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Nine Upstate students recognized in national arts competition

Students stand out in national applicant pool


Each year the National YoungArts Foundation holds one of the largest student art competitions highlighting promising young artists, ages 15-18, in the literary, visual, design and performing arts from around the country.

This year, nine students from South Carolina, including two finalists, were selected as winners from an applicant pool of over 7,400 nationally. The South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities had seven students who placed, including Isaiah Boozer, theater finalist; Tyler Wesley, theater finalist; Grace Warren-Page, honorable mention for creative nonfiction; Alexa Smith, theater merit; Jaden McGuire, visual arts merit; Katherine Davis, creative nonfiction merit, and Felix Killingsworth, poetry merit. The Fine Arts Center in Greenville also had two students who placed, including Thomas Hicks, honorable mention for photography, and Philip Rawlinson, classical music merit in viola. "YoungArts empowers artists to pursue a life in the arts beginning at the critical time when many are faced with decisions about life after high school,” said Executive Director Jewel Malone. “This group of extraordinary artists has reminded us yet again that extraordinary artistry is ageless, and I encourage everyone to get to know these faces and names as we will be seeing them for many years to come." YoungArts award winners at the finalist level were invited to participate in National YoungArts Week + held earlier this month featuring virtual classes, workshops and mentorship from internationally renowned artists. A virtual showcase featuring these finalists will be held Jan. 25-30. For the full schedule, visit https://www.youngarts.org/national-youngarts-week. Finalists are also eligible to be nominated to become a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, one of the highest honors given high school seniors bestowed by the President of the United States. This year, YoungArts award winners at all levels will receive cash prizes between $100 and $10,000 and the opportunity to learn from leading artists such as Debbie Allen, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Frank Gehry, Wynton Marsalis, Salman Rushdie and Mickalene Thomas. YoungArts winners also become part of an alumni network of over 20,000 artists, which offers them additional professional opportunities throughout their careers.

About The National YoungArts Foundation

The National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) was established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison to identify and nurture the most accomplished young artists in the visual, literary, design and performing arts, and assist them at critical junctures in their educational and professional development. Through a wide range of annual programs, regular performances, and partnerships with some of the nation's leading cultural institutions, YoungArts aspires to create a strong community of alumni and a platform for a lifetime of encouragement, opportunity and support. YoungArts' signature program is an application-based award for emerging artists ages 15-18 or in grades 10-12 from across the U.S. Selected through a blind adjudication process, YoungArts winners receive valuable support, including financial awards of up to $10,000, professional development and educational experiences working with renowned mentors-such as Debbie Allen, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rebecca Walker, Plácido Domingo, Frank Gehry, Jeff Koons, Wynton Marsalis, Salman Rushdie and Carrie Mae Weems-and performance and exhibition opportunities at some of the nation's leading cultural institutions, including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art and New World Center. Additionally, YoungArts Winners are eligible for nomination as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, one of the nation's highest honors for high school students who exemplify academic and artistic excellence. YoungArts winners become part of a thousands-strong alumni network of artists, which offers them additional professional opportunities throughout their careers. YoungArts alumni who have gone on to become leading professionals in their fields include actresses Viola Davis, Anna Gunn, Zuzanna Szadkowski and Kerry Washington; Broadway stars Raúl Esparza, Billy Porter, Andrew Rannells and Tony Yazbeck; recording artists Josh Groban, Judith Hill and Chris Young; Metropolitan Opera star Eric Owens; musicians Terence Blanchard, Gerald Clayton, Jennifer Koh and Elizabeth Roe; choreographers Camille A. Brown and Desmond Richardson; visual artists Daniel Arsham and Hernan Bas; internationally acclaimed multimedia artist Doug Aitken; New York Times bestselling author Sam Lipsyte; and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Doug Blush. Carnival Foundation is the YoungArts National Premier Sponsor. For more information, visit youngarts.org, facebook.com/YoungArtsFoundation or twitter.com/YoungArts.

About S.C. Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities

Located in Greenville, the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities (SCGSAH) cultivates young artists from across the state through pre-professional training in the areas of creative writing, dance, drama, music and visual arts. As a public, residential high school, serving juniors and seniors, students refine their talents in a master-apprentice community while receiving a nationally recognized academic education. Summer programs are available to rising 7th-12th grade students. SCGSAH also serves as a resource to all teachers and students in South Carolina, offering comprehensive outreach programs designed to bring together artists, educators, community organizations and schools.

