Victoria Nicolette Gist, Stella Katz, and Regan A. McKay are the inaugural recipients of the new Willa Kim Costume Design Scholarship, honoring the late costume designer by paying it forward to student artists.
Theatre Communications Group, along with the Estate of Willa Kim, provide costume designers enrolled in a university or professional training program with additional training.
“Willa was passionate about making it possible for early-career costume designers to develop their skills in the arts of drafting and drawing, particularly as they decline in the advance of drafting software” said TCG Exectuive Director Teresa Eyring in a statement. “Thanks to support from The Estate of Willa Kim, this scholarship program will empower them to strengthen their craft and deepen the range of their artistry.”
Gist, Katz, and McKay will receive up to $7,500 to be used towards tuition, registration, and/or supplies for training in hand-drawing and/or painting beyond their regular academic curriculum for one year. Gist is a current MFA candidate at the University of Houston with a focus in costume design; Katz is a current BFA candidate studying theatre arts design and technology with a concentration in costume design at SUNY New Paltz; McKey will start her first year of her masters at San Diego State University, studying costume design.
The judging panel consisted of Andre Harrington, costume designer and theatre arts associate professor, California State University, San Bernardino; Irina Kruzhilina, costume designer and visual dramaturg; and Ilona Somogyi, costume designer and assistant professor adjunct of design, Yale School of Drama.
Kim won a Tony Award for her design of The Will Rogers Follies in 1991, 10 years after her first win for Sophisticated Ladies. She earned nominations for her work on Goodtime Charley, Dancin’, Song and Dance, and Legs Diamond. She was also a three-time Drama Desk winner, having been nominated five times in total. She was awarded Patricia Zipprodt Award for Innovative Costume Design by New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology in 2003 and the Distinguished Achievement Award for Costume Design from the United States Institute for Theatre Technology in 2005. Two years later, Kim was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.
She passed away December 24, 2016.