Student Engagement Grants

Nominations Accepted Through November 9, 2023

Nominate a deserving student for our brand-new Student Engagement Grants through Nov. 9, 2023! 

Student Engagement Grants funded by Professor Emeritus of Costume Design and USITT Costume Commissioner, Howard Vincent Kurtz, encourage and support emerging theater artists — the future of our industry.

Two students looking at name badge ribbons at registration at USITT23 in St. LouisThese grants support academic expenses such as research, travel to conferences or research institutions, and project completion — including supplementing a realized production. Grants cannot, however, be used for student loan repayment.

These grants are given annually and provide financial assistance to USITT student members with up to $1,200 to support academic costs and a complimentary full-Conference registration for USITT24 in Seattle!

Two students looking at a costume on display at USITT23 in St. LouisGrant winners will also be matched with a mentor in their discipline of theatre design and technology. Their chosen mentor will work with them for a minimum of six months from the time of award. This six month period offers time for mentorship, education, and a solid foundation to build a lasting relationship.

Up to two grants will be awarded annually. In the grant's initial year, preference will be given for costume artists.

For more information and to review eligibility and nomination details, click the Grant Guidelines button below.

Click here to hear Howard chat with us about the creation of Student Engagement Grants and his illustrious history with USITT and the industry.

Funding for this award is generously provided by Howard Vincent Kurtz, Professor Emeritus of Costume Design and Costume Commissioner in USITT. 

Meet Howard Vincent Kurtz

Howard Vincent KurtzHoward Vincent Kurtz has an extensive and diversified career in costumes, which has involved professional design, teaching, and curation. Kurtz holds a BFA in Technical Theater with a concentration in Costumes from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and an MFA in Theatre Arts with a dual concentration in Costume Design and Technology from Pennsylvania State University. He has created costumes for Broadway, Hollywood films, and television. Kurtz is Professor Emeritus of Theater at George Mason University, where he served as the Resident Costume Designer and Head of the Design Tech program. During that time, he was also Associate Curator of Costumes and Textiles at the Hillwood Museum and Gardens. Kurtz is a member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829 and has designed costumes at many regional theaters. In recognition of his exceptional professional work, Kurtz received the Helen Hayes Outstanding Costume Design Award in Washington, DC. He is a Fellow of the Costume Society of America and an active member of the United States Institute of Theater Technology.