My Picture With Craig

29 Jul

This summer, I have been interning in the Marketing Department of American Ballet Theatre. I have been working in their office on projects such as helping to create and edit advertising for the Fall Season at the Koch Theater and The Nutcracker at BAM, and doing researching for audience development. I also worked selling ABT merchandise at The Metropolitan Opera House, where ABT performs for eight weeks during their spring season. One of my favorite aspects of my internship, however, is working with the marketing staff on fun and creative ways to advertise and use social media. From picking Nutcracker pictures to finding Shakespeare quotes to go with photos from The Dream, I really loved being able to contribute to the marketing of ABT.

One of my favorite moments of my internship was taking this picture with ABT Soloist Craig Salstein backstage at the Met that was posted on ABT’s Facebook and Twitter pages. We took the photo because we both happen to be triplets! It was a creative way in which we could advertise the internship program at ABT, while giving people a backstage look at the Met and an ABT dancer. I am really glad I had the opportunity to meet Craig and help advertise the internship program, all while getting a behind-the-scenes look at how ABT runs their spring season at the Met. I am thankful for the opportunities I have had while interning at ABT, and recommend the program to anyone interested in learning first-hand about Arts Management or Arts Education.

Alexandra Tweedley
Summer 2014 Marketing Intern

Alexandra with fellow triplet ABT Soloist Craig Salstein backstage at the Met

Alexandra with fellow triplet ABT Soloist Craig Salstein backstage at the Met

Why Do People Become Donors?

27 Jun

I come from a country where the structure to sustain the arts is not based on philanthropic donations; so one of my priorities for my first internship in the U.S. was to gain hands on experience in a great arts organization, where I could feel inspired for what they do, and where I could understand what makes people become donors and/or members; there was no better option than American Ballet Theatre to learn about it!

 

By interning at the Membership Department I learned that people can join the organization starting with only $75 a year – about 20c per day – and every level of donation gets specific benefits such as: dress rehearsals, studios visits, letters, magazine and season information in advance. ABT offers two different categories for ballet goers;  subscription and the membership. The subscription relates only to tickets, as people get discounts for purchasing in advance a package of tickets, ensuring themselves great locations even before the general public tickets go on sale. In this category there are series of 3, 4 and 5 performances, as well as series for families and special events. The second category is Membership where people give donations in exchange for benefits and is highly recommended for ballet lovers.

From my previous experience, people who help sustain arts organizations often look for something in exchange for their support.  From my time at American Ballet Theatre,  I realized that people donate and become members because they care for the mission of the organization and they trust in the high quality art form that is being represented and the belief of a shared responsibility of supporting the arts. This support is critical for all arts organizations.

The organization draws members in and keeps them interested by preparing different kind of events such as studios visits, sneak peaks, classes and seminars to offer to ballet lovers. Other kinds of efforts are also coordinated with other departments to send subscriptions guides, brochures, calendars, and invites. Lastly, as part of this amazing experience I had the chance to help with the database where all the member’s information is gathered. That allowed me to better understand how the organization classifies members, donors and subscribers by their preferences, seats and performances among other options.

It has been an interesting journey at ABT where I have started learning how one of the best ballet organizations in the world prepares their “behind the scenes” process…..the administrative side of the America’s National Ballet Company to keep the show on! Thanks American Ballet Theatre for this amazing experience.

 

Angelica M. B. Nanez

Membership Intern

Spring 2014

 

Angelica

Ode to Raiser’s Edge

27 Jun

When you walk through the doors of 890 Broadway, take a ride in the man-operated elevators, and breeze past the studios to your desk, there is one thing you will inevitably encounter as an ABT intern: Raiser’s Edge, a fundraising database.

Although not the most glamorous and exciting feature of being an intern at one of the greatest ballet companies of the world, it is certainly important. In fact, I could say that it is the spine of the Development department. For any future intern, it is definitely a perk to have experience battling this sometimes frustrating software – but if you don’t, have no fear.

During the intern orientation, we all took a crash course on the workings of the database taught by ABT’s Database Manager. For the special events intern, be prepared to tackle Raiser’s Edge on a daily basis. All of the guests attending the Spring Gala are entered into the Spring Gala 2014 record along with information specific to that evening such as guests names and ticketing info (if you do become the special events intern, beware of the “pre-performance” data entry. You will slowly learn that RE can be your worst enemy as well as your best friend).

It can be overwhelming at times, especially when facing with the challenges of patrons who have the same name, or waiting for its long loading time. But by the end of your internship, you can proudly write on your resume that you have experience in entering and organizing information for over one thousand guests on the most popular non-profit database software!

