Carolyn Elder served on the board of directors of California Educational Theatre Association (CETA) for 25 years and is a Past President. She attended CSU, Sacramento earning a B.A. in Theatre Arts, and a M.A. with an emphasis in Arts Education. While at CSUS, she worked in the costume shop as a stitcher, draper, cutter, and designer. After college, she continued designing for Sacramento area theatres.   As a middle school theatre teacher, she founded The CETA Middle Stage Fest and retired from Elk Grove Unified School District.   She is a Fellow of the California Arts Project and worked on the State of California’s writing committees for the California Visual and Performing Arts Framework and California State Standards.  In 2008, the American Association for Educational Theatre (AATE) awarded her the Lin Wright Award for “most improving theatre education for students, kindergarten through twelfth grade, in the United States.” In retirement, she continues to create historic clothing for her costume business—Costumes Enough, specializing in educational historic reenactments and, of course, playing with her dogs. In recognition of all her dedicated and meritorious years of service in the California Educational Theatre Association, as she retires from active service on our Board of Directors, CETA is honoring all Carolyn has achieved for theatre education, by creating the Carolyn Elder Scholarship in Theatrical Costume Design.

Application for the Carolyn Elder scholarship (click here)


Scholarship Information:

  • This annual scholarship is offered to a graduating high school senior planning to acquire a Theatre degree with a focus on Costume Design at an institution of higher learning.
  • The scholarship is paid through yearly contributions/donations from interested parties.
  • There will be only one recipient per year.
  • Nominations will come from theatre instructors who are either individual members of CETA or represent an institutional membership.

To be eligible the applicant must:

  • Be a senior in the year the award is presented.
  • Plan to declare a major or minor in Theatre at a college, university or art institute, with the goal of becoming a Theatrical Costume Designer
  • Be a dedicated theatre student
  • Have at least a 2.0 GPA

Application Procedure:

The student will gather all necessary items and be personally responsible for mailing application packet by December 31 to:
Amanda Swann, 17127 Gault Street, Van Nuys, CA 91406 or e-mail to

  • Application
  • Letter of recommendation from a high school theatre teacher
  • Proof of acceptance from an institution of higher learning
  • Letter of intent written by student outlining future goals in acquiring Theatre degree with a focus on Costume Design (not fashion design).
  • Copy of high school transcripts
  • A Curriculum Vitae

Selection Process:

There will be a digital presentation made to a selection committee.  Presentation will represent the student’s area of concentration in Theatrical Costume Design based on a Portfolio of both costume design and technical costume work.

Committee will select one recipient and the scholarship will be awarded at the annual CETA Awards Ceremony.

Donations to any of these scholarships are greatly appreciated. Please make your tax-deductable check payable to CETA. Be sure to designate the specific scholarship to which you want to contribute. Send your contribution to California Educational Theatre Association, 8033 Sunset Blvd, #440, Los Angeles, CA, 90046.

Full List of Scholarships