Over 19,500 individuals from 29 counties participated in 158 Outreach experiences last year.

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.  

How Outreach Works

Outreach opportunities vary based on program objectives and can be customized experiences. Events take place both on and off-campus. Some schools pack up and head to Greenville, using their day to tour our campus and participate in workshops with our faculty. Other schools or organizations invite us into their communities, where we offer on-site workshops, guest artists for classroom visits, and professional learning opportunities. Along with schools and school districts, we also partner with arts organizations, state-level arts education groups, Boys and Girls Clubs, and community enrichment centers. 

Our Outreach Department currently supports discipline-specific work in Creative Writing, Dance, Drama, Music, Visual Arts, Humanities, and Service Learning. 

Academic Year Programs

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 and how non-profit organizations can get involved. 

School Field Trips to SCGSAH

The Governor's School invites teachers to bring their students to our campus as part of their annual field trip program. Learn more about our field trip program.

Guest Artist Experiences

Governor's School arts faculty can come to your school to lead an arts workshop. Learn more about our Guest Artist Experiences. 

Professional Learning Opportunities 
  • District Professional Days and 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 into their schools for district pull out arts professional development days. We also encourage conference planners to reach out for break-out session opportunities, panel discussions, 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. 
  • Teacher Retreats
    The Governor's School Teacher Retreat series is one of the school’s most sought after professional development opportunities for middle and high school teachers. 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:
  1. Teachers in the arts need opportunities to network within their field
  2. Teachers in the arts are not always provided the appropriate funding to attend the opportunities that do exist
  3. 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, 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 required to secure reservations, and deposits are returned upon successful program completion.

The 2019-2020 Teacher Retreat Series will be held June 12-13, 2020. Sessions will be virtual due to COVID-19 safety measures. 

To register or learn more contact Elizabeth Henderson, Coordinator of Outreach -elizabethhenderson@scgsah.org 

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.

The Ignite program also serves as a catalyst to build more substantial relationships in the funded area, so regions receiving Ignite summer services can expect extended services throughout the academic year. 

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 and Jasper County School District, rising 3rd-grade students who attend Kenneth Gardner Elementary and Hardeeville 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. 

Creative Writing Teacher Retreat (Filled for 2020)

A free, virtual two-day English Teacher retreat for middle and high school English teachers in South Carolina. This retreat offers teachers the opportunity to learn successful workshop strategies to effectively incorporate creative writing into the ELA classroom, develop useful writing prompts, and find out about new reading selections. Learn more.

Visual Arts Teacher Retreat (Filled for 2020)

A free, virtual two-day Visual Arts Teacher Retreat for middle and high school Visual Arts teachers in South Carolina. Teachers will have the opportunity to help students build sketchbook development strategies, fine-tune effective critique and feedback skills, and participate in an activity and discussion-based experiences.  Learn more.

Elementary Arts Teacher Retreat (Filled for 2020)

A free, virtual two-day special topic retreat for South Carolina's Elementary Dance, Drama, Music, and Visual Arts teachers focused on teaching the arts to elementary students in a changed learning environment. Learn more.

Specialized Departmental
Outreach Programs

Outreach: Williamsburg County School District Partnership

In 2015, the Governor's School established a partnership with Williamsburg County School District in the Pee Dee region of the state. The partnership was established initially to support the district after the “1000 year flood,” and thanks to strong regional support, it has grown into an annual effort. We seek to support all five art areas in district schools, and place extra emphasis on arts areas not currently fully funded by the district, including Drama, Dance, and Creative Writing. 

Library Services: Greenville County Juvenile Detention Center Partnership

The Governor's School's Library staff visits the Greenville County Juvenile Detention Center on a monthly basis to provide a range of curricular topics to incarcerated students. Workshops are created to reach a broad scope of interests, and they often mirror the programming provided to students at the Governor's School. Lessons include the arts, environmental issues, and identifying fake news, and they are structured to include group discussions, film screenings, and arts activities. The Greenville County Juvenile Detention Center houses students from Greenville, Anderson, Oconee, Pickens, and Spartanburg Counties. 

Creative Writing: The Black River Review

Thanks to our ongoing partnership with Williamsburg County School District, the Creative Writing Department is able to offer a mentoring program with young writers at Kingstree Middle Magnet School of the Arts. Each spring, Creative Writing seniors travel to Kingstree to spend the day working with their assigned 8th-grade partner to draft a small piece of writing. After leaving, they work together via email to revise, and a few weeks later those same students travel to the Governor’s School to finalize their pieces. This two-part mentoring program results in the publication of The Black River Review, a small literary anthology that serves as the school’s annual literary magazine. 

Dance: Lowcountry Youth Dance Academy

The Lowcountry Youth Dance Academy (LYDA), a regional outreach initiative, offers male and female dancers in 6th - 10th 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.

Drama: Drama Young Audiences Performances 

During the Fall of each year, the annual Drama performance produced in Sakas Theatre opens for a special one-day performance to local schools. The performances are held during the school day and include a Q/A talkback session with the Director and select senior actors. Performances are first-come, first-served, as seating is limited, and performances are suitable for secondary students only. Previous performances have included Under Milkwood, The Crucible, and Hamlet. If you are a middle or high school drama teacher interested in reservation availability, please contact Carol Baker. 

Visual Arts: Annual Guest Artist

Developed in 2017, the Visual Arts Department hosts an annual statewide arts education experience.  At the beginning of each year, a member of the Visual Arts faculty collaborates with the Office of Outreach to create an intact, standards-based lesson that can be shared with multiple schools in a wide range of counties. These projects provide participants an opportunity to participate in a larger scale experience that brings together individual works from all sorts of students in a variety of educational backgrounds.