Jason Rapp

S.C. Governor’s School for Arts recognized for arts ed research

Link uncovered between drama curriculum and reading success


The Arts Schools Network Board of Directors has awarded the Research Initiative-Institution Award to the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities.

The award honors an organization for its commitment to ongoing research and the dissemination of knowledge in research in arts education. The Governor's School's research initiative, implemented by the Office of Outreach in partnership with the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) and University of South Carolina Department of Theatre and Dance, examines the potential impact that drama curriculum has on reading motivation and success for young children. Melissa Brookes, managing director for ASN, said, “Each year the Arts Schools Network board of directors take great pride in honoring and recognizing schools and individuals for their extraordinary efforts and impact throughout arts education. This year, we are thrilled to recognize the Governor’s School as the winner of our Research Initiative Award.” In the Spark! outreach program that this research is based on, at-risk third-grade readers attending the state mandated Read-To-Succeed summer program are exposed to drama principles in addition to their reading requirements. Now in its third year, Spark! participants are showing increased gains in creativity measures like fluency and originality, along with critical reading measures required by MAP testing, when compared to similar students not exposed to the drama component. “While we are only three years into this five-year initiative, the combination of creativity gains and reading gains together are what draws us further into this research, and we’re very excited to see these promising trends,” said Carol Baker, outreach director at the Governor’s School. “We’re grateful for this acknowledgement from the Arts Schools Network and for the ongoing support and participation of our partners, the South Carolina Arts Commission, who is funding this project, and the USC Department of Theatre and Dance, who is compiling and analyzing the data.”

About the Research

Dr. Peter Duffy, who heads the Master of Arts in Teaching program in theatre education at the University of South Carolina is leading this research which combines the qualitative measures of theatre making and creativity with quantitative methods of reading and motivation. “This research matters because it examines how story, motivation, and embodied learning through drama can impact a child’s desire to read, and how this component can affect the way young readers interact with their reading materials,” said Duffy. “We are studying how more creative teaching methods can motivate readers to really know the story inside and out. “Our research suggests that students who engage in the drama work make small but important improvements in their overall reading scores. Gathering five years of data will help us see whether these trends hold overtime, giving us a stronger impression of the real impact these programs can make.” The Spark! program was initiated at Kenneth Gardner Elementary in Williamsburg County School District, and thanks to two years of early positive findings, received increased funding to expand to Hardeeville Elementary in Jasper County School District. Both districts serve high poverty, rural, under-resourced populations and neither has a certified drama teacher at any level. Each school offers a multi-week summer remedial reading camp for rising fourth-grade students at risk of retention due to low test scores. The summer camp is part of the Read-to-Succeed program and is the last possible opportunity for these young students to increase their scores enough to move on to the next grade. How this research impacts arts education funding priorities “The Spark! outreach program’s research into the relationship between drama and reading in young, at-risk readers, provides compelling evidence of the correlation between creativity and reading retention,” said David Platts, executive director of the SCAC. “Working with Dr. Duffy and his team at the University of South Carolina and the SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities has demonstrated how these types of programs, while specifically designed to help students, also provide vital information for agencies such as ours as we analyze and prioritize our programming decisions. Good decisions and responsible stewardship of public funds are possible only with the availability of solid and meaningful research and data.” Getting students back on track “Ultimately, this is about improving reading skills and reading motivation of young students in South Carolina,” said Dr. Cedric Adderley, Governor’s School president. “We know that early reading comprehension is the key to success, and in this day and time, when we’re seeing reading regression in elementary school students due to pandemic-imposed virtual learning, we hope that programs like Spark! will be part of the solution to getting these students back on track.” “At the Governor’s School, we see first-hand how incorporating the arts into education can help improve student engagement, academic success, motivation, and hope for the future,” continued Adderley. “Now our challenge, as an arts resource and research center for teachers and students throughout the state, is to expand these proven programs to impact more students in need.”

