From Australia to ABT – An Intern Experience

10 Dec

by Michelle Neyland, Major Gifts & Institutional Support Intern

The time has flown by so quickly since I arrived in New York 4 weeks ago!  I flew in from Australia in September, from the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts as an Arts Management student, however nothing could have prepared me for the ABT experience. I have had the ride of my life in just three months and I cannot believe it has to end! The wonderful staff at ABT made me feel welcome as soon as walked in the door and I was put straight to work as a Major Gifts Intern and Intuitional Support Intern. It has been an extraordinary year for American Ballet Theatre and I have felt so fortunate to be a part of it! ABT’s tremendous efforts continue to lead them into ballet history!

The Fall Season approached, I was introduced to the world of events working on everything from invitation designs and RSVP’s, to hosting Major Donor and Membership events, while assisting throughout the entire Fall Season. The World Premier of Alexei Ratmansky’s Symphony # 9, part one of a tri-series choreographed by ABT’s Artist in Residence was a fabulous success. The celebration continued with a dedication to Rodeo’s 70th anniversary among other outstanding works. Every day and every night either side of performances were full of events. My Fall Season schedule began with ABT’s Opening Night Gala, where the incredible New York social scene came to life! I have never witnessed so many Oscar de la Renta dresses in one room—the fashionable showdown of ABT donors reminded me of a Hollywood movie scene. Between the photographers, celebrities and mingling with guests I did not sit down.

The Fall Season continued ABT’s momentum with the annual Chairman’s Council Curtain Call dinner. After guiding Chairman’s Council members to their tables, I was able to sit amongst the Major Donors, Artistic staff and Dancers to really absorb what ABT is all about. The support from donors seen throughout the development department particularly from the Special Gift and Major Gifts department was to the Company’s credit. The dedicated staff and public’s emphasis on the importance of art and culture in their society was emotionally elevating. The honor of working with such a leading arts Company, particularly in Development was intellectually and spiritually touching. Ratmansky is truly the Balanchine of the 21st century- ABT is making ballet history!

I have made the most amazing connections in this wonderful city and the dearest friends anyone could ever make!


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