Gateway Program

Applications are no longer being accepted for the 2024 cohort. Applications for the 2025 cohort will open April 1, 2024

USITT’s Gateway Program was launched in 2014 in memory of our colleague, Tayneshia Jefferson, who fought for underrepresented populations in the industry. This unique, customizable mentorship program fosters opportunities for those who identify with an underrepresented population. It allows an individual to work with a mentor to tailor their learning goals and career development while attending the upcoming conference with the financial support of USITT. In addition, it offers a vast network of industry professionals for mentees to learn and engage with during their time at USITT and beyond. 

The Gateway Program is a brave space with the intention of building community. It provides the tools and resources to empower our mentees and mentors by working to cultivate intentional, lasting relationships through collaborative, community-based mentorship. It is also a training program that will provide some career development curriculum and other resources to mentees during their time at the USITT Conference. This program is for students currently enrolled in an academic program or recently graduated, individuals re-entering the industry, and folks seeking resources that have not been easily accessible to them during their time spent in the arts.   

If you would like the opportunity to be a mentee with the upcoming cohort then please click the "Apply Now” button above. The Gateway co-coordinators will reach out to you directly if you are being considered as a mentee for the upcoming USITT Conference.   

If you would like the opportunity to be a mentor then please fill out the portal below. Once submitted, a mentor profile will be created with your information for the Gateway co-coordinators to review for proceeding cohorts. Please note that submission of an application does not guarantee selection as a mentor AND that your profile will stay on file for future years of Gateway. The Gateway co-coordinators will reach out to you directly if you are being considered as a mentor for an upcoming USITT Conference.  

Those who want to help support USITT in its equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts can do so by contributing to the Tayneshia Jefferson Fund for Inclusion HERE. You may learn about all other USITT donor opportunities HERE.

If you have questions, please email We appreciate your time in applying to the Gateway Program.