About SC Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities

Located in Greenville, the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities cultivates young artists from across the state through pre-professional training in the areas of creative writing, dance, drama, music and visual arts. In the public, residential high school, students refine their talents in an arts-centered community while receiving a nationally recognized academic education. Summer programs are available to rising 7th-12th grade students. The Governor’s School serves as a resource to all teachers and students in South Carolina, offering comprehensive outreach programs designed to bring together artists, educators, community organizations and schools. SCGSAH.org

About the Arts Schools Network

Dedicated to excellence and leadership in arts education, Arts Schools Network, a non-profit association founded in 1981, provides arts school leaders, innovative partners and members of arts education institutions with quality resources, support and networking opportunities. Visit www.artsschoolsnetwork.org to learn more.
Image by Amberrose Nelson from Pixabay

Jason Rapp

Applications open at S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts & Humanities

Young artists invited to apply


Artistically talented students in grades 6-11 can now apply to the S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities’ summer programs and tuition-free, residential high school for the 2021-2022 school year.

All South Carolina residents are eligible and can apply online at SCGSAH.org. “We want every parent who has an artistic child to know about the transformative opportunities that the Governor’s School offers them,” said Cedric Adderley, school president. “We’re hosting numerous virtual events throughout the fall for families to learn more about our programs and the life-long benefits of our pre-professional training.” The Governor’s School is hosting a continuous series of virtual information sessions each week and a virtual open house, First Look, on Saturday, Nov. 7. They have also teamed up with the S.C. Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics and the new Governor’s School for Agriculture at John de la Howe for several Endless Opportunities events for those who wish to learn about the offerings from all three Governor’s Schools. Located in downtown Greenville, SCGSAH offers pre-professional training in creative writing, dance, drama, music, and visual arts. Students attend from all over the state to learn from established, practicing artists in an environment that provides the resources needed to hone their artistic abilities including specialized arts studios, state-of-the-art performance halls, a world-class library and dedicated rehearsal spaces. Governor’s School graduates attend the nation’s top colleges, universities and conservatories, and many students receive arts and academic scholarships. The Residential High School program has been nationally recognized by U.S. News and World Report, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast and Niche. The Palmetto Gold award-winning high school consistently ranks above state and national averages for SAT and ACT scores and had a 99 percent graduation and college acceptance rate for the 2019-2020 school year. The reviews and rankings site Niche.com ranked the Governor’s School the third “Best College Prep High School” and the fourth “Best Public High School” in South Carolina. “About half of our graduates continue to pursue their arts discipline in college and as a career,” said Adderley. “The other half choose collegiate studies in education, business, medicine, technology and other fields where they are very successful because of the discipline and life skills they learned from their experience at the Governor’s School,” said Adderley. The Governor’s School also offers summer programs that provide younger students the opportunity to immerse themselves in their artistic passion while learning from practicing artists. Interested individuals can learn more about the upcoming admissions events, arts programs, and application process at www.SCGSAH.org.

About SC Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities

Located in Greenville, the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities cultivates young artists from across the state through pre-professional training in the areas of creative writing, dance, drama, music and visual arts. In the public, residential high school, students refine their talents in an arts-centered community while receiving a nationally recognized academic education. Summer programs are available to rising 7th-12th grade students. The Governor’s School serves as a resource to all teachers and students in South Carolina, offering comprehensive outreach programs designed to bring together artists, educators, community organizations and schools. SCGSAH.org

Jason Rapp

SCAC prose fellow publishes new book

Scott Gould's latest available now


Scott Gould, a two-time recipient of the South Carolina Arts Commission's prose fellowship, is out with his latest book.

[caption id="attachment_13111" align="alignright" width="150"] Scott Gould[/caption] Koehler Books Publishing is out with Whereabouts, in which Gould "lyrically weaves a tale of escape and redemption and, ultimately, of how love somehow survives, no matter the twisting paths it travels." Here's a synopsis from Koehler:

"[a] coming-of-age story of an independent teenager who desperately longs to flee her small, claustrophobic hometown following the unexpected death of her father and her mother’s sudden remarriage to the local funeral director. As she attempts to map a new course for her young life, Missy’s search is constantly derailed by the men she encounters ... Missy Belue wanders the back roads of a forgotten South, looking for a safe place to land, earning fresh scar tissue from the confusing, complicated world outside her hometown."

Gould is the author of the story collection, Strangers to Temptation (Hub City Press, 2017). His work has appeared in Kenyon Review, Carolina Quarterly, Crazyhorse, New Madrid Journal, The Bitter Southerner, Black Warrior Review, Eclectica, The Raleigh Review, New Stories from the South, and New Southern Harmonies, among others. He is a past winner of the fiction fellowship from the South Carolina Academy of Authors and is creative writing department chair for the South Carolina Governor's School for Arts & Humanities.

