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Governor’s School for the Arts


Heather Weston Bell with Mel Fisher

At the Kentucky Center’s Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA), juniors and seniors in high school are offered in-depth instruction in one of seven artistic disciplines: creative writing, dance, drama, instrumental music, musical theater, visual art, or vocal music. More than 1,200 students audition each year, and about 230 are selected for the intensive summer program. They get full tuition, room, and board; the opportunity to learn in a supportive community of distinguished master teachers; the chance to audition for scholarships with some of the nation’s top colleges and universities; the excitement of performing at the end-of-session Student Performance Festival; and a lot of fun along the way.

Executive Director Heather Weston Bell says that the GSA aims to prepare its students not only for their pursuit of careers in the arts, but also for all facets of professional life requiring leadership, critical thinking, exceptional communication and expressive skills, and understanding of our multicultural world. By the time they return home, GSA students are more mature, focused, and motivated—well on their way to becoming aware, involved citizens. Mixed Media’s profile of the school includes performances by some of those students: the Drew Miller Jazz Trio, poet Danielle Quintos, and dancer Lori Crosthwait.

Heather, who is also a vice president at the Kentucky Center, began her own involvement in the arts as a clarinetist in her high school bands and the Louisville Youth Orchestra. Combining her passion for the arts with an interest in business, she earned a B.A. in arts administration from the University of Kentucky. She completed internships with the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, then returned to Louisville in the fall of 2001 to join the marketing department at the Kentucky Center. She has been with the GSA since 2002.

In 2004, Heather was selected as an “Emerging Leader” by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters and a “Woman To Watch” by Louisville magazine.


Program 726

Heather Weston Bell, executive director of the Governor’s School for the Arts; performances by GSA students; and Lexington sculptor Bob Morgan. (#726)

Program 739

Heather Weston Bell, executive director of the Governor’s School for the Arts; performances by GSA students; and Lexington sculptor Bob Morgan. (#739)





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