The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

GSA offers opportunities in the arts

Photos by Smoke Signals

While other states are not prioritizing the arts, Kentucky offers an amazing opportunity to foster these creative skills through a three-week-long, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Five of GRC’s very talented young artists were selected to attend this experience at the University of Kentucky. 

Governor’s School for the Arts, or GSA, provided an opportunity for rising juniors and seniors from across the Commonwealth to dive into their preferred art forms and express their passions. 

Zach Ross, Grace Owen, Ann McCreary, Thalia Roddy, and Trent Conboy Holden were our schools’ representatives, spread across four creative majors they focused on at GSA. 

“At GSA, you essentially break off into your majors,” says Ross. “Some of the things I participated in were classes led by different creative writing faculty. For example, I had playwriting, songwriting, poetry, prose, and even collage classes within my major. I know some other majors did things like ceramics, dance, voice, acting, and fashion design classes, all depending on which major they were a part of.”

Most of the student’s time was spent in these focus area classes; however, they also had opportunities to partake in SMORG sessions. They allowed them time to try something new, something they might also be interested in, or simply something they thought would be fun. 

“My primary class was a creative writing studio, but during our SMORG time, where we explored other art forms, I had the equivalent of a drama class and a lesson on the difficulty of singing the National Anthem,” says Roddy. 

GSA gave these students an incredible stepping stone into their future careers. They were met with opportunities, lessons, and connections that would benefit them long after they completed their three weeks there. 

“GSA equipped me with tools to become a better writer, which I can use in my creative writing going forward as well as nonfiction such as essays,” adds Roddy. “We also had opportunities to talk to people in the industry about their careers. This knowledge helps me consider what I might like to do going forward. GSA also connected me with a lot of fellow artists, and I now have a community to help me in my writing journey.”

Not only have they grown in their specific art forms, but GSA also fostered the opportunity for the students to grow as humans. 

“I learned a multitude of things at GSA,” says Owen, “but the lesson that stuck with me the most was learning how to claim my title as an artist.” 

A common statement among the GSA alumni is that they enjoyed being surrounded by so many like-minded people. Around 500 students were at GSA this summer, all with a lot of creativity, talent, and, of course, love for the arts.

“Being surrounded by so many dedicated artists who understand and appreciate the importance of art was so incredible,” says Ross. “I was able to be brought into a program where everyone was uplifting and supportive of one another, and it was honestly like a breath of fresh air.”

The audition process was not an easy task, and each person had to go through multiple rounds to be accepted. There is a virtual first round open to any current sophomore or junior. After that, there was an in-person callback, where the final cuts were made. 

Despite this, GSA comes highly recommended by all who complete it.

“It’s life-changing,” says Owen. “I fully recommend it to anyone and everyone interested. You just don’t want to miss out on this experience.” 


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Mallory Jones, Multimedia Staff
“I've never felt more alone than when I’m trying to put sunscreen on my back.” -Jimmy Kimmel. This is the sad reality every day for Mallory Jones, because she's a ginger and has to apply SPF frequently. Besides that, Mallory is very involved in school activities like Beta Club, Mock Trial, and Student Y. She loves to sing, yodel on occasion, and compete in pageants! She stays busy but always makes sure to find time to enjoy some Don Senor chips and queso. Mallory is very excited to be part of the Smoke Signals staff and to have the opportunity to play a role in this amazing program. (P.S. Use this as your reminder to use SPF 30 daily.)

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