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Jeanna DiPaolo Is Named the 2020 Willa Kim Costume Design Scholar

The Upstate New York costumer will receive $7,500 toward related studies that will complement her design work.

NEW YORK CITY: Theatre Communications Group (TCG) has announced that Jeanna DiPaolo is the recipient of the Willa Kim Costume Design Scholarship 2020. The scholarship gives costume designers enrolled in a university or professional training program the opportunity to supplement their fine arts training in hand-drawing and painting. Administered by TCG with support from The Estate of Willa Kim, the scholarship honors the legacy and work of costume designer Willa Kim.

“Costume design is a centuries-old craft, and Willa Kim wanted to ensure that early-career costume designers could fully develop their skills in the arts of painting and hand-drawing, and not just rely on software,” said Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG, in a statement. “Thanks to the estate of Willa Kim, this scholarship program will continue to empower recipients in strengthening their craft and deepening the range of their artistry.”

Each of the scholarship recipients receives up to $7,500 toward tuition, registration fees, supplies, and/or travel expenses over a one-year period. The scholarship panel included Jess Goldsten, a freelance costume designer in New York City; Andre Harrington, a costume designer and theatre arts associate professor at California State University, San Bernardino; and Irina Kruzhilina, a New York City costume designer and visual dramaturg.

Jeanna DiPaolo

The 2020 recipient, Jeanna DiPaolo (Harrison, N.Y.), is an upcoming senior at SUNY Purchase college, studying for a BFA in Costume Design. She grew up in Upstate New York, Averill Park. As a child she remembers sitting wide-eyed next to her grandma and dad watching old Hollywood films. The dazzling costumes of Orry-Kelly, Edith Head, and Travis Banton mesmerized her. She began sewing outfits for her dolls and gradually began designing and making costumes for all her school plays. The combination and interaction of art, history, fashion, and human behavior influences every character she designs.

“Willa Kim was deeply committed to ensuring that the next generation of costume designers have the skills to visually communicate their artistic voice,” said Emilya Cachapero, director of artistic and international programs at TCG, in a statement. “TCG is thrilled to honor her legacy by offering this scholarship to exceptionally talented designers who will soon take their place in the professional theatre.”

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