Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association

To encourage diversity in the live event design community, LDI, in partnership with TSDCA and USITT, announces three $5,000 Pat MacKay Scholarships for undergraduate students. This scholarship is to support the underrepresented and unique voices in the field of entertainment. These scholarships are funded by LDI/Live Design International.

The “Diversity In Design” scholarships are named for Pat MacKay, formerly publisher of Theatre Crafts and Lighting Dimensions magazines and founder of the LDI Trade Show and Conference. She is a USITT Fellow and has served as a mentor for multiple generations of industry professionals.

TSDCA will administer the sound design scholarships, while USITT will administer those for lighting and digital media design. Both organizations have non-profit 501C3 status.

Students enrolled in lighting, digital media, and sound design programs on an undergraduate level, as well as high school seniors who have been accepted to an undergraduate college or university design program, are eligible to apply online here.

Students applying for the scholarships will be requested to provide:

  • Copies of their work, such as a digital design portfolio, or audio samples;
  • References/recommendations from teachers/collaborators;
  • A short essay on why they would like to win this scholarship and their career goals;
  • List those underrepresented communities they identify with.

Each student that is selected for one of the Pat MacKay Scholarships will receive up to $5,000, spread out over a maximum of eight semesters, or $1,250 per year, paid by semester directly to the school. In order for the students to get the next year’s payment, they must show progress toward their degree, show at least a 2.5 GPA, and provide a letter of support from their mentor with an update on how they are progressing as designers.


The application process will open on April 15, and the deadline is May 15.

The 2019 scholarships will be announced in late May.

About LDI

Founded in 1988, LDI (Live Design International) connects design, technology, and production to the live audience experience. As the leading conference and tradeshow for live design professionals from all around the globe, LDI hosts over 14,000 members of the production community, working in a wide range of international live and broadcast venues – festivals, corporate events, theatre, concerts, clubs,  theme parks, architainment, and houses of worship. Our community travels from more than 80 countries to see the latest entertainment technology in action, refresh their knowledge, and replenish their creativity.


The United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) was founded in 1960 as an organization to promote dialogue, research, and learning among practitioners of theatre design and technology. Today it has grown to include members at all levels of their careers and has embraced the new technologies being used in entertainment. USITT is now the leader in life-long learning opportunities for the entertainment design and technology industry. Its mission is to connect performing arts, design and technology communities to ensure a vibrant dialog among practitioners, educators, and students.


The Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association (TSDCA) is a professional membership organization of sound designers and composers for the performing arts working in the United States. Through advocacy, ongoing education, mentorship, and outreach, we seek to advance our community and promote sound design and composition as vital artistic components of the collaborative art of live theatre. TSDCA is not a union or collective bargaining unit, but will provide a forum for sound designers and composers to exchange ideas and engage in activities that will strengthen our field and reinforce our standing as artists in the theatre community.