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Governor’s School students receive top honors in 2020 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

There's gold (and silver) in them there (Upstate) hills


Out of 18,000 works of creative writing and visual art competing in the national 2020 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, 12 students from the SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities won 18 medals. For the first time in the school’s history, a creative writing and a visual arts student both received the best-in-show awards—the American Voices and Visions Medals—representing the entire southeast region. All of these students will be recognized at the 2020 National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall in June. The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, is the nation's longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for young artists and writers in grades 7–12, and serves as a launch pad for furthering students' future success by providing them with access to scholarship programs and workshops, as well as the ability to have their work published and displayed in regional and national exhibitions. The Governor’s School’s Creative Writing medalists include:
  • Camryn Hambrick - Gold Medal and American Voices Medal, Humor
  • Alyssa Wilson - Gold Medal, Poetry
  • Sophie Young - Gold Medal, Poetry; Gold Medal, Personal Essay & Memoir
  • Emma Rose Gowans - Gold Medal, Science Fiction/Fantasy; Silver Medal, Digital Art
  • Chad Moss - Gold Medal, Personal Essay & Memoir
  • Bees Runge - Silver Medal, Poetry
  • Gracie Young - Silver Medal with Distinction, Writing Portfolio
Visual Arts medalists include:
  • Benay Daniel - Gold Medal and American Visions Medal, Film & Animation
  • Honoka Segi - Gold Medal, Design
  • Lucy Siegler - Gold Medal, Design; Gold Medal, Comic Art; Gold Medal, Comic Art
  • Wylder Voegele - Gold Medal, Sculpture
  • John Wright - Silver Medal, Art Portfolio
In the fall, nearly 340,000 works were submitted to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards from affiliates and region-at-large competitions. In the Southeast Region-At-Large competition, representing Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, Governor’s School students received a total of 138 awards, including 30 Gold Keys and two American Voices and Visions nominations. All Gold Key works and five American Voices and five American Vision nominees from each region are then judged in the national competition. The American Voices and Visions Medals represent the highest regional honors and are given to one writer and one visual artist from each region. This year, both of these medals went to Governor’s School students. The SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, located in Greenville, is a public, residential high school that provides pre-professional training in the areas of creative writing, dance, drama, and music. For the past twenty years, students from across the state have been refining their talents in a master-apprentice community while receiving a nationally recognized academic education.

About SC Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities

Located in Greenville, the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities (SCGSAH) cultivates young artists from across the state through pre-professional training in the areas of creative writing, dance, drama, music and visual arts. In the public, residential high school, students refine their talents in a master-apprentice community while receiving a nationally recognized academic education. Summer programs are available to rising 7th-12th grade students, and SCGSAH serves as a resource to all teachers and students in South Carolina, offering comprehensive outreach programs designed to bring together artists, educators, community organizations and schools. SCGSAH.org

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Duke Energy invests in SCGSAH, Pee Dee arts teacher training

Grant to S.C. Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities to create professional development program

