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Art is the Heartbeat of New York!

24 Jun

When I got the letter of acceptance into the ABT internship program, I was absolutely stoked. As a lover of the Arts, I was so excited knowing that I could be a part of helping the Arts scene in New York City come back to life as we emerge from the pandemic era. As a college student at Fordham Lincoln Center, daily I would walk by the Koch Theater and the Met Opera, seeing audiences pour out onto the plaza after the ballet, and to me this always exuded an irreplaceable aura. It feels like such a full circle moment to now have an internship in New York City at such a renowned dance company as ABT, and it is an honor to contribute in any way that I can to this organization.

While we have been working remotely, the people have been so warm and welcoming, even transcending the Zoom screen. It has only been a few weeks of my internship so far, and I am so appreciative of how everyone at ABT has treated us interns like valued staff members since the very beginning. I still can feel the energy present when joining meetings and seeing how everyone works together from the ground up to ensure that ABT runs at the highest quality. I cannot think of a better experience than getting to work with America’s National Ballet Company this summer!

This week, I had the exciting opportunity to see the magic of ABT in person! We went up to Wave Hill, a lovely garden in the Bronx, for a film shoot for the ABT Summer Celebration. I was in awe seeing the dancers in person because this gave me such a tangible idea of how the daily work we do in the Membership department contributes to bringing this beautiful art to audiences. Watching the dancers’ gracefulness and athleticism in action after over a year of not seeing any live performances was breathtaking. I was reminded of the emotion that is expressed so uniquely through dance, and the exchange of energy between artists and audience, which is something so special about live performance. On this trip, I also got to meet my mentor, Grace, some of my fellow interns, and other wonderful ABT staff members who I had only previously worked with on Zoom. It was so lovely to see the office come together in person and feel that sense of community!

Overall, as an intern in the Membership department, I get to gain a greater understanding of how vital ABT members, donors, and fans are to the organization. It is inspiring to see how many people still care so deeply about dance and supporting the Arts even during this trying time we have collectively experienced this past year. I have seen how every individual person who loves and supports ABT is a vital part of the company’s ability to continue innovating and bringing beautiful art to the community. I am really looking forward to the rest of my internship this summer and getting to see the company continue to produce great work like the ABT Across America tour and preparation for future performances and events.

Ali Bernstein

Membership Intern

Summer 2021

My ABT Internship

7 Dec

As I finish my ABT Internship, I am reflecting on the last 3 months  and how grateful I am to have had this experience. While the last few months have felt uncertain, the opportunity to work with the membership team at ABT came as a welcome surprise. I feel honored to have been a part of the membership team at this pivotal time of the year and have learned so much through my experience this fall.

The last few weeks of my internship have been special getting to work towards the end of the year goals for membership and new donations. Getting an inside look into the fall celebration, seeing the short films by ABT Dancers, and being a part of the giving tuesday campaign are a few things that have made my time at ABT that much more special. In a semester, where being in person was impossible, there were other unique ways to connect with the development team and other interns. Working with Alex, Jackie and Grace has been a dream, they have all made my time at ABT and with the Membership team special, as an intern the team made me feel like an important part of the team, and gain some real hands-on experiences.

As part of the program. I got to participate in talkback and conversations with ABT Artists and Staff, which has introduced me to the wider world of ballet and dance. Coming into the internship, I did not have as much knowledge of ballet as everyone else and was excited about the opportunity to learn and grow in a new area of performing arts.

I am thankful for the experience I have gained by interning with ABT this fall. Working with the company has made me feel more prepared and excited for the future.

Ashley Weintraub

Membership & Database Intern

Fall 2020

Membership During a Pandemic

6 Aug

This summer, I have learned more about membership, development, ballet, and nonprofits than I ever thought possible, even while working from home!

One of my main tasks during my internship was managing the Membership email account through answering questions from donors. At first, it was very challenging to find the answers to questions that puzzled me as well, but thanks to the support of my mentor Alex, as well as the rest of the membership team, soon I was able to respond quickly and confidently. I was touched by messages from donors expressing how much they loved ABT, and how they wanted to support us during this challenging time. Through answering these emails, I was able to not only enhance my customer service skills, but also to really discover the importance of ABT and our relationships with loyal supporters.

I also had the opportunity to work on a few creative projects with the other Membership intern, Sam J. Together we were able to create a social media calendar to revamp the Junior Council Instagram, and also produced membership one pagers that could be distributed to prospective donors virtually.

During my time at ABT, I have been able to witness the entire company shift and transform to deal with the unexpected. I can truly say I am proud to have been even such a small part of this organization, and I will remember my time learning about membership during a pandemic for many years to come.


