American Repertory Ballet Costume Designer Janessa Cornell Urwin Awarded Professional Development Certificate in Costume Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)

Photograph: © 2016 Richard Termine PHOTO CREDIT – Richard Termine

Princeton, N.J. – American Repertory Ballet (ARB) costume designer Janessa Cornell Urwin has been awarded a professional development certificate in Costume Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).

“When I first began taking courses in FIT’s Costume Design program it was mainly to make sure my skills were on par with the highest industry standards,” says Urwin. The professors who teach in the program all have extensive credits ranging from Broadway, television and film, as well as the Metropolitan Opera, American Ballet Theatre, and New York City Ballet.

Urwin began her career as a dancer, studying at Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts and then dancing with Roxey Ballet and as a trainee with American Repertory Ballet. Since transitioning into costuming, Urwin has coordinated wardrobe for many productions, including ARB’s Nutcracker, Princeton Ballet School’s productions of Don QuixoteSwan Lake and Coppelia, and other repertory programs. Her design work with ARB includes Mary Barton’sShades of Time and Scarlet Sonata, Kirk Peterson’s Glazunov Variations and Carmen.  This upcoming season she will be designing Peterson’s new full length ballet Beauty and the Beast.

Ultimately, Urwin says the most valuable lesson she learned in her courses at FIT is that “costume designers are storytellers, and we must make every detail of the costume convey the narrative.”

To see Urwin’s designs and learn more about American Repertory Ballet, please visit

This post was written by Princeton Online.