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New Governor’s School for the Arts session opens June 17 at Transylvania University; Gov. Beshear helps GSA celebrate 25th anniversary

LEXINGTON, Ky.—Kentucky’s most talented young artists from 43 counties will assemble on Transylvania University’s campus on Sunday, June 17, to begin the three-week 2012 session of the Governor’s School for the Arts.

The latest GSA class is comprised of 225 rising juniors and seniors from all regions of the Commonwealth who will receive top-level training through daily seminars, master classes, lectures, hands-on workshops and field trips to various arts attractions in central Kentucky.

The student-artists will receive rigorous instruction in nine disciplines: architecture, creative writing, dance, drama, instrumental music, musical theatre, new media, visual arts and vocal music.

Since 1987 more than 4,500 of the state’s most talented high school artists from all 120 counties have attended the GSA summer program following a highly demanding selection process. Each year 1,500 students have applied annually for one of the available scholarships, valued at $2,800. Transylvania is among 21 colleges and universities that offer scholarships to GSA alumni.

The program will culminate on Saturday, July 7, with an all-day festival that celebrates the achievements of the young artists through performances open to family, friends and the public. Graduation ceremonies will be held that day at 5 p.m. in Haggin Auditorium in the Mitchell Fine Arts Center.

“The presence of the Governor’s School for the Arts on our campus each summer is an eagerly anticipated event,” said Transylvania President R. Owen Williams. “We feel that our urban setting in Lexington, combined with our outstanding arts facilities, make Transylvania a perfect fit for the GSA summer program and we hope that many of these young artists will return to Transylvania for college.

“Having the GSA students on campus each summer, rehearsing and performing both indoors and out, adds an element of richness to our campus that can’t be duplicated elsewhere,” Williams added.

Program highlights in 2012 include performances by pianist Henry Pickens, singer/songwriter Ben Sollee and the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. Presentations will be given by filmmaker Peter Byck, poet Frank X. Walker and author Alecia Whitaker. And all students will participate in a hip hop master class with guest artist Safiyyah Rasool. Another popular attraction, Louisville Flamenco, will perform at the end of the June.

In addition to a rigorous arts curriculum, students will have the opportunity to meet with college representatives from over 25 in-state and regional institutions during a college fair and participate in a Community Service Day.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, 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.

To help celebrate GSA’s silver anniversary, Governor Beshear will attend a June 27th reception in Transylvania University’s Morlan Gallery and tour Governor’s School for the Arts studio and classroom spaces.

For more information on GSA, visit