Samantha Laurelli

Membership Intern

Summer 2020

An ABT Internship from 1,300 Miles Away

6 Aug

When I applied to intern at ABT, I never could have expected to be doing it from over a thousand miles away from 890 Broadway. I previously had an internship in the development department of another ballet company and was thrilled to see ABT’s internship opportunities posted. After a lifetime of dancing and looking up to ABT, I knew if there was an opportunity to intern here, I wanted it. Then of course, right before my interview was scheduled, the country began to shut down due to COVID-19. At that point, I thought I was traveling home to Florida for a few weeks, which then turned into the whole summer. Despite all of the surprises and changes over the past few months, interning remotely at ABT has exceeded all of my expectations.

As part of the Membership team, I got to work on a variety of projects while also keeping up with the weekly routine (or as we say, “the Membership Machine”). That included checking the voicemail to help out members with donations and renewals, learning how to use Raiser’s Edge and NetCommunity to send out acknowledgement letters, and gathering press and social media materials to be sent to donors in a weekly newsletter. I also had the opportunity to work on larger projects with the other Membership intern, Sam L. We collaborated on things like creating a social media calendar for the Junior Council Instagram and one-pagers to showcase the different membership levels ABT offers. I really enjoyed working with a close-knit team, and everything we accomplished was rewarding and taught me a lot about membership.

I don’t think any of us knew what a remote internship would look like, but for me it was the best experience I could have asked for. I got to participate in regular Zoom calls with the Membership and Development teams, and worked closely with Sam L. and our supervisor, Alex. While I wish I could have spent the summer at 890 Broadway in person, I am so thankful for my time as an ABT intern.


Samantha Jones

Membership Intern

Summer 2020




A Day in The Life of a Membership Intern

22 May

When I first applied to be a Membership Intern with American Ballet Theatre, I can honestly say I had no idea what to expect. I had never worked for a non-profit before, never mind a performing arts organization, but I was excited at the prospect of learning as much as I could. Now in May, nearly 5 months after submitting that initial application, I can honestly say that it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Are you considering applying to ABT, and curious about what a typical day could look like? Well look no further – here is a description of my day as an ABT intern on a Friday in January. 

I arrived at 890 Broadway at about 10:00 am, with just enough time to drop my stuff off at my desk before the weekly intern meeting, today being held in the conference room. Today’s topic was about non-profit organizations: their structure, their operations, how they make money, and how they differ from for-profit companies. As a Business major, I found this topic to be particularly interesting. 

The meeting ended at 11, and I and a few other interns made our way downstairs to the Dancer’s Lounge, to help out with the Studio Visit that was happening that day. During a studio visit, members are given an exclusive, behind the scenes look at ABT, and invited to come and watch the dancers rehearse for their upcoming performances. Today, there were about 75 members in all, and I helped to greet them, and direct them to and from studios. There were extra chairs in the studios, so I was allowed to sit in and watch the rehearsals as well, which was incredible, and something I will never forget. After the event and hearing about how much the members enjoyed themselves, I was able to see in that moment how it all came together: the membership team, the larger development department, the members, and even the dancers, all in pursuit of ABT’s mission. 

For the rest of the afternoon, I worked on assembling and sending out acknowledgement packets, sent to members and other donors, to thank them for their contributions to ABT. I also completed some database edits, where I updated member’s phone numbers, addresses, and their preferences for being listed in the playbill that would be distributed during the upcoming season. Although not every day of my internship was as busy as this one, I can truly say that I learned something new each time I stepped into the building. I would like to thank my mentor, Alex, as well as the rest of the membership team for being so kind and ensuring I had the best internship experience possible! 

Samantha Laurelli 

Membership Intern

Spring 2020

Building Relationships at 890 Broadway

5 Nov

Having the opportunity to intern with the country’s national ballet company has been an unexpected dream come true. Coming from a theatre background, I have been completely immersed into the dance world with my time at ABT, and I love it! I had heard wonderful things about ABT from others which got me really excited to start working with this wonderful company. About two months into the internship, I have gotten experiences that have proven to be very valuable for future careers. Plus, I have seen some of the world’s best dancers rehearse just a few doors down from my desk.
We have just concluded the fall season here at ABT, and as the membership intern, I was at a lot of the ballets offering people information about purchasing a membership with the company. This was by far my favorite part about working for ABT because I was able to directly speak to patrons from all around the world, hear their experiences with ABT, and learn about their love of dance. I met a woman from Germany who was in the city for work and happened to get a ticket for a performance. She came to me after the show and said she was going to the box office to buy another ticket because of how much she enjoyed herself. Another mother and daughter were from Alabama and came to New York specifically for an ABT performance. The daughter was a dancer, and ABT was her favorite company; she was so excited to finally have the opportunity to see them perform live. Seeing the excitement in the audience members, got me even more excited and made me even more appreciative to have this amazing opportunity.
In addition to speaking with people from around the world, I was also able to talk to longtime patrons of ABT; a handful of them have been involved with the company since before I was born. This fact really showed me how special ABT was to the community; to have such an overwhelming amount of support over a long time span, clearly means the company is doing things right. I heard so many stories about how the company has transformed over the years and different works they have seen performed at the Koch and Met. These long time patrons were just as excited for the performances as the five-year-old who was seeing her first ballet.

