Howard Vincent Kurtz Student Engagement Grant Award Winner

February 1, 2024

Congratulations to all of our award winners! Our Howard Vincent Kurtz Student Engagement Grant winner will be honored on Thursday, March 21, at our Awards Awards Awards ceremony in Seattle as part of our USITT24 Conference & Stage Expo. Join us for the ceremony, and afterward be one of the first on the Expo floor as our winners drop the rope and open it for attendees!

We are excited to announce that our inaugural winner of this grant is Marisa Lawrence!

Howard Vincent Kurtz Student Engagement Grant

Student Engagement Grants encourage and support emerging theater artists. They are given annually and provide financial assistance to USITT student members. Funding for this award is generously provided by Howard Vincent Kurtz, Professor Emeritus of Costume Design and Costume Commissioner at USITT.

Marisa Lawrence
Marisa Lawrence

Marisa is an interdisciplinary artist currently studying for her MFA in Costume Technology at the University of Texas at Austin. Originally from Houston, TX, Marisa grew up sewing and developing a love for craftwork at an early age. She has always had a hunger to challenge herself creatively and explore multi-media art forms including traditional art, theatre, photography, and interactive art. After graduating from NYU with a degree in Game Design in 2017, she went on to freelance, work on personal art projects, and most notably hold stitching positions at the Santa Fe Opera, the Alley Theatre, and the Chicago Opera Theatre. She is currently gathering research on the intersection between her two fields of study, and integrative Costume Technology applications beyond the stage and screen. She will defend her thesis in the Spring of 2025, and then go where the wind takes her!

“I feel so honored and grateful to be the first recipient of the Kurtz Grant. I'm also super excited to have the opportunity to move forward with my research! Costume Technology is such an important and rich part of our industry, and I hope to use this grant to continue to propel it forward. A million thanks to USITT, the awards committee, and Howard Kurtz”