The Governor's School for the Arts Foundation

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The Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities exists because of the unique vision, tireless dedication, and sheer determination of one individual: Dr. Virginia Uldrick. A trained musician and teacher, Dr. Uldrick initiated a Governor's School summer arts program in the early 1980s.

While that five-week summer program was immensely popular and successful year after year, Dr. Uldrick came to the conclusion that the state's emerging artists would be better served by a year-round, residential program. So she set out to cultivate the relationships-in both the private and the public sector- that would ultimately result in the construction and opening of the Governor's School in the fall of 1999.

Since the School’s inception, The Governor’s School for the Arts Foundation, Inc. has worked to achieve Dr. Uldrick’s vision. The Foundation supports the Governor’s School by funding needs not met by state operating funds, such as underwriting special programs, projects and experiences offered at the School and by providing financial and other assistance directly to the students. A dynamic partnership exists between the Foundation and the School – striving together to provide access to opportunities that will impact our state’s emerging artists in significant ways and opening doors to allow them to discover and nurture their full potential and talents.

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Historically, more than 25% of the Governor’s School summer program students have been granted full or partial scholarships to enable them to participate. Similarly, more than 30% of the residential students have received Foundation support to pay the annual $3,450 meal plan fee, which is the only cost to attend the School. In addition to student scholarships, the Foundation provides discretionary funding to each art department, as well as fully funding the Visiting Guest Artist and Presidential Guest Artist programs.

The critical difference in providing a good, basic program and a program of excellence is private support. Averaging more than $650,000 annually, the Foundation’s contributions to the School are funded statewide by gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations. These contributions ensure that South Carolina students receive not only exemplary arts and academic educations, but also unparalleled opportunities and access that pave their way for future success.