My Summer at ABT

22 Aug

I have always believed there is something incredibly special about dance. Though I grew up dancing, I gave it up in high school to focus more on music and theater, but had the great pleasure of seeing some of my closest friends pursue their art through dance and loved getting to sit in the audience and experience the joy that they embodied on stage. I feel so lucky that I got to experience that same joy at ABT this past summer in their first Met season back since the COVID-19 pandemic.  

In my first semester of graduate school this past spring, I took a course in fundraising and development for the arts that focused largely on non-profit organizations. Everything I learned that semester piqued my interest in development, which led me to apply to ABT’s summer internship program. I was so thrilled to have the opportunity, and even more thrilled when I got the offer. This summer was an incredible educational experience, from learning all about donor relations and gift entry in Raiser’s Edge to working on the board of trustees handbook for the upcoming fall season and sitting in on Development staff meetings to learn all about the day-to-day in the department and what it takes to run a successful performance season from an administrative standpoint. None of it ever felt like busy work: I truly felt like I was contributing to the department as the summer went on. In addition to learning in a very hands-on environment, the professional development aspect of the internship program was beyond amazing. We heard from people across several departments every week, all the way up to the company’s Artistic Director and the CEO, and gained some incredibly valuable advice and perspective on the different paths a career in arts administration can take. Getting to attend performances by world-class dancers was the icing on the cake.  

Everyone I encountered at ABT fostered an environment where the interns really felt like part of the team. I cannot recommend applying to this internship enough: learning from some of the best in the business was invaluable, and I am so grateful to the entire Development staff – especially my wonderful mentor Alyssa Stewart – for being so welcoming, and to Naomi Gewanter and Julie Solomon for leading our intern cohort this summer. I am so looking forward to what comes next with this fantastic experience under my belt.   

Christa Ryan  

Development Executive Office Intern

Summer 2022 


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