• Elizabeth Kramer

Reporters Covering Virtual Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts



In May, Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts announced the program, originally slated to be held on the University of Kentucky campus from June 29 to July 17 was going virtual due to the Covid-19 pandemic. At the time, GSA Director Nick Covault said, “We’re trying to think what we can do because of this — not what are we losing because of this.”


Arts Bureau Edge, which was in the middle of a session covering Actors Theatre of Louisville's 2020 Humana Festival of New American Plays when the pandemic triggered a shutdown of public events, decided this virtual GSA was a perfect chance to stretch ourselves to report on this event that has become so important to generations of young people in this state and launched many distinguished creative careers.


Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts Director Nick Covault speaking from his office during the opening ceremonies for the annual program that this year is being held virtually. This year's opening ceremony was streamed via Facebook Live.


The reporters who answered the call are Arts Bureau Edge alumni and the team started working before GSA opening day on Monday, June 29 when the opening ceremony was streamed via Facebook Live. By then, the reporters already had started identifying story ideas and discussing the logistics of working on these stories via virtual platforms.


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Virtual Version of Kentucky’s Prestigious Youth Arts Program Kicks Off

By Debra Murray, 2020 Pleasure Ridge Park High School graduate


In the coming weeks, watch for the work coming from these five reporters who Arts Bureau Edge is so proud to have to participate and document this very different GSA during the time of a pandemic.

Angel Cathey, a rising junior in the communications/journalism program at duPont Manual High School, has written for the Manual RedEye newspaper. She has participated in two other Arts Bureau Edge workshops — in June 2018 covering Floyd Central High School's production of "Newsies" and fall 2019 covering Pandora Production's "Fun Home."


Irena Fletcher, a rising junior at duPont Manual High School/Youth Performing Arts School (band magnet), has studied dance and music (instrumental and voice). She participated in Arts Bureau Edge's first workshop covering Floyd Central High School's production of "Newsies."



Debra Murray, a 2020 graduate of Pleasure Ridge Park High School entering her freshman year at Western Kentucky University as a journalism major this fall, already has a job with the College Height Herald, the university newspaper. She was in Arts Bureau Edge's workshop covering Actors Theatre of Louisville's 2019 Humana Festival of New American Plays.


Gracie Vanover, a 2020 graduate of Floyd Central High School, is entering her freshman year at Indiana University Southeast, where she will study journalism. At Floyd Central, she was The Bagpiper's Editor-in-Chief (the school newspaper) her senior year and Assistant A&E Editor her junior year. In spring 2020, she was WNAS and FCTV producer. During high school, she also was a member of the Highlander Marching Band and concert and pep band in which she played clarinet, bass clarinet and alto saxophone. Vanover has participated in four other Arts Bureau Edge workshops, the most of any student. The workshops include covering performances of Broadway series productions "Aladdin" and "Something Rotten" Actors Theatre of Louisville's 2019 Humana Festival of New American Plays and "The Wolves."


Annie Whaley, a rising senior in the communications/journalism program at duPont Manual High School, has written for the Manual RedEye newspaper and On The Record newsmagazine. Whaley has participated in two other Arts Bureau Edge workshops, covering the 2019 and 2020 Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville.


• Editor/Mentor: Elizabeth Kramer, a multimedia journalist who has worked for newspapers and public radio, became a leading voice on the arts as The Courier Journal's fine arts reporter from 2010 to 2017. Her work has aired on National Public Radio and appeared in national publications. She has taught writing at Bellarmine University and Spalding University and English as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros.

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