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Imagine a wonderful summer experience
Imagine that you are a painter and that each morning for nearly three weeks you will be going to a virtual studio to work with 13 or 14 other students under the direction of an accomplished artist. Imagine that the class is going to last for three hours, giving you time to throw yourself into your creation. If you are a dancer, consider the opportunity you'll have to stretch and grow in both classical ballet and modern dance. The classes are small, the passion is intense, and the growth is simply phenomenal. Classes are offered in the areas of acting, creative writing, dance, instrumental music, visual art and vocal music. GSA is for current high school sophomores living in and attending school in West Virginia. Funded by the Legislature as proposed in the Governor's budget, GSA is offered at no cost to the students or their families.

The portrait  of Dr. Maribea Barnes was created by September McLain at the 2019 GSA

A Message from the Dean

Marshall University is pleased to host the West Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA) for 2022 with the theme, “Home: Building Community Through the Arts.” Thriving in a community of artists provides unique opportunities for personal and artistic growth along with diverse opportunities for collaboration.

Marshall offers three academic facilities that would serve as centerpieces for GSA. The Joan C. Edwards Preforming Arts and the adjacent Jomie Jazz center will host the theatrical and dance arts. "The Joan" includes a state-of-the-art theatre with seating for 543 people while the Jomie Jazz Center offers recording facilities, an ensemble rehearsal hall, individual practice studios and a music composition laboratory.
The second facility, the Smith Hall complex, provides a setting for music instruction and performance. The complex includes a 469 seat recital hall and a small theatre/lecture hall.  Each morning starts in the smaller theatre with a video of the previous day as well as morning announcements.
The Visual Arts Center (VAC) is the third academic facility. This 115-year-old redesigned building will host visual arts, media arts, and creative writing. It has five floors of large studios and classrooms filled with state-of-the-art technology and equipment. All five floors feature spaces designed for collaboration and innovative processes. The building also has a stunning exhibition facility on the first floor, the Charles and Norma Carroll Gallery.

The faculty, staff, and enrichment opportunities will provide you with an incredible opportunity to grow as an artist. We look forward to working with West Virginia’s most creative rising high school juniors!
Dr. Maribea W. Barnes-Marsano
Professor, School of Art & Design
Dean, Governor’s School for the Arts

The Arts Disciplines Described Below

In the discipline of Acting, we’ll be focusing on speaking and moving with passion, clarity and feeling; exploring complex texts with tools and exercises that will unlock meaning and allow for deeper connections; and experimenting with approaches to finding and communicating personal connections in the experiences and stories of others.

Everything we do will be designed to facilitate your growth as an actor, storyteller, and animator. Our work will enable you to develop the expressivity of your voice and body, put your imagination to work, and encourage you to listen and respond to your acting partners actively and spontaneously.

Creative Writing
Writers are in class with others who share their passion for writing. Within a supportive and fun workshop environment, writers will explore the works of some of our most celebrated Appalachian authors, respond to a variety of writing prompts and genres, as well as give and receive constructive feedback. Students emerge with refined creative writing skills, a strong voice, and confidence in both written and verbal expression.

Our aim is to give the students a conservatory atmosphere within the dance discipline. The focus is on ballet and modern, helping to refine and stretch the dancer’s abilities while enhancing their love for both forms.
Instrumental Music
We keep the program small so that each student receives a lot of individual attention not only from the primary teacher but other adjunct staff members as well. This is not a  “music camp.” We stress the artist-community concept and immerse the students in experiences that push them to the point that they are truly changed during their three weeks with us—only to return to you not only a more accomplished musician, but a more mature leader and productive young adult.

Studio/Visual Art
The Governor’s School for the Arts will focus on two important parts of the art making process--improvement of basics skills and creativity. Young artists need to learn the fundamentals of art making, and these skills are best attained and demonstrated by studying from life.

Vocal Music
Students will learn about their vocal instrument--the voice--how it functions and how to say healthy. They will learn the foundations of vocal technique and have the opportunity to build on their potential.