In Demand with ABT OnDemand!

21 May

One of the most interesting parts of being involved in a virtual internship is watching how different companies adapt to the current environment to stay relevant. Being in the arts and humanities industry, I figured that ABT would mostly be relying on the generosity of donors and members to help them stay afloat until they were once again able to perform. I was surprised to learn that not only were dancers still performing by utilizing a pod system, but the company was ensuring that performances were still being live streamed, and content was being presented.

I got to be a part of the launch of one of these efforts called ABT On Demand. Marketed as an online viewing platform, it would be a way for members to still find joy in performances even though they couldn’t attend live. This streaming platform would not only feature full length ballets, but Ballet Banter episodes, private classes, and other short films including the dancers. 

Once the platform launched however, we ran into a slew of problems that we weren’t entirely prepared for. Members were only allowed to access the streaming service if they gave above a certain amount in a calendar year or were a certain membership level. We were more than happy to extend access to anyone who requested it and made a generous donation.

However, we soon realized that we had donors who were donating their Met Subscriptions in place of cash donations. Because their donation was still accepted and typically fell over the required amount, we decided to also include them in the promotion. This led to an incredibly successful launch of ABT On Demand with viewers all over the world who were accessing our content. 

I loved being able to witness a project like this come to life and have a part in its success. Watching an industry that relies so heavily on its community be able to still provide for their supporters during a challenging time was incredibly satisfying. Knowing that people were consuming and enjoying the virtual performances gives me a lot of hope for the future of American Ballet Theatre for when we return to live shows.

Emma Titus

Patron Services Intern

Spring 2021

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