Helping to Ensure the Future of America’s National Ballet Company

8 Aug

After working here this summer, it doesn’t surprise me why American Ballet Theatre is one of the greatest ballet companies in the world. Growing up as a classical ballet dancer, I’ve always admired ABT dancers’ impeccable artistry and athleticism. What I didn’t know was that, behind the scenes, ABT’s administrative staff is equally as hard-working and talented. It has been a privilege to work with the Development Department this semester. Due to the COVID-19 crisis and all live performances being canceled, the role of raising funds for America’s National Ballet Company felt particularly significant this summer.

As the Development Assistant Intern, I jumped right in assisting primarily with the Board of Governing Trustees and Major Gifts. I was trusted with tasks I never dreamed of and given hands-on experience drafting acknowledgment letters, researching donor prospects, updating Raiser’s Edge, and creating statistical graphs for a presentation to the Board. I felt like my mentor, Kaitlyn, truly valued my ideas and challenged me to use my writing skills and creativity in new ways.

Although I never stepped foot in 890 Broadway, I was still given so many opportunities to learn about all aspects of this incredible institution. For example, the “Coffee Chat” zoom I joined, hosted by Executive Director Kara Medoff Barnett and Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. This conversation focused on ABT’s plans for the near future and included staff, major donors, and board members. It was inspiring to be surrounded by those who share my passion for dance, with everyone working towards the goal of making ballet more accessible and inclusive for all. It struck me that these people are powerful performing arts advocates, rallying together to ensure the future of ballet at this crucial time.

While a remote internship is not what I expected this term, ABT’s administrative staff still inspired, motivated, and mentored me throughout this entire experience. As my internship comes to an end, I know the skills I’ve gained will serve as the perfect foundation for any arts administration career path I choose. Whether on-stage or on-screen, I’m grateful to have been a part of sharing ABT’s beauty, innovation, and power with audiences around the world.


Nicole Case

Development Assistant Intern

Summer 2020

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