Stage & Dance

Governor's School for the Arts moving from Transylvania University to Centre College

Cast members went through their routines for Perception.
Cast members went through their routines for Perception. Herald-Leader

As students say goodbye to their summer classmates, Lexington says goodbye to the Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts.

Saturday marks the end of the three-week arts program at Transylvania University, as well as the university's 14-year tradition of hosting the event.

The Governor's School for the Arts will move to Centre College in Danville next summer.

GSA provides intensive college-level training in the arts for high school students. It wraps up Saturday with showcases and performances for family and friends.

Jim Clark, CEO of LexArts, said Lexington and its artists will miss the program, which brings professional and young artists together from across the state.

"There will be a loss of energy during the summer," Clark said.

LexArts doesn't have a formal connection with the program, but provides classroom space for theater and dance, he said.

Every three years, Kentucky universities and colleges can bid to host the program. Transylvania decided not to reapply, and instead will focus on becoming a year-round campus for its own students, said Marc Mathews, vice president for finance and business at Transylvania.

"It is becoming more difficult to host off-campus groups without sacrificing quality for any group," Mathews said in a written statement.

Transylvania already offers an August term for first-year students and plans to create a summer school program, he said.

The executive board of GSA selected Centre College as its new host site in June, said Carrie Nath, the program's executive director.

Only Centre and Morehead State University bid for the program, she said.

Centre has a long history of hosting GSA's sister program, the Kentucky Governor's Scholars Program, but lost the bid in 2012.

Governor's Scholars is a five-week residential program for more than 1,000 students at three campuses. This year, the scholars program is hosted at Bellarmine University, Murray State University and Morehead.

Nath said hosting the Governor's School for the Arts is a great recruitment tool for colleges, which get the chance to interact with some of the state's most creative students.

This year, 223 students were chosen from 1,812 applicants. Tuition costs $3,800, but is completely paid for by state funds and donations, Nath said.

A spokesman for Centre College said Gov. Steve Beshear plans to make a formal announcement about the future of GSA in August. He declined to comment further.

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