No Other Summer Compares

22 Aug

No other summer compares: I have never experienced so much professional growth and––what’s more––increased confidence in my own abilities as I have this summer with ABT!

I’ve lived within “the ballet world” for over half my life. As a teenager, I trained pre-professionally under former ABT Principal Dancer Gelsey Kirkland. An institution of American arts, ABT was always a dream company––but it was a dream I thought I had given up when I quit the pre-professional dance track to attend college. While in college, I received a grant to conduct an independent research project, and one of my most exciting findings was that I really enjoyed applying for grant funding! When I learned that ABT had an Institutional Support Internship (focused specifically on grant writing), it seemed like the perfect opportunity for me: I was eager to try my hand at writing grants for funding on a grand scale, while gushing over ballet and ABT!

The work was as rewarding as it was challenging. I was given a great amount of responsibility to be the lead on three final reports. I had the opportunity to work with ABT staff across five departments to compile the necessary data, and I came to understand grant writing as an incredibly collaborative team effort. I also enjoyed working with grants at many different stages––some in the preliminary proposal phase, others at midterm, others all set for final reporting. It was so exciting to follow the process and see firsthand the many amazing things ABT does with granted financial support!

Above all, I loved working “behind the scenes” at the Metropolitan Opera House alongside fellow interns and ABT staff: guiding patrons at the opening night Gala performance; talking ABT history with donors who’ve been dedicated fans for decades; volunteering for the Membership Table and helping new fans get more involved. The energy at the Met is, without fail, electric every evening, and it was wonderful to play a small part in it.

It was an incredible summer, and I’m so grateful to have spent this time with ABT.

Ashley Chenery                                 

Institutional Support Intern (Development)

Summer 2022


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