Kentucky Performing Arts has appointed Jason Craig Brooks to the position of Director of the Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA) program. Brooks will be responsible for supervision of the program, which for more than 35 years, in partnership with the state, has enabled Kentucky high school students to engage in the arts during a three-week, tuition-free, immersive residential summer program, providing instruction in nine disciplines: Creative Writing, Dance, Design, Drama, Film + Photography, Instrumental Music, Musical Theatre, Visual Art and Vocal Music.
Brooks’ artistic and professional background include more than 15 years of experience in the arts, program administration, organizational leadership, and advancing inclusive excellence in education. Brooks most recently served as the Executive Director for Institutional Engagement at the University of Kentucky. Prior to that position he served as the Director of Education at the Martin Luther King Cultural Center at the University of Kentucky. Prior to coming to Kentucky, he served as Assistant Dean of Students for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas.
Brooks discovered music at an early age, becoming an avid musician and mastering seven different instruments by the age of 15. By age 16, his musical talent had taken him across the United States and Europe. After transitioning from performing to teaching to become a music educator, Brooks taught band, choir and orchestra across public and private schools in Kansas and Missouri before moving into higher education as a student affairs administrator. Brooks has performed with various orchestras and bands throughout the Midwest and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
With this harmonious background in music, administration, education, and inclusion-focused programming, Brooks remains steadfastly dedicated to nurturing and promoting the arts, fostering environments where creativity flourishes and thrives for all.
“Jason’s wealth of professional and artistic experience, as well as his warm and inclusive leadership style, make him a wonderful addition to GSA’s community of artists,” said Nick Covault, Vice President of Education & Community at Kentucky Performing Arts. “We’re genuinely excited to see how he applies his talents and knowledge to GSA as the program evolves in the coming years under his leadership.”
Brooks officially began his role as GSA Director on December 4, 2023.