Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts 2020: A Virtual Story

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 15, 2020) — For Kentucky’s Governor’s School for the Arts dropping the curtain on its 2020 students was not an option — global coronavirus pandemic or not. And as this summer’s three-week immersive arts education draws to a close this weekend, GSA will give the public an opportunity to celebrate much of its students’ work virtually.


Story courtesy UKNow originally posted by Whitney Hale, 2020.

Image of Zoom Ballet class from GSA 2020
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kentucky's Governor's School for the Arts students had to study online from home, creating personal studios like these for a ballet class.

Since 1987, more than 6,400 young rising high school juniors and seniors have descended on a college campus setting to immerse themselves in an arts intensive environment, with cross-discipline learning, guest artist performances and lectures, and the opportunity to access college scholarships. Instruction is offered in nine disciplines: architecture and design, creative writing, dance, drama, film and photography, instrumental music, musical theater, visual art and vocal music.

But this summer, instead of welcoming more than 200 of the Commonwealth’s most talented young artists to the University of Kentucky campus, GSA students honed their skills online while staying healthy at home. 

UKNow featured three interviews with UK College of Fine Arts alumni who are involved with GSA 2020.

To find out how GSA was able to “go on with the show” in such rare circumstances, UKNow caught up with Nick Covault, director of GSA and UK vocal performance and arts administration alumnus.

Read the article.

To find out more about how an RA serves students in a virtual format, UKNow caught up with Elena Guerra, a theatre senior in the musical theatre certificate program at the College of Fine Arts.

Read the article.

To find out more about how the change to a virtual format is going, UKNow caught up with a couple of UK alumni on GSA’s faculty this summer. Artist Dan Bernitt, a 2008 arts administration graduate and Gaines Fellow from Austin, Texas, and artist and Bryan Station High School teacher Aubrey Nibert Brice, a 2008 art studio and English graduate from Lexington, are teaching creative writing and visual art respectively.

Read the article.


GSA is a public/private partnership inaugurated in 1987 by The Kentucky Center (now Kentucky Performing Arts), 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.

The mission of Kentucky Performing Arts is to build lifelong relationships with the arts. As an integral member of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet, Kentucky Performing Arts, along with the other agencies, seeks to preserve and promote the history, heritage and arts of the Commonwealth.