Pat MacKay Diversity In Design Scholarships

Applications are now open for the 2024 Pat MacKay Diversity In Design Scholarships.

Founded in 2019, and funded by LDI and Live Design, the goal of the Diversity In Design scholarships is to support underrepresented and unique voices in the field of entertainment design. The scholarships are named for Pat MacKay, former publisher of Theatre Crafts and Lighting Dimensions magazines and founder of the LDI Trade Show and Conference. MacKay is a USITT Fellow and has served as a mentor for multiple generations of industry professionals.

Pat MacKay
Pat MacKay

The Pat MacKay Diversity in Design scholarships are awarded to students currently enrolled in lighting, digital media, and sound design programs on an undergraduate level, as well as high school seniors who have been accepted to an undergraduate college or university design program.

LDI 2024, in partnership with TSDCA and USITT, with additional support from Lightswitch in 2023, presents scholarships to students in various disciplines of live design. Applications are welcome from undergraduate students of lighting design, sound design, and video/projection design programs at accredited universities.  

Each student selected for one of the Pat MacKay Scholarships will receive up to $5,000, spread out over a maximum of eight semesters, or $1,250 per year, paid by semester directly to the school. In order for the students to get the next year’s payment, they must show progress toward their degree, show at least a 2.5 GPA, and provide a letter of support from their mentor with an update on how they are progressing as designers.

2023 Pat MacKay Diversity In Design Scholarship Recipients Announced
2023 Pat MacKay Diversity In Design Scholarship Recipients

The details

  • DEADLINE: May 23, 2024. 
  • Recipients will be invited to the LDI Trade Show & Conference in Las Vegas, NV, Dec. 4 -10, 2024.
  • A panel of industry professionals, including working designers, Live Design editors, and Pat MacKay, will select this year's recipients from the fields of lighting and digital media, TSDCA will select the sound design scholarships.
  • Students applying for the scholarships will be requested to provide:
  • Copies of their work, such as a digital design portfolio, or audio samples;
  • References/recommendations from teachers/collaborators;
  • A short statement on why they would like to win this scholarship and their career goals;
  • A list of the underrepresented communities they identify with.
  • Successful applicants will be announced in late June.

Additional Criteria:

  • Presently a senior in high school or enrolled in an undergraduate design program. 
  • Must be involved in study—or if a senior in high school, must have accepted admission to—an appropriate area of study related to design, technology, or other production program in entertainment technology and performing arts, including theatre, concerts, architainment, or venues.
  • Interested in further study in lighting, video/projection, or sound disciplines, including design and programming.
  • Meets the diversity criteria as described: “… to encourage the involvement in the profession of a variety of people in terms of race, ethnic background, religion, age, sexual orientation or gender identity, and those differently abled, as well as the diversity of geography, employer groups, philosophies, and career choices within the broad field of entertainment design.”
  • LDI and Live Design do not discriminate  on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, mental or physical disability, political belief or affiliation, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under state or federal law.