New Resources! Responding to a New Arts Education Climate

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.  

Due to the health and safety concerns of COVID-19, all in-person outreach experiences have been temporarily suspended. This year, arts teachers from across South Carolina can instead 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.

You Have a Story. Learn How to Share It.  

This year's resources are connected by an overarching theme: You Have a Story. Learn How to Tell It., and are designed to engage students in one of the four artistic processes: Create, Perform/Present, Respond, & Connect.

Activities will support foundation level students and will range in style to meet various arts classroom needs. Pre-recorded artist talks, student journals, teacher guides, and fully packaged art kits are some of the many ways we look to engage with our arts education community. 

New Arts Teacher Resources

Actor's Movement Warm-up

Actors have three main tools that they must cultivate in order to develop their craft: the body, the voice, and the imagination. To access these tools, young actors must prime themselves with good, solid warm-ups. Join Rhonda Murray, Dance Instructor for Drama, as she guides students through a series of movement exercises intended to prepare and focus the body for the demands of a strong acting practice. Learn more here.


Animation doesn't have to be done with fancy computers and expensive software. In fact, most of it happens using simple everyday objects! This activity will teach students some quick animation basics as we get started creating our own flipbooks. This activity is excellent for Visual Arts and Media Arts classes. Learn more here.

Share Your Voice!

For many students, getting up in front of an audience to speak, whether it’s a group of classmates or total strangers, is a pretty scary experience. It’s even more daunting when you are reading your own, original creative writings.  Join Dr. Stevie Edwards, Poetry Instructor, as she shares her own journey of moving past the nerves that can understandably hold anyone back, and learn her top ten tips and tricks for giving your best on-stage reading. Learn more here.

Build it! Draw it! Using LEGO Objects to Explore Proportion and Perspective

Visual artists share a common, strong foundation: Drawing. In this project, students will build their own LEGO structures to use as they practice their drawing skills. LEGO bricks will be used to develop simple 3D objects that, along with sketches, gradually grow in complexity. Basic drawing media is used to introduce foundation skills in value, perspective and proportion. You will need a sketchbook or sketch paper, Sharpie, Ebony drawing pencil, eraser, ruler and LEGO set or similar building blocks to accompany your Governor's School Activity Booklet. Learn more here.

A Day in a Life with Ballerina Whitney Huell

Participants will view a pre-recorded Artist Talk by SC Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities 2004 Dance Alumni and Kansas City Ballet company dancer, Whitney Huell. Huell grew up in South Carolina and is best known as the first Black ballerina to dance the Sugar Plum Fairy role in Kansas City Ballet's The Nutcracker. This artist talk will explore a day in a life of a professional dancer, and students will learn about the dance journey of a local ballerina of color who has gone on to make history. Learn more here.

Region Orchestra Audition Support

Get ready for the SCMEA Region Orchestra Auditions with expert guidance from the SCGSAH string faculty who have created practice guides and virtual workshops to help you get in tip top shape for the January auditions.  Learn more here.

Jogging the Memory

Participants will view a pre-recorded creative writing prompt, delivered by Scott Gould, with suggestions about how to use the prompt to begin creating new stories, poems or essays. Learn more here.

Pantomime in Dance

In nearly all classical forms of dance there is no dialogue. To convey a story a dancer uses pantomime for exposition. Pantomime helps convey character, and every gesture is important in the telling of the story. In this activity, students will learn the basic mime vocabulary used in all classical ballet storytelling, and use this new language to create their own tales. Learn more here.

Nature Drawing Journal

Get outside to hone your observational drawing skills! Student journals for this activity cover foundation level skills in value, contour, shading and texture. Like scientists, students will document their findings by creating colorful nature journals using drawing pencils, watercolor paints and/or watercolor pencils. Learn more here.

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. 

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.

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. 

Professional Learning Opportunities 

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: 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, 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 2020-21 Teacher Retreat Series will be announced in Spring 2021. 

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.