KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The University of Missouri - Kansas City Costume Design and Technology program was named as one of the top 10 best by Hollywood Reporter.
"It was exciting for us because most people who are going into the entertainment industry usually want to be on the coasts," said Lindsay W. Davis, Professor of Costume Design at the university. "They either want to be in Los Angeles or New York. So for us to emerge as a top 10 program, it was really great, really beneficial to our area and certainly to our theater community here in Kansas City."
Other schools selected for the honor include UCLA, NYU, Yale and an art school in London. The article notes UMKC's smaller class size as one of the reasons its students are successful. The Masters program at UMKC is small, with only 2-3 students being selected each year.
"We have to work face-to-face and one-on-one with each student to really teach them all of the skills," said Sarah M. Oliver, Assistant Teaching Professor of Costume Technology. "We may do tailoring and they may spend 30 hours stitching a costume with me standing right beside them looking at every single stitch that they made and correcting it. You can't do that if you have 20 students in the room."
"You can't take students if you don't give them opportunities," said Davis.
Unlike other costume design programs, UMKC teaches both design and technology under the same Masters program.
"Our idea and our philosophy behind teaching is that design and technology go hand-in-hand," said Oliver. "Many programs make you go through a design track or a technology track. We believe you can't survive without both. It gives our students more options when they graduate."
Students that have graduated from UMKC have been very in the entertainment business.
"They're in New York, they are designing on Broadway, they are working at the Met, some of our students just got done tailoring for The Greatest Showman," said Oliver. "Our students have a network of alumni that they can tap into. We can set them up with internships, we can set them up to follow behind some of our graduates, which is great because they have a built in way to work."