LOUISVILLE, Ky. (December 4, 2023) – 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.


GSA is a public/private partnership inaugurated in 1987 by Kentucky Performing Arts, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and numerous private supporters. Today, the vital funding required to make GSA a reality is provided by the state through the leadership of the Governor’s Office and the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, The Kentucky General Assembly, as well as the Kentucky Performing Arts Endowment Fund, David F. Young and Cheryl Cahill, Toyota Motor Manufacturing and more than 300 corporations, parents, educators, alumni and friends of GSA.


Bringing world class performances to Kentucky, connecting artists with the community, and providing arts education opportunities, Kentucky Performing Arts lives its statewide mission of to connect and inspire through the arts. Kentucky Performing Arts has a significant impact on the Commonwealth’s tourism and local economy, contributing more than $15.8 million in an average year with our patrons spending an additional $10.5 million annually.  As an integral member of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet, Kentucky Performing Arts, along with the other agencies, seeks to preserve and promote the history, heritage, and arts of the Commonwealth.

Three locations in Louisville make up the family of venues under the Kentucky Performing Arts umbrella:

  • The Kentucky Center at 501 W. Main St.
  • The Brown Theatre, 315 W. Broadway
  • Old Forester’s Paristown Hall, 724 Brent St.
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