 

Angela Hilario

Special Events Intern

Spring 2014

A Great First Week!

12 Jun

I have only been working as the Education Outreach Intern at ABT for less than a week, but already, it has been a great experience.

On my first day of work, I entered 890 Broadway somewhat nervously.  But as I sat in the lobby, waiting for the orientation to begin, I met most of the other interns – each one friendly, bubbly, and excited to be here.  Right off the bat, I had a good feeling about what this summer would bring.

The orientation was quite laid-back and fun.  We played an icebreaker – two truths and a lie, chatted and joked over pizza, and answered the most important question of the day – “What is your favorite M&M color?”

Green.  Of course!

I think I passed the test ;)

We did take care of the necessary logistics, too.  Dennis Walters, the Associate Director of Education and Training and the head of the internship program, explained details of the contract, walked us through the calendar of events (which is very exciting!), and answered our questions.  Then, off we went!  Each to our respective departments to meet with our mentors about our specific duties.

Since I am the Education Outreach Intern, I work closely with Dennis Walters on a number of projects, including Young Peoples Ballet Workshops, pre-performance workshops, and the Make a Ballet program.  But the very first thing I was trained in was the archival of the Summer Intensive Program DVDs.  Though I made a few silly blunders at first (I’ll blame it on the nerves), Dennis took everything in stride, with a large dose of patience and a great sense of humor.

As if my first day on the job hadn’t been exciting enough, I jumped on the subway after work to go see Julie Kent and Roberto Bolle perform in Manon at the Metropolitan Opera House.  5th row center orchestra!  Not bad for $25 student rush tickets! What a spectacular way to end a great day.

Day 2 was very different, but just as enjoyable.  I got to accompany Dennis to PS20 – a public elementary school in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.  It was such a treat to see the 5th grade class put on their end-of-year show – the culmination of weeks of collaborative work between the students, their teachers, a program called Rosie’s Theater Kids, and ABT staff members.  I couldn’t help but smile with delight watching these kids perform with so much enthusiasm!  They weren’t afraid to put themselves out there, fully extended jazz hands and all!  However cliché this may sound, there’s really no better way to put it – the pure joy that they found in dancing was both utterly contagious and incredibly inspiring.

If the first two days of my internship are any indication of how the rest of the summer is going to play out, I can’t wait.

 

Ileana Riveron, Education Outreach Intern

Summer 2014

The 5th grade students of P.S 20 enjoying a moment after their final showcase with Rosie's Theatre Kids

The 5th grade students of P.S 20 enjoying a moment after their final showcase with Rosie’s Theatre Kids

National Training Curriculum

3 Jun

 

As I wrap up my internship at American Ballet Theatre, I look back on all the exciting opportunities I had. There were the little things like riding the elevator with Julie Kent or peeking in on company class on the way to the copy machine, but being behind the scenes of the training programs was where I learned the most.

 

As the National Training Curriculum Intern, I worked closely with Meghan Love on teacher training sessions and affiliate exams. I learned so many valuable skills and got to network with some amazing teachers. I assisted with three simultaneous teacher training sessions, consisting of more than 100 teachers from all over the world. I got to sit in on some of the lectures, update the schedules, work the boutique, and process payments. My favorite part of the job was serving as a proctor for the Pre-Primary through Level 3 written and oral exams. Having just taken the exam a couple months prior, I felt like I could really relate to the teachers. It was fascinating to sit in on the exam and listen to the examiner’s comments.

 

Not only did I get hands-on experience in the office, but I also got to learn from the best in our weekly intern meeting. Guest speakers included Rachel Moore- CEO, Misha Ilyin- former dancer and current JKO school instructor, and Brian Heidtke- Vice President & Treasurer. On our final week, we were able to meet with Principal Conductor, Charles Barker, and watch a dress rehearsal of La Bayadère. Getting to hear of their experiences was truly inspiring.

 

For someone who loves the arts, working as an intern at ABT is definitely worth-while.   If you’re looking to gain some experience in a non-profit organization, this is the perfect place for you!

 

Sarah Jones

National Training Curriculum Intern

Spring 2014

It All Started When…….Make a Ballet and Romeo and Juliet

3 Jun

As the Spring 2014 Educational Outreach Intern, I had the opportunity to work on ABT’s award-winning outreach program, Make a Ballet (MAB). This year’s MAB topic is the Life and Works of William Shakespeare, which ties into the 450th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth and ABT Artist and Residence, Alexei Ratmansky’s new production of The Tempest, which had its world premier last Fall. The 2013-2014 MAB season also marks the 5th anniversary of ABT’s collaboration with P.S. 20 on the Lower East Side.

