it also means the commonwealth will benefit even more from the powerful skillset of our next generation of creative leaders.”

KPA and program administrators said they are working to secure additional funding, including fundraising, to allow for the program to accommodate 500 students after the three-year grant term ends.

Applications for the GSA 2022 class open on Nov. 3, visit here for more information on the application or summer program.

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