What do the days and Weeks look LIke?
In general, GIA days follow the same structure as a typical day though every day has tons of new, different and exciting workshops, specials, performance and more. The exceptions are Sundays which are each unique. And of course the Parade!!
WHAT’S THIS PARADE I KEEP HEARING ABOUT?
Led by our incredible Parade Wizard Sara Peattie, we take to the streets of Castleton with giants puppets, costumes, and samba drums! Remember to bring your water bottle, a white outfit, and close-toed walking shoes. Learn more on the parade page.
WHERE IS GIA HELD AND WHAT ARE THE FACILITIES LIKE?
GIA occurs on the campus of Castleton University in Castleton, VT. We have full use of their gorgeous, state-of-the-art Fine Arts Center and we also occupy dormitories, eat at their dining hall, and hang out in a number of the campus green spaces. We have a wonderful, long-standing, respectful relationship with Castleton’s campus and employees and we’re excited to welcome you into this environment and relationship.
WHERE DO I LIVE — AND WITH WHOM?
You’ll share a room in a dorm at Castleton with a roommate. Your room will be part of a small group of rooms (a suite) with a common space in the middle. You’ll have an RA who lives in your suite with you and your suite-mates, who’ll be an awesome, friendly resource for you to navigate GIA smoothly and safely. You’ll also have other RAs in your classes, so there will be lots of cool folks to connect with, befriend and answer questions! The community aspect is as important as the arts at GIA, so check out our community page.
WHAT'S IN MY ROOM WHEN I ARRIVE?
Each student gets their own bed, dresser, closet (though without hangers so bring some if you need them), desk and chair. There is an overhead light so feel free to bring a lamp and/or fan if that makes things feel more comfortable.
CAN I CHOOSE MY ROOMMATE?
Nope, we try our best to room you with someone you don’t know, actually. GIA is all about meeting new people and connecting with other VT artists from around the state in one big community. And, believe it or not, there’s so much to do that we don’t really spend that much time in our rooms except for all that necessary sleeping!
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT CLASSES I’M IN?
You’ll find out the class options for this year on Sunday when you arrive. You’ll have a chance to meet all the faculty and hear a little about each classes. On Sunday night you’ll pick some classes that you’d be interested in taking, and on Monday morning (once we’ve tried our best to get everyone into at least one—and often two—of their most favorite classes) you’ll find out which classes you’ve gotten in to. They are all great choices, so you can’t really go wrong in picking! To get a sense of classes that are offered, check out our CLASSES & OFFERINGS section in the menu, and visit the different options.
CAN I TAKE TWO CLASSES WITH THE SAME TEACHER?
Nope—and why would you? All of our faculty is fantastic and we want you to get a chance to learn from as many of them as possible, both in class and out. Visit our Faculty & Staff page to get a sense of the GIA team!
I AM A VEGETARIAN/VEGAN/HAVE ANOTHER DIETARY RESTRICTION. WILL THIS BE A PROBLEM?
It shouldn’t be. The cafeteria works hard to have vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, etc options available for us. If you’re concerned, let us or your RA know when you arrive and we’ll make sure you don’t go hungry.
CAN I ARRIVE EARLY?
No, we ask that everyone arrive on the first Sunday during scheduled registration (1:30 pm — 3:30 pm). If you are struggling to find a ride to GIA, let us know and we’ll try to connect you with another student coming from your area.
CAN I LEAVE EARLY?
No, all students participate in the entire duration of the institute. We work very hard to structure a holistic experience and the final hours are some of the most important. If you’re concerned about a conflict, please contact us.
I HAVE A CONFLICT ON A DAY DURING THE INSTITUTE. IS IT POSSIBLE FOR ME TO LEAVE BRIEFLY AND THEN RETURN?
Nope. We ask that you commit to the full experience for the duration of the institute, so we can’t have folks leaving during the GIA. We also find it is disruptive to more than just your experience (your classes, suite mates, room mate) which is another reason why we don’t allow it.
WHAT KIND OF SHOES SHOULD I BRING?
Every day you will walk the 8 minutes to and from the student dorms and the Fine Arts Center multiple times. This walk will seem like nothing after day one but it's important that you bring comfortable shoes, especially for the parade day. There are also times to dress up for Artist Series and performances so feel free to bring some fun pumps, glittery heels or your furry slippers(!) Other questions? See our list of what to bring.
I FORGOT SOMETHING! CAN MY PARENT/GUARDIAN DROP IT OFF TO ME?
If you forgot something, no worries, we just ask that parents drop it off to us at the Fine Arts Center Box Office and we will be sure that it gets to you.
CAN I DRIVE MYSELF TO THE INSTITUTE?
You may drive yourself to the institute, however, once you arrive you may not return to your car (even to get something out of it) until the institute finishes on the final Sunday. We don’t collect your keys because we trust you. So just get everything that you need out of your car when you arrive and then lock it up for two weeks.
I WON’T HAVE A CELL PHONE—HOW DO I CALL HOME?
If you need to call home but don’t have the means, just come by the Box Office and you’re always welcome to make a call from our phone.
DO I NEED TO BRING MONEY TO THE INSTITUTE?
You absolutely do not need to bring money, BUT sometimes our artist series guests sell their CDs and other merchandises. GIA sells T-shirts and postage stamps. Please remember that Castleton asks for a $40 DEPOSIT for your room key that can be a check or cash. THIS WILL NOT BE CASHED/KEPT UNLESS YOU LOSE YOUR KEY. If this is a problem for you, please contact us in advance.
IS THERE A PLACE ON CAMPUS WHERE I CAN BUY FOOD/SUPPLIES/ETC?
We eat in the Dining Hall three times a day. If you think you'll be hungry more often than that, you may want to pack some extra snacks. There are some vending machines (though they are not always stocked) in the dorms, so feel free to bring dollar bills and quarters. Students are expected to bring what they need BUT, if you run out of shampoo please let us know and we can always help you out.
CAN I SEND AND RECEIVE MAIL AT GIA?
You betcha! Outgoing mail gets dropped off at the Fine Arts Center box office (you’ll know where this is) and incoming mail will arrive each morning in the gallery near the office.
The address to send mail to GIA is:
YOUR STUDENT’S NAME
Governor’s Institute on the Arts
c/o Castleton University
Fine Arts Center Box Office
Castleton, VT 05735