The South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities Foundation received a $25,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to create a professional development program for arts teachers in Florence and surrounding areas. This funding will enrich arts education for students by providing teachers with additional training and supportive resources developed by the Governor’s School. “We’re very excited about this new program and the impact we believe it will have in classrooms throughout the area,” said Dr. Cedric Adderley, Governor’s School president. “Research shows that students in arts-rich schools are more engaged in the classroom and more hopeful about their future. We want every student in South Carolina to experience meaningful arts programming, and we’re grateful that our partnership with Duke Energy allows us to develop initiatives for that purpose.” Findings from a 2018 Gallup Student Poll in South Carolina, implemented in partnership with the S.C. Arts Commission and Palmetto State Arts Education, showed that students in arts-rich schools were 54 percent more engaged and 46 percent more hopeful than students who do not attend arts-rich schools. National survey participants believed that engagement and hope are two measures that are critical elements for effective schools. “Arts and culture are a window to the world, and teachers often are the first to open those windows for young minds,” said Mindy Taylor, government and community relations manager for Duke Energy. “The arts also have a powerful influence on our communities. This is why Duke Energy invests in outreach programs like those provided by the Governor’s School that provide access to and encourage an appreciation of the arts.” “We are so grateful for Duke Energy Foundation's continued investment in young people,” said Rochelle Williams, executive director of the Governor’s School Foundation. “This generous donation allows us to further the Governor's School's outreach mission of providing high-quality arts training to public school teachers. This will have a far-reaching impact by improving students' access to enriching arts education.” The SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities provides arts-based outreach programs to students, teachers, and schools in South Carolina. Last year, over 19,500 individuals from 29 counties participated in 158 outreach experiences. Duke Energy and the Governor’s School have worked together to serve the Pee Dee region through various arts-based programs for the past seven years.
About Duke Energy Foundation The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy customers live and work. The foundation contributes more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts and is funded by Duke Energy shareholder dollars. More information about the foundation and its Powerful Communities program can be found at duke-energy.com/foundation.
About SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities Foundation The Governor's School Foundation raises private dollars to increase access to the school for low-income students, support the school's efforts to provide arts education in under-resourced counties, and bridge the gap between state funding and the unique needs of a premier public arts school. For more information, visit www.scgsah.org/giving or call 864.282.1570.
About S.C. Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities Located in Greenville, the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities cultivates young artists from across the state through pre-professional training in the areas of creative writing, dance, drama, music and visual arts. As a public, residential high school, serving juniors and seniors, students refine their talents in a master-apprentice community while receiving a nationally recognized academic education. Summer programs are available to rising 7th-12th grade students. The Governor’s School serves as a resource to all teachers and students in South Carolina, offering comprehensive outreach programs designed to bring together artists, educators, community organizations and schools. SCGSAH.org
[caption id="attachment_43154" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Canvass of the People 2020 promo graphic Click image to participate in short survey![/caption]  

Young artists invited to apply now for S.C.’s tuition-free arts school

S.C. Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities accepting applications for 2020/2021

S.C. Governors School for the Arts Humanities students
The SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, a public, residential high school for artistically talented students, is now accepting applications for the 2020/2021 school year and summer programs. All South Carolina residents in grades 6-11 are eligible to apply online at SCGSAH.org. Located in downtown Greenville, the Governor’s School offers pre-professional training in creative writing, dance, drama, music, and visual arts. Students attend from all over the state to learn from established, practicing artists in an environment that provides the resources needed to hone their artistic abilities including specialized arts studios, state-of-the-art performance halls, a world-class library and dedicated rehearsal spaces. In the tuition-free Residential High School program, students explore and refine their talents in a one-of-a-kind, master-apprentice community while receiving a high school education that has been nationally recognized by U.S. News and World Report, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast and Niche. The Palmetto Gold award-winning high school ranked third in the state for SAT and ACT scores and had a 100 percent graduation and college acceptance rate for the 2018/2019 school year. The reviews and rankings site, Niche.com, ranked the Governor’s School the third “Best College Prep High School” and the fourth “Best Public High School” in South Carolina. Students who are interested in the Governor’s School’s Residential High School program apply in the 10th grade to attend during their junior and senior years. The dance and music programs also accept exceptional sophomores. While tuition is free, there is a meal plan fee, and financial assistance is available for eligible students. The Governor’s School also offers three summer programs that provide younger students the opportunity to immerse themselves in their artistic passion while learning from practicing artists. These include Arts Odyssey, for rising 8th and 9th-grade students; Academy, for rising 10th-grade students; and Summer Dance, for rising 7th-12th grade students. Students can apply online at www.SCGSAH.org for all programs. The application deadline for the Residential High School, Academy, and Summer Dance programs is Jan. 8, 2020. All applications submitted by Nov. 30, 2019, will receive an application fee waiver. For the Arts Odyssey program, the deadline is Dec. 13, 2019. On Saturday, Nov. 2, the Governor’s School is hosting FIRST LOOK, an open house event for prospective students and families who are interested in attending the school’s programs. Guests will have the opportunity to learn about everything the Governor's School has to offer through tours, information sessions, and art area demonstrations. This event is designed for students and families who have not yet visited campus. Check-in begins at 11:30 a.m., and sessions begin at noon. Learn more and register at https://www.scgsah.org/firstlook.

