Three Questions with St. Louis Classical Guitar Society’s Kevin Ginty
13 June, 2018
Last summer, Kevin Ginty moved to St. Louis from Tallahassee, Florida to assume the role of Executive Director of the St. Louis Classical Guitar Society (an A&E grantee). In June, the organization moved into the Centene Center for the Arts, the arts incubator owned and operated by the Arts and Education Council (A&E). The Las Vegas native sat down with A&E to reflect on his first year in the Lou and his commitment to arts education and share what’s ahead for the 37-year-old organization.
What has been your impression of St. Louis since moving here last summer?
Before I came to St. Louis, I hadn’t really considered it much, but when my fiancé (now wife) and I visited, we fell in love with the city immediately. There is so much to offer here in terms of arts and culture, food and entertainment. We really love St. Louis. A year later, my wife and I are still finding lots of exciting things to do and places to eat.
What’s your arts story?
I was fortunate enough to have guitar as an elective in my middle school, which led me to attend a performing arts high school. I was sort of naïve in thinking this was a common experience for high school students to be so steeped in the arts. When I got to Florida, I saw the state of guitar and music education in public schools was so different than what I had experienced. I really felt inspired to do whatever I could to help change that and promote music education.
What’s on the horizon for St. Louis Classical Guitar Society?
It’s an interesting time for us. I’m the first change in leadership they’ve had in over 30 years. The biggest thing we are focusing on is expanding our education program.
We support 20 schools currently with teaching artists. We send a teaching artist who is knowledgeable about classical guitar and the curriculum we use to co-teach with the classroom music teacher at these schools. The classroom teacher can see how it works and eventually run it themselves. The most exciting vision that I see is getting these programs into the school day. Right now, a majority of our schools are after school programs, which are great for different reasons. They provide an outlet for students to have something productive and worthwhile to do after school, but our curriculum is really in-depth. It has nine levels, so working with the school districts for it to be a graded course during the school day would be the big picture dream for us.
For more information about the St. Louis Classical Guitar Society, visit guitarstlouis.net.
To support the 20 arts organizations incubating in the Centene Center for the Arts, make a gift to A&E today.