Our History

GSA established as a program of The Kentucky Center for the Arts and Kentucky Department of the Arts; Inaugurated under Governor Martha Layne Collins and The Kentucky Center President Marlow Burt.

1987
120 students make up GSA’s first class, attending in six disciplines:  Creative Writing, Dance, Drama, Instrumental Music, Visual Art, and Vocal Music.

1991
KET airs a special program, “Governor’s School for the Arts – Getting In!”

1994
GSA’s summer program alumni base reaches 1,000.

2000
Musical Theatre added as a discipline.  GSA summer program enrollment increases to 200 students.  GSA moves from Louisville’s Bellarmine College to Lexington’s Transylvania University.

2003
Architecture added as a discipline.  GSA hosts students from Irish Academy of the Arts.  GSA reunion at The Kentucky Center as it celebrates 20 years as the state’s performing arts center.

2005
GSA inaugural exchange program with the North West Academy of the Arts.  GSA recognized as a national semifinalist for the “Coming Up Taller” Award by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

2006
GSA recognized with Governor’s Award in the Arts.

2007
GSA receives National Endowment for the Arts Summer Schools in the Arts grant.  GSA holds reunion at Transylvania University for 20th Anniversary.

2008
New Media added as a discipline.

2012
GSA celebrates the 25th Anniversary in the Bomhard Theater at The Kentucky Center

2014
GSA moves summer program to Centre College.
GSA’s summer program alumni base reaches 5,000.

2015
GSA welcomes the largest summer program class, 256 students.