USITT25 Gateway Applications Now Open!

April 9, 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.   

Past participants have used Gateway as an opportunity to grow as artists and to expand their professional networks. Check out some quotes from our past mentees below!

“Getting the opportunity to learn from incredibly talented individuals and see what the industry is like, and to do so with a group of people like me, uplifting the LGBTQ community, is honestly a dream come true” -Taylor Tousignant, USITT24 Mentee

“Having a mentor to help navigate through the conference is immensely beneficial, as it can be very intimidating to do so on your own” -Anthony Arzate, USITT24 Mentee

“It is very exciting to be part of the Gateway Program at USITT. It is a great opportunity for individuals that form part of underrepresented populations to be able to connect with others that may also face the same challenges while allowing them to collaborate in an empowering way.” Naiomy Perez Del Valle, USITT24 Mentee

If you would like to apply to be a mentee, click the link button below to learn more!

Interested in being a Gateway Mentor? You can apply for that at the link below too! Our mentors help guide our mentees through the Conference, providing them with networking opportunities, resume help, and more! Our mentors have great things to say about Gateway too! Here are some quotes from our USITT24 Mentor cohort:

“I was inspired to be a Gateway mentor because I really appreciate what Gateway is. It’s all about being inclusive. People that are either newer in this field or need that additional support to network at a Conference of this size, you don’t see a lot of these opportunities offered at a technical theatre Conference, so it’s really amazing that USITT has decided to pair mentees with mentors of varying degrees of experience to help them navigate the conference.”

“I was actually a Gateway mentee back in 2016. My mentor was the lovely Andi Lyons, who is a huge force within the theatre world and within USITT, so I really wanted to be able to give back in the same way that they helped me.”