Supporting Arts Education in South Carolina

The SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities is committed to the growth of our state’s vibrant arts education community. As part of the school’s mission to serve as a resource to teachers and students in South Carolina, we offer a comprehensive and ever-growing series of Outreach programs designed to bring together artists, educators, community organizations, and students. These opportunities seek to match our available resources with the needs and interests of schools and partners statewide.  To stay up-to-date and be notified about opportunities, sign up to receive our Outreach Newsletter.

Academic Year Programs

FREE Teacher Resources 

This year, arts teachers from across South Carolina can participate in standards-driven virtual and backpack activities designed to easily fold into any type of arts education setting, whether virtual, hybrid or in-person. Our 2021-2022 Teacher Resources can be found here.

New resources are added each month, so be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to be notified when new resources become available! 

Field Trips to Campus

The Governor's School invites teachers who are seeking arts-based field trips to bring students to our campus in Greenville for a memorable, engaging experience. Field Trips to Campus will reopen soon.

Service Learning 

Governor's School students are invited and encouraged to cultivate their own service interests through the Connecting Arts Through Service (C.A.T.S.) club. Learn more about our service-learning program. 

Lowcountry Youth Dance Academy

The Lowcountry Youth Dance Academy (LYDA), a regional outreach initiative, offers male and female dancers in 5th - 9th grades an opportunity to explore the rigors and demands associated with pre-professional ballet training under the supervision of the Dance Department of Governor's School. Learn more about LYDA.

SC Afterschool Alliance Partnership

The Governor’s School recognizes the valuable role that afterschool agencies play in the overall safety, wellbeing, and educational growth of students statewide. In order to connect with this community, SCGSAH is pleased to partner with the SC Afterschool Alliance to share resources and ensure that the arts are an integral part of this important student experience.  

Summer Programs


Ignite is a summer arts residency designed to “fire up a passion for the arts,” encouraging students to “think like artists” by exploring capacities, processes, questions, and themes through multiple art forms. Students are provided access to teachers and curriculum specially crafted to encourage participants to identify and explore their own artistic voices, interests, and skills.  No prior arts experience is required, and rather than focus on perfecting a skill, students are encouraged to be creative, take risks, and explore new art forms.

Ignite does not accept individual student applications; rather, it is a partnership based program that encourages strong relationships with school summer camps and community agencies like the Boys and Girls Clubs.

Spark! Inspiring Tomorrow’s Readers Through Drama

Spark! is a curricular extension program that integrates drama principles into the summer reading camp programs required by the state’s Read to Succeed legislation.

Currently offered in Williamsburg County School District, rising 3rd-grade students who attend Kenneth Gardner Elementary's summer Scholastic Lit Camp participate in an additional drama program that connects elementary theatre standards with elementary reading standards. Participants explore how actors use their bodies, voices, and imaginations to tell their own stories, and the stories of others, all while using the age-appropriate, approved foundation texts offered through the district.

Spark! is specifically designed to support reading motivation, along with the divergent thinking skills necessary to mitigate summer reading learning loss.

The project is directed by the Office of Outreach in partnership with the SC Arts Commission and the University of South Carolina, and it has developed into a five-year research project exploring the relationship between drama and reading in young, at-risk readers.        

Spark! is funded by an Education Pilot Project Grant from the SC Arts Commission. 

Professional Learning Opportunities 

Teacher Survey

Our Outreach Programs include a number of Professional Learning Opportunities for teachers each year, and this year we want to hear directly from YOU!

To help us better align our resources with your needs, please take a moment to complete this brief survey on what kinds of Professional Learning Opportunities you would be interested in participating in this year.

Take the survey>>

Professional Development Days/Conference Presentations

The Governor's school understands that arts teachers should have the opportunity to practice their craft, allowing us to provide a teacher-as-artist model for professional learning. Teachers, district personnel, and state arts networks frequently call on the Governor's School to present at annual school district professional development days or arts-based conferences. Teachers can travel to our campus and host their day here in our studios (9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.) or district administrators can invite our faculty to their schools for district professional development days. We also encourage conference planners to reach out for break-out session opportunities, panel discussion, and workshop leadership. Our school offers a wide range of specialists, so teachers can expect to dive deeply into a single content area and immerse themselves in both creativity and pedagogy. As part of the Governor's School mission to be a resource to ALL schools in SC, professional development opportunities are typically free of charge.

To inquire about professional development opportunities, contact our office at


Teacher Retreats

Fall Teacher Retreat: Exploring World Cultures Through Music and More!

Join us at the Governor's School on November 12-13 as we welcome Kennedy Center Teaching Artist Imani Gonzalez! This FREE workshop will explore world cultures through the eyes of children and immerse teachers in the musical roots of jazz.

Learn more here.

The Governor's School Teacher Retreat Series is one of the school’s most sought-after professional development opportunities. Hosted collaboratively between the Office of Outreach and the Office of Arts and Academics, these two-day intensives provide high-quality, hands-on experiences designed to support educators in the arts in an environment of artistic excellence.

After interviewing and surveying numerous teachers over the past few years, we determined three things:

  • Teachers in the arts need opportunities to network within their field.
  • Teachers in the arts are not always provided the appropriate funding to attend the opportunities that do exist.
  • Teachers in the arts are, at the core, artists, and need opportunities to perfect their craft in order to maintain a level of high competency in the classroom.

The Governor's School's professional development retreat model was created to directly impact these findings. Thanks to grants from the Arts and Basic Curriculum Project through the SC Arts Commission, teachers are provided a cost-free, high-quality opportunity to cultivate their craft as well as their pedagogical skills in an environment of peer-based growth and support. Hotel and meal accommodations are provided. A $50 deposit is require to secure reservations and deposits are returned upon successful program completion.

To stay up to date and be notified for future professional learning events, sign up for our Outreach newsletter. 

Wellness for Arts Teachers and Students

As teachers and students navigate the impact of COVID-19 on our education system, we recognize that emotional and mental health/wellness will be critical to a successful year. With the understanding that the arts classroom is a place of creativity and emotional safety, the Governor's School looks to support arts teachers by developing mindfulness, self care, and student care strategies in the arts classroom. Check back throughout the year for professional learning opportunities designed to support this important need.