About SC Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities

Located in Greenville, the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities (SCGSAH) cultivates young artists from across the state through pre-professional training in the areas of creative writing, dance, drama, music and visual arts. In the public, residential high school, students refine their talents in a master-apprentice community while receiving a nationally recognized academic education. Summer programs are available to rising 7th-12th-grade students, and SCGSAH serves as a resource to all teachers and students in South Carolina, offering comprehensive outreach programs designed to bring together artists, educators, community organizations and schools. SCGSAH.org

‘Govies’ celebrate school’s landmark birthday

S.C. Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities turns 20


The South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities (SCGSAH) is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the opening of its public residential high school for the arts in Greenville. To kick off a year of celebrations, the school recently held a Founder’s Day Convocation honoring founder and first president Virginia Uldrick (right), a legend across the state for her work in arts education. Uldrick established the Governor’s School’s one-of-a-kind residential high school in 1999, after 10 years of working with legislators, generating support and fundraising to realize her dream: a tuition-free high school that provides pre-professional arts training and a nationally recognized academic education to South Carolina’s artistically talented students. “Her vision was one that we now know to be a model for public education, where the excellence in the arts and academics that she envisioned ultimately places each of our students among the most successful young professionals in the arts and all professions throughout our state and across the nation,” said Governor’s School President Cedric Adderley. He added, “Had it not been for her persistent pursuit of excellence and her vision, so many people would have never had the opportunity to pursue their passion in the arts or pursue the level of a quality education that they so much deserve.”

A firm foundation for arts education, bolstered by then-Governor Riley

Prior to the Governor’s School’s residential high school program, Uldrick established a five-week summer program under the school’s former name, the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts. This program was signed into legislation in 1980 by the state’s governor at the time, Richard W. Riley, who later became the longest-serving U.S. Secretary of Education. As the keynote speaker of the school’s Founder’s Day Convocation, Riley stated that Uldrick “was an enormous force for good in South Carolina and this country.” He also said, “I’m so proud of the success of the wonderful Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities,” and encouraged students to “pause a few minutes and think about this unique opportunity that the state of South Carolina is providing for you. Think about the wonderful leadership and talented faculty making possible your quality education and talent.”

Alumni impact arts education across South Carolina

Many Governor’s School alumni are continuing Uldrick’s legacy by giving back to younger generations through arts advocacy and education. Some of those alums are now educators in South Carolina. Among them are Jim LeBlanc, class of 2003, who is the principal of Saluda River Academy for the Arts; Andre North, class of 2005, who is the Director of Bands at Hanahan Middle School and assistant director of bands at Hanahan High School; Brooke Falk Permenter, class of 2002, who serves on the faculty at the College of Charleston Honors College; John Ott, class of 2009, who is a gifted and talented teacher in the Orangeburg Consolidated School District; and Stephanie Cureton, class of 2007, who is the director of English Theatre Arts in Greenville.

Alumni have gained national success in the arts and beyond

Many alumni have made names for themselves in their profession on a national scale, thanks to the elevated level of arts training that Uldrick set the groundwork for and remains the Governor’s School’s standard today. Graduates who are bringing acclaim to South Carolina include Patina Miller, a Tony Award-winning actress from Pageland who has held major roles in television series, films, and on Broadway; Rachel Inman, from Greenville, who is the UX Design Lead for Google Maps; Jonathan Spigner, also from Greenville, is a lead dancer in the Hong Kong Ballet; Jedd Rosche, from Beaufort, is the senior congress editor for CNN Politics; and Maria Fabrizio, from Columbia, whose Wordless News illustrations have been commissioned or published by NPR.com, O Magazine, and the New York Times. While the Governor’s School honors Uldrick and reflects on how her fierce determination has made a life-changing impact on thousands of students’ lives, the school happily anticipates what’s to come. “As we celebrate our first 20 years, we look forward to the next 20 years and the continued impact this school will have on young artists in South Carolina as they pursue their dreams,” said Chad Prosser, Governor’s School board chair, during the convocation.

More 20th anniversary events statewide

A student showcase will be hosted in Hilton Head on Nov. 7, 2019 and a celebratory reception will be held in Spartanburg on Dec. 5. In the spring, special events include an anniversary reception in Columbia on March 4, 2020, and a student and alumni showcase at the Peace Center in Greenville on April 7, 2020. Find out more about these upcoming events at https://www.scgsah.org/calendar/events.