Working in membership means it is important to build relationships with the patrons. They have done so much for us, and I now have a larger appreciation for the work that goes on behind the scenes to make current members happy, as well as, cultivate new members. The staff takes so much time and truly cares about the people who are able to help create the magic that ABT has. I have not had the chance to work in a development role before working with ABT, and this internship has given me hope that there are so many people out there who still believe how fundamental the arts are. The patrons and staff in the membership department are invaluable assets to the company, and I am so thankful I had the opportunity, even if it is just for a few months, to work with the American Ballet Theatre.

Gillian Curry

Membership Intern

Fall 2018

66 days of summer (at ABT)

31 Jul

StellainternphotoWhen I think back on these past two months, I almost can’t believe that I was the one experiencing it all. I was in New York for two days before my mentor contacted me, asking if I was free before the official start date on that Friday. It was already Week 3 of the Met Season, which is one of the busiest periods for the whole company. The next day I found myself anxiously awaiting his arrival in the plaza, staring up at the huge ABT banner that hung in front of the Met Opera and thinking “I work there!” We met for the first time in person, walked through the stage door, and the work quickly began. I learned the ins and outs of the Membership table that’s on display during all the shows to interest people in becoming more involved with ABT. My first day was also the first time I had ever seen ABT live in performance. I’ve been in a permanent state of awe ever since.

The days were long and packed, with new projects and events happening constantly. It’s a learning experience like no other. There’s no time to slowly transition into your role; you just jump in and assist wherever you can (kind of like being thrown in the deep end in the most loving way possible). I was usually at 3 or 4 shows each week, talking and connecting with people who stopped by at the Membership table, getting to share my passion about ABT with ballet-goers and feeling the excitement that fills the theater is pure magic. But also walking into 890 every morning and seeing everyone work so hard behind-the-scenes, made me appreciate that magic even more. It’s a small office, and all the staff work together to ensure that the pieces come together as smoothly as possible.

Development is relationships. That’s at the core of every task in the department. The work that goes on in the offices, from mailing out letters and packages to members to answering emails and calls about the company to analyzing database information, is all in order to cultivate these relationships and to make ballet accessible to the widest possible audience. The connections that happen at performances and events is the result of all of that work. It’s the culmination of a lot of small actions that creates a larger feeling of personal connection to ABT and the culmination of all those unique connections makes ABT America’s National Ballet Company. Having a conversation with a long-term donor at a show and listening her years of involvement that spanned decades, connecting with a patron who had a recent health scare but who still made it out to the ballet, hearing a mother beam with joy over the fact that her daughter had gifted her tickets to Swan Lake, these individual moments reveal just how essential these relationships are to the longevity of ballet and the arts and how necessary these relationships are in our world.

I can’t even begin to put into words how lucky I feel to be the one to contribute to such a world-class ballet company. To be able to see beauty happen on the stage, and to be able to say I’m a (very small) part of that is unbelievable.

Stella Ji

Membership Intern

Summer 2018

The First Day

24 Aug
For me, June 1st marked the beginning of my two month long internship in the Membership Department at American Ballet Theatre. For my mentors, it was the second week of ABT’s season at the Metropolitan Opera House–in other words, it was show time. I had anticipated my first day would include a tour of our offices at 890 Broadway, a sprinkling of “get to know you” games with my fellow interns, and perhaps some NY pizza (and I happily experienced all three). What I did not expect was my mentor’s first question: “Are you ready to go uptown?”
It was not until we stopped at 66th Street that I realized not only were we going to the Met, but that we were using the Stage Door entrance. I’d been to the Met a few times before, but on those rare and special occasions I played the role of a young audience member, not a staff member. However, my sentiments of excitement and awe were the same in both roles.
Twenty minutes later, I was assisting our Director of Membership with setting up our Patron Table inside the elegant, red velvet interior of the Met. I was instructed to stand behind the table and was given the run down: the various levels of Membership, the mission of ABT, the layout of the building, and frequently asked questions (including “where is the bathroom?”). When the house opened on June 1st, and patrons began to ascend the grand staircase towards me and my table, I was beyond anxious. But this anxiety soon dissipated because of my mentors. They were gracious and supportive, but above all they were patient. They were willing to provide instruction beyond simple explanations, carefully taking the time to tell me why my tasks were important and how they fit into the overall picture of ABT. Because of them, I not only became comfortable in the position, but found great enjoyment in it. Over the remaining six weeks of the season, I met many dedicated volunteers, loyal patrons, and aspiring ballerinas while standing behind my little table. I will miss it.
Helena LaPorte-Burns
Membership Intern
Summer 20179F26A9E9-3094-4163-8344-D38247613BF2

Are you clueless about ballet? You should intern at ