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Governor's School for the Arts returns with in-person programs

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Posted at 3:55 PM, Jul 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 17:55:46-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — One year after having to conduct the Governor’s School of the Arts through a computer screen, everyone is back on-campus for the summer of 2021.

“Our virtual program was very successful and we created an amazing community,” said GSA director, Nick Covault. He’s a GSA alum in his 5th year running this elite program.

“There’s a special type of energy when you share physical space that just can’t be replaced,” he said of last year’s virtual program.

The program runs for three weeks (this is the end of week one) and consists of 256 rising high school juniors and seniors. They were selected from a pool of more than 1,200 applicants across the state, and the program is tuition-free.

“We know not everyone has had the same exposure to these concentrations. That’s why we look at, not only, the technique and artistic talent of these students, but their potential and their passion and desire to grow,” Covault explained of the excruciating process of selecting who will be coming here each year.

Nine concentrations are offered, from dance to music, architecture, and creative writing. Eliza Cook is here from the Bowling Green area for the dance program. And she attributed COVID-19 restrictions to helping her piece together a successful application.

“Because I had time to focus on myself and my dancing,” she explained. “I think that’s the reason I got in because I could focus on myself.”

She’s grateful to be here, knowing those accepted last year couldn’t experience this program to its fullest.

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“To be around people as passionate about dance as I am is really great,” she said.

While Covault remains proud of what the GSA was able to pull off last summer, he knows it still lacked at least one critical component.

“One of the most difficult things to replace were those informal moments of connection. Maybe it’s walking from class to lunch and having that conversation. Or during free-time after class in the courtyard chatting with a friend and you learn where they’re from, and learn their story,” he explained.

Cook agrees.

“I’ve already made so many connections. I’m from a small town, so it’s not easy to meet many new people,” she said.

“It’s different playing “Uno” in a courtyard than on zoom!” Covault joked.

COVID is the wildcard that this program and so many others are rebounding from this summer.

For more information on how to apply for a spot in The Governor’s School for the Arts in 2022, click here.