About S.C. Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities

Located in Greenville, the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities (SCGSAH) cultivates young artists from across the state through pre-professional training in the areas of creative writing, dance, drama, music and visual arts. In the public, residential high school, students refine their talents in a master-apprentice community while receiving a nationally recognized academic education. Summer programs are available to rising 7th-12th grade students, and SCGSAH serves as a resource to all teachers and students in South Carolina, offering comprehensive outreach programs designed to bring together artists, educators, community organizations and schools. Visit SCGSAH.org for more information.

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Govie Writing Award winners announced

Inaugural event awards prizes for fiction, poetry


The S.C .Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities is pleased to announce the winners of the first annual Govie Writing Awards, a new, statewide contest for South Carolina students in grades 6-12. Sponsored by the Governor’s School’s Creative Writing Department, the awards—the George Singleton Prize in Fiction and the Jan Bailey Prize in Poetry—are named for the department’s founding faculty members who are also the contest judges. All winners receive gift certificates to their local independent bookstore.
In the High School Division, Autumn Simpson, a student at White Knoll High School in Lexington, won the George Singleton Prize in Fiction for her short story, “The Author.” The winner of the Jan Bailey Prize in Poetry is Luisa Peñaflor, a student at the Fine Arts Center in Greenville, who won for her poem titled, “Chandler Lake.” Tyler Kellogg, a student at Daniel High School in Central, received an honorable mention for his poem, “Desafinar.” In the Middle School Division, Olivia Bussell, a student from Pleasant Hill Middle School in Lexington, won the George Singleton Prize in Fiction for her story, “Limitless,” and Katherine Toellner, a student at Christ Church Episcopal School in Greenville, received an honorable mention for “A Million Stitches.” Roger Brown, a student from League Academy in Greenville, won the Jan Bailey Prize in Poetry for his poem, “Yellow Moon.” An honorable mention went to Grace Gibson, a student from the Coastal Montessori Charter School in Pawleys Island for her poem, “Ode to My Coonhound.” “Our judges were pleased not only with the quantity of entries this year, but with the high quality as well,” said Scott Gould, creative writing chair. “There are so many good, young writers across our state, and we’re just happy to give them a new platform to showcase their talents.” For more information about these winners and to read their work, visit www.scgsah.org/writingawards.

About S.C. Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities

Located in Greenville, the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities (SCGSAH) cultivates young artists from across the state through pre-professional training in the areas of creative writing, dance, drama, music and visual arts. As a public, residential high school, serving juniors and seniors, students refine their talents in a master-apprentice community while receiving a nationally recognized academic education. Summer programs are available to rising 7th-12th grade students, and SCGSAH serves as a resource to all teachers and students in South Carolina, offering comprehensive outreach programs designed to bring together artists, educators, community organizations and schools. SCGSAH.org

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Governor’s School announces 10th U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts

Amber Magnuson among just 20 nationwide


Amber Magnuson, a creative writing senior at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, was selected to join the 55th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars and is one of only 20 students chosen nationwide as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts.  Amber Magnuson headshotMagnuson is the Governor's School's 10th student to receive this honor since 2008, nine of which have come from the creative writing department. She will travel to Washington in June to participate in an original performance at The Kennedy Center. "This is the highest national student honor for the arts in the United States, and we congratulate Amber for her outstanding achievements and the Creative Writing Department faculty for continuing to cultivate these exceptional students," said Governor's School President Dr. Cedric Adderley. Prior to attending the Governor's School, Magnuson was a student at Greenville Senior High Academy and the Fine Arts Center. During her sophomore year, she was a YoungArts finalist and attended National YoungArts Week in Miami, Florida in 2017. In the Governor's School's Creative Writing Residential High School Program, led by published, experienced writers who provide daily student mentorship, Magnuson has received numerous accolades. During her senior year, she won first place in Nonfiction in Pfeiffer University's Piedmont Institute of Communication, Art and Music (PICMA) contest and in Ringling College's Storytellers of Tomorrow Contest. She also received a Silver Medal in Nonfiction in the 2019 National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition and three Gold Keys, one Silver Key, and two Honorable Mentions in the 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Region-at-Large competition. Magnuson was also named a National Merit Finalist. After graduation, she will attend Columbia University in New York City. A press release from the U.S. Department of Education states that the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,200 candidates qualified for the 2019 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, and through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, other partner recognition organizations or the National YoungArts Foundation's nationwide YoungArts program.
For more information about the S.C. Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities and their creative writing programs, visit www.scgsah.org.