Information session on Governor's School for the Arts November 12

Somerset High Student and GSA alum Lexie Woodroof said the program "isn't like any other environment."

Wondering what the Governor's School for the Arts is all about? Curious, but not sure if it's for you?

Here's your chance to find out.

On Monday, November 12, Watershed Arts Alliance is hosting Tess Payton from The Kentucky Center Governor's School for the Arts for a free info session about the program at the Pulaski County Public Library on South Main Street in Somerset from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

"This will include important topics like: What it's like, how to apply, and where to find support," said Watershed Arts Alliance member Amanda Balltrip, both a former participant in the Governor's School for the Arts (GSA) program and someone who has worked with high school students there later in her life. "Recent GSA alum from the area will be present to share their personal experience as well."

Similar to the Governor's Scholar Program, the Kentucky Center Governor's School for the Arts is a tuition-free three-week long arts program hosted during the summer on a college campus -- which, for the summer of 2019, will be the University of Kentucky. Having started in 1987, GSA offers training for talented, driven, arts-focused high school sophomores and juniors, and participation in the program often leads to scholarship opportunities.

Nine different arts disciplines are offered at GSA, include: Architecture + Design, Creative Writing, Dance, Drama, Instrumental Music, Musical Theatre, Film + Photography, Visual Art, and Vocal Music.

The info session is free and open to students, teachers, parents, and any other advocates for young artists. Registration is not required to attend.

"I am an advocate of GSA not only because it's a fantastic program with college scholarship opportunities, but because this audition process is an opportunity to connect students to the wonderful arts educators we have right here," said Balltrip. "One of the points we will talk about on November 12 is where students can go for help in preparing their portfolio or audition. This is part of growing and strengthening our already vibrant arts community."

Several area students who have attended GSA passed along their experiences with the process that proved to be an enriching experience for them.

"In the first round of Creative Writing, I had to submit a short story and a one minute video discussing an event that changed my life," said Ashton Todd, a Pulaski County High School alum currently obtaining a degree in English and Secondary Education at Georgetown College. "After being accepted through the first round, I was interviewed along with five others before a panel of judges comprised of the GSA writing staff. To prepare, I had several mentors and trusted friends to read my submission, in addition to shaping my own writing by reading authors that inspired me.

"GSA is truly a life-changing experience," she added. "The only way to fully understand and appreciate GSA is to take the artistic risk and apply."

Lexie Woodroof, a Somerset High School senior who attended GSA this past summer for Musical Theatre, said that she sent in a video of herself singing two songs and performing one monologue.

"Then, you might be invited to a live audition and then the final list comes out," she said. "The environment at GSA isn't like any other environment. Every student had a respect for fellows students and we all worked relentlessly over our work. Everyone's positive attitudes made all the difference in the experience."