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Governor's School for the Arts (GSA)

Governor's School for the Arts


GSA website:

Every summer, over two hundred of Kentucky’s finest young artists through experience three weeks of incredibly intense (and incredibly fun) arts instruction. For three solid weeks, the students live, breathe, eat and sleep the arts. It’s a thrilling, often life-changing experience, as they meet new friends, explore their creativity, and discover new things about who they are and who they can be in the future.  The deadline to apply is January 9th.  

GSA auditions & reviews the Commonwealth’s most promising high school sophomores and juniors in nine different arts disciplines: Architecture + Design, Creative Writing, Dance, Drama, Film + Photography, Instrumental Music, Musical Theatre, Visual Art and Vocal Music. GSA historically takes place in the last 2 weeks of June into the 1st week of July. 

GSA is an arts education program of The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. GSA is offered at no cost to the student, and is made available through funding from the state, as well as private fundraising. The value of GSA is $3,800 per student.

GSA has served all 120 counties in the Commonwealth through the summer program and its outreach workshops. GSA is a statewide program and encourages geographical and ethnic diversity. However, GSA does not establish quotas.
GSA does not discriminate or give advantages to anyone. This includes preference based on region or county, urban or rural, experience, training, high school vs. home school, instrument, voice type, body type, etc.

Potential and attitude are as important in the GSA audition/review process as is talent.The most talented student will not succeed at GSA if they are not interested in becoming better than they already are. GSA is not just an award – it is an opportunity to learn and grow. GSA adjudicators look at these young artists holistically, not just their product/performance.

Students do not need to be nominated for GSA. Students may choose to apply without permission or nomination from any school official. However, a recommendation from a teacher and also an administrator is required with each art form application.

GSA does not make selections until the Final Round.

Application Process

In order to be considered for the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts, students must meet the following selection criteria:

  • - Currently be a sophomore or junior in high school or home school.
  • - Live with a parent or guardian who resides in Kentucky.
  • - Complete the application by January. GSA will not consider incomplete applications. There is a fee for applying: $30 for one art form/$35 for two art forms. Students that receive free and reduced lunch have the option to waive the fee.
  • - Complete the Recommendation Process as part of the Preliminary Round application.
  • - If selected as a finalist, complete the Final Round in March.

Recommendation Process
Students applying to GSA are required to have one teacher recommendation and one administrator recommendation per art form. Students will complete information at the beginning of the application for their recommendations. Links to an online recommendation form are sent to the teacher's and administrator's emails indicated at the beginning of the application.

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