Governor's School for the Arts Launches Fundraiser

by ekramer on April 23, 2009

The Kentucky Center’s Governor’s School for the Arts is working to offset the cuts it’s taken in state funding. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.

Since 1987, hundreds of talented students throughout the state have participated in the program’s workshops and its annual residential program, where they receive rigorous instruction in the visual, performing and literary arts.

Now, a 20 percent cut from state government and loss of sponsorship dollars have the program launching a campaign this week to raise $40,000 by June 30.

Heather Bell is the executive director of the Governor’s School for the Arts.

“We’re really looking to raise support for the program and engage alumni, parents of alumni and the general public in sort of recognizing the value that this program has for the young artists we have across this state,” Bell says.

One alumni is at the Kentucky Center tomorrow. Author Tania James, whose book “Atlas of Unknowns” is receiving positive reviews, is speaking about her experience in the program.

“I think at GSA our teachers are continually trying to tease out our own voices,” James says. “And they recognize something in each of us and they encouraged it. And the class was so personal.”

James is speaking as part of a celebration of Kentucky Writers’ Day, which also features a faculty member from the Governor’s School, poet Mitchell Douglas.

“The relationship between the writer and student is really great,” Douglas says. “And I tell the parents every year at GSA, ‘I enjoy meeting your babies and watching them grow.'”

Bell say the summer residential school costs $2,800 per student.

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