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The Governor's School For The Arts Is Coming To UK. Here's Why.

Josh James

The commonwealth's prestigious Governor’s School for the Arts program will set up shop at the University of Kentucky next summer, according to school officials. 

Inaugurated in 1987 under then-Governor Martha Layne Collins, the intensive three-week arts residency has seen future Broadways stars, poet laureates, and other celebrated artists walk through its doors.

Heather Weston Bell with the Kentucky Center, which oversees the program, says the four-year agreement with the UK College of Fine Arts will introduce participants to what the university and Lexington have to offer.

"There's a really great arts community here and (the program will) expose these young people that are coming from all across the state to the breadth of that," she says. "So they'll see what an experience at UK could be, but also what it looks like as a city to support the arts." 

The annual arts education program will be shift operations from its previous home at Centre College in Danville, where it’s spent the last five years.

"You definitely get the sense that we're in a much larger campus," says GSA Director Nick Covault. "That's not better or worse. It's just a little bit different, so it'll be really interesting to see how we engage with the downtown here that's a great resource we have literally within walking distance." 

GSA leaders say UK’s campus infrastructure revitalization efforts, which include new residence halls and arts facilities, played a major role in its selection.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2019 summer program at kentuckygsa.org. The deadline to apply is Jan. 11, 2019.