This year, the 5th Grade students at P.S. 20 participated in a Fall Residency that focused on the exploration of universal themes in Shakespeare, public speaking and presentations, and the creation of original prologues and soliloquies inspired by Romeo and Juliet. Then, in the Spring, they worked with ABT teaching artists to make connections between the Shakespeare classroom curriculum and dance in order to tell the story of Romeo and Juliet through movement. Under the direction of teaching artist Karen Lacy, they created their own ballet/ production inspired by Shakespeare, which they performed for the community and their peers.

During my internship I was able to observe the students’ progression from the classroom to the stage. I had the opportunity to attend both dance and design sessions at P.S. 20 in which the students learned basic ballet vocabulary and movement that was incorporated into the choreography for their very own ballet. In addition they created the artwork that became the sets to accompany the piece. I was impressed by the amount of focus, determination, and enthusiasm I saw in the classroom and I was excited to see it transfer to one of the largest stages in the world.

MAB culminated in a performance at the famous Metropolitan Opera House on May 29th as part of the Young People’s Ballet Workshop (YPBW). This is ABT’s largest outreach event of the year and draws almost 4,000 public school children from New York City and the surrounding metropolitan area. Many of these kids have never seen the ballet live, on stage, and most have never stepped foot inside the Met. A select number of students from P.S. 20 were chosen to perform an excerpt from their ballet at YPBW. They shared the stage with three other MAB schools—Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, the Waterside School, and P.S. 1—and ABT’s main company and Studio Company.

In Outreach, we’ve been gearing up for YPBW all semester. We created study guides, which were distributed to 32 participating schools. The teachers used these guides to prepare students for the performance. The guides included information about the ballets that were performed by ABT and the Studio Company, as well as worksheets about Shakespeare’s life, works, and language/ literary devices.

On the day of the Met performance, the MAB schools arrived early at the stage door so that they could have one final rehearsal before their big debut. Only a couple of hours later, 30 schools arrived at the front of the house eager to get to their seats. Seeing all of the kids bursting with excitement to be at the theater to see a live performance was a special experience. I loved hearing the resounding “Bravos” from the audience when Julie Kent and Marcelo Gomes finished dancing the pas de deux from Act II of Cinderella. And, the kids were in awe of the Studio Company dancers when they demonstrated turns and jumps. But, the kids were the most excited when the MAB portion of the program began. The famous sword fight from Romeo and Juliet was a big hit and the excerpt from The Dream got a lot of laughs.

The real stars of the show, though, were the MAB schools. P.S. 20’s piece, It All Began When… explored how the feud in Romeo and Juliet began. The kids looked very professional in their costumes and took command of the stage. They interlocked arms and made intricate patterns as they told their story through dance. The end result was breathtaking.

All of the students should be very proud of all that they accomplished this year. Young People’s Ballet Workshop was truly a memorable experience and I can’t think of a better way to conclude a fantastic internship with ABT.

 

Alanna Garcia

Educational Outreach Intern

Spring 2014

 

PS 20 Students creating the backdrop for their Romeo and Juliet set

PS 20 Students creating the backdrop for their Romeo and Juliet set

 

PS 20 5th Graders bringing the feud of the Montagues and Capulets to life with Teaching Artist Richard Toda

PS 20 5th Graders bringing the feud of the Montagues and Capulets to life with Teaching Artist Richard Toda

 

 

 

My Intern Experience

3 Jun

For my spring semester, I have been an intern with the Education and Training Department at American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. This experience has been very uplifting and has helped me develop personal and professional skills. This internship was my very first, and I am happy to have had the opportunity of it being at ABT. The work environment is very friendly and there is always someone to talk to. As an intern, my duties ranged from clerical task, to cleaning out and organizing rooms, and the most exciting of all, helping out at events such as the MET gala and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis student performances. Being able to get an inside look at how this company operates has truly been an eye opener for me. It was great to see how the company functions, and to know that at times everything is not always crystal clear or running as smoothly as it may seem. It was also an honor and privilege to meet with former and present dancers at ABT such as Mikhail “Misha” Ilyin and Misty Copeland as well as Chief Executive Officer, Rachel Moore, and ABT Trustee Brian Heidtke. The events I worked and attended were the highlight of my experience at ABT, and I was also very happy to gain my much needed office experience.

 

Mahalia Sealy

Training Programs Intern

Spring 2014

 

Mahalia Sealy in the Belmont Room at the Metropolitan Opera House

Mahalia Sealy in the Belmont Room at the Metropolitan Opera House

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