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One Actor’s Attempt to Split His Brain Between Art & Tech

28 Apr

Having been accepted to the Internship program as a ‘freelance marketing intern’, I have had the pleasure of carving out my own little niche at American Ballet Theatre.

From the time I was ten years old, I have been actively involved in the performing arts beginning with vocal music, followed after by acting and dance.  Upon entering college, I decided to major in graphic design and animation so as to lessen the financial burden of my acting career (headshots, reels, voiceover recordings, etc.).  In the process, I became completely interested in using technology to create art, from club posters to documentary films.  I found that the art I was most truly engaged in was art that I could not only perform, but bring to fruition according to my own design.

Upon joining ABT’s internship program, it was decided by my mentor, Dennis Walters, that my graphic design skills were best put to use by taking on various projects that granted me almost complete creative freedom, so long as I did not stray too much from ABT’s branding style.  For the first time, I felt like I had freedom, but at the same time felt restricted.  Most of my studies had been dedicated to designing whatever I wanted, any way that I wanted.  Working for ABT proved necessary for my professional development since, as a graphic designer, I must learn to adapt my skills to the branding style of whatever organization I am working for.  As a marketing intern, I must do what is best for the image of the organization, and not just what I think looks good to me.  This proved to be a blessing in disguise, as I am now more flexible idea-wise while brainstorming and am inspired to create multiple designs for each project I am assigned to, instead of settling on the first thing that satisfies my interests.

The sheer diversity of the projects I have been assigned thus far have truly pushed the bounds of my creativity, while providing some much needed practice in the various design software I learned to use in college.  Business cards, I.D. cards, stickers, posters, flyers, and brochures I have created during my internship will prove to be valuable additions to my professional portfolio as I advance in my career.  I am certain that my remaining time with ABT will continue to push the bounds of my creativity and provide me with many more opportunities to harness my craft and network with professionals in the arts.

Michael Petruso

Marketing Intern

Spring 2016

Marketing, Meat Judging and Ethan Stiefel

19 Jul

Intern Name: Cameron Morgan – @CameronMorgan_1 on Twitter/Instagram
Intern Department: Marketing
Intern Dates: Summer 2015

School/College/University: University of Oklahoma
Major: Ballet Performance & Public Relations
Year: Rising senior
Mentors/Bosses: Jim Timm, Dan Casatelli, Stephanie Rainess & Kristen McGuire
Fun Fact: I was a nationally ranked meat science judge through 4-H in high school. (Just ask Dennis)

Current Projects I worked on: A super-duper hush-hush project (!!!), research for the Fall 2015 Season (lots of new ballets and company premieres!), merchandising during shows at the Met, distributing promotional material for the Summer 2015 Met Season, and basically anything and everything they ask me to do!

* * *

This summer, I had the great fortune to intern with American Ballet Theatre. I worked in the Marketing Department and my responsibilities ranged from research to copyediting, with nearly everything in between. (But, I didn’t have to shred anything, make copies or fetch coffee, so that’s good!)

I loved coming to “work” every day here at American Ballet Theatre. In fact, they almost had to keep me from coming to the office! I’ve gotten to help on a number of projects that were essential to the marketing efforts of ABT, and I had fun doing it. I’ve learned a lot about the history of the company, both from an artistic and executive standpoint. And, what better season to intern at ABT than the 75th Anniversary?

As an aspiring professional dancer myself, I reveled in the fact that I got to see so many ballets this summer while working the merchandising boutiques at the Metropolitan Opera House. Honestly, what better inspiration than to see firsthand some of the greatest dancers in the world? In addition, I got to meet so many longtime supporters of Ballet Theatre, many of whom came night after night, show after show. Finally, I got to talk with many of the long-time volunteers and ushers who have watched ABT dancers for years.

This marketing internship combined my two passions, ballet and communication. I was able to see the behind-the-scenes of one of the greatest ballet companies in the world. I realized, in real-time, the impact of marketing and promotional efforts. Especially through social media, I was able to see how audiences reacted to the materials that we created and presented to them (photos and videos are extremely popular).

Overall, this internship has solidified my long-term goal: owning a public relations/marketing agency that caters to the needs of performing and fine arts organizations and the arts & culture sector. I found out obstacles that I would face in that endeavor as well – namely affordability, feasibility and artistic approval. However, in an effort to attract new audiences and retain current ones for the arts, we must find new ways to promote and connect with them. In the future, I hope to be able to take the experience that I have gained with ABT and use it in my career to help build the widest possible audience for the arts.

I’d like to thank all of the people here at ABT who I have met and who have invested their time in me. This has been a great and rewarding experience and I am grateful for the opportunity!
If you would like, please feel free to follow along as I strive for my goals by connecting with me on Twitter and Instagram at @CameronMorgan_1 or online at www.cameronscottmorgan.com.

Until next time!

Cameron Morgan

Marketing Intern

Summer 2015

Best day on the job? Meeting long-time dance hero, Ethan Stiefel!

Best day on the job? Meeting long-time dance hero, Ethan Stiefel!

My Picture with Craig!

29 Jul

This summer I have been interning in the Marketing Department of American Ballet Theatre. I have been working in their office on projects such as the advertisements for the Fall Season at the Koch Theater, “The Nutcracker” at BAM, and research for audience development. I also sold ABT merchandise at The Metropolitan Opera House, where ABT performs for eight weeks during their spring season. One of my favorite aspects of my internship, however, is working with the marketing staff on fun and creative ways to advertise and use social media. From picking “Nutcracker” pictures to finding Shakespeare quotes to go with photos from “The Dream”, I really loved being able to contribute to the marketing of ABT.

One of my favorite moments of my internship was taking this picture with ABT Soloist Craig Salstein backstage at the Met that was posted on ABT’s Facebook and Twitter pages. We took the photo because we both happen to be triplets! It was a creative way in which we could advertise the internship program at ABT, while giving people a backstage look at the Met. I am really glad I had the opportunity to meet Craig and help advertise the internship program, all while getting a behind-the-scenes look at how ABT runs their spring season at the Met. I am thankful for the opportunities I have had while interning at ABT, and recommend the program to anyone interested in learning first-hand about Arts Management or Arts Education.

Alexandra with fellow triplet ABT Soloist Craig Salstein backstage at the Met

Alexandra with fellow triplet ABT Soloist Craig Salstein backstage at the Met

Alexandra Tweedley

Marketing Intern

Summer 2014

Guest Speaker: CEO Rachel Moore

13 Aug
Marketing Intern Anne Sharpe with ABT CEO Rachel Moore

Marketing Intern Anne Sharpe with ABT CEO Rachel Moore

As a former ABT corps de ballet dancer, Rachel Moore’s passion for ballet and the company has been present since her childhood.  Her journey towards becoming the CEO of America’s National Ballet Company grew from her involvement with various arts non-profits, including the National Endowment for the Arts.  We learned that her position is highly intertwined with every department of ABT, including the creative side. Acting as a bridge between art and business, she orchestrates how fundraising, marketing, ticket sales, and the budget all function to create one cohesive ballet company.

The part I found most interesting is how she created a brand that defined the company’s goals and standards as artists:

(1)  ABT as a Leader in the creation of art, presenting world class versions of dance.

(2)  ABT as a Leader of arts education, teaching students and instructors alike healthy, classical ballet.

(3)    Maintaining a national presence in the arts.

(4)    Serve as ambassadors of American art and culture.

These four components put into simple words how I would describe American Ballet Theatre to any random person I met on the street. It was a great experience hearing how each our jobs tie into Ms. Moore’s overall vision of ABT.

The meeting ended with all of us discussing the path between being an intern and having the career of our dreams. After hearing her experiences, the road seems a little less hazy than it did even a month ago.

Anne Sharpe

Marketing Intern

Summer 2013

Marketing at ABT

30 Nov

by Lucia Elledge, Marketing Intern

During my tenure as a marketing intern for the fall of 2012 I worked on a variety of tasks such as initiating a sales analysis, conducting marketing research, and copy editing promotional materials.  I have always been interested in marketing, and this internship gave me invaluable insight into the field, as well as a more comprehensive knowledge of arts non-profits.  I was also able to gain knowledge of other fields within American Ballet Theatre through the insight of guest speakers and my participation in several of the development department’s donor events.   Ballet being a passion of mine, I could not have asked for a better place to have these opportunities!

Marketing and ABT at the Met

25 Jul

By Evelyn Ling, Marketing Intern

During the MET season, ABT performs eight times per week for eight weeks straight. It’s their longest season and usually offers a more expansive repertory than the Fall Season, featuring numerous full-length story ballets such as Swan Lake and Le Corsaire and premieres by ABT’s Residence Choreographer, Alexei Ratmansky. As a Marketing Intern, I work at the boutique at the Metropolitan Opera House during the season. Thankfully, this semester there were two Marketing interns, so we were able to split up the performances into four for me, and four for Kelsey.

Usually I arrive at the Met about an hour and half before the show starts. The doors open a half an hour before the show, so I have to make sure I’m ready before then. The boutique is open before the show, during intermission, and after the show only for Matinees. I always have two volunteers working with me; some of them have been here for over 20 years! It’s wonderful to see how much they love working for the company. They also know the ins and outs of the company—who comes to watch, who has been dancing for how many years, one of them even knows all the birthdates of all the dancers.

For the most part, my job is just setting up the table with all the merchandise we have for the week. It differs every time I go, since some things sell out or sometimes we get new stock. I like to change up the table so that each time it looks different. For our merchandise, we have an assortment of t-shirts in a variety of colors and styles, totes, caps, almost anything you can imagine. Tutus, wands and jewelry boxes are a favorite among the children.

During the show, I restock any low inventory from the boutique on the Grand Tier level. That one is much larger than ours and also sells autographed pointe shoes from the company dancers. In my free time I like to go up to see which pointe shoes they have for sale.

At intermission, it’s back to selling, then restocking when the show continues. At the end, if we clean up fast, we sometimes can even watch the last act of the ballet. The Met has large HD TV’s on either side of the theatre, so even without a ticket, I can watch. Of course, it’s not the same as watching it live. After that, it’s back home and coming back the next day! 

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ABT in Central Park

10 Aug

by Monica Hogan, Marketing Intern

As the Marketing Intern, I have gotten to help out with lots of promotional projects and events this summer. One of my favorites has been the ABT Central Park event with Angelina Ballerina. On a warm, sunny afternoon, we set up shop at the Central Park Belvedere Castle and prepared to have lots of children and families stop by to enjoy some fun. We had face painting, crown decorating, Cinderella story time, and some students from the JKO School came in their beautiful tutus to talk and take photos with the kids. Most importantly, the famous Angelina Ballerina herself made an appearance to take some pictures with the kids and to show off a few of her ballet moves. It was such a fun event, and the kids had an absolute blast! Afterwards we headed over the Met, where families saw the matinee of ABT’s Cinderella. I helped out at the ABT Boutique and sold many tutus and magic wands to little dancing princesses.

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