The Vermont Governor's Institute on the Arts (GIA)

... is a 2-week intensive program for high school students finishing grades 9-11.

GIA is a lively artistic community, bringing together outstanding professional teaching artists and curious, motivated students to explore the process of creativity. The approach is one of exploration and refining artistic processes, rather than that of a conservatory. It is the largest and oldest Institute conducted by The Governor’s Institutes of Vermont, enrolling over 100 students each year.

The Institute is held on Castleton University's campus each summer during the last week of June and the first week of JulyApplication deadlines vary by school. Find this year's dates here.

Want more specifics? Explore our Life at GIA page and check out our CLASSES & OFFERINGS.

Our Mission

We seek to enrich the lives of a diverse group of Vermont high school students by providing a positive, empowering learning environment that engenders artistic growth and an awareness of how to work together in a community.

By challenging students to take risks and view familiar subjects in new ways, we encourage growth in three specific areas: the creation of art,

  • for art’s sake

  • as a member of an artistic community

  • in relation/reference to the world

GIA offers classes unlikely to appear in VT high schools’ art curricula while providing students the opportunity to study and collaborate with professional artists and their peers in these diverse fields.


Top 10 Skills Learned from the Arts

  1. Creativity

  2. Confidence

  3. Problem Solving

  4. Perseverance

  5. Focus

  6. Non-Verbal Communication

  7. Receiving Constructive Feedback

  8. Collaboration

  9. Dedication

  10. Accountability

Check out The Washington Post's article about the role of arts education in developing these skills.

Learn more about all of the Institutes, or consider making a donation:


GIA is a part of the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont offering eleven different Summer Institutes — and Winter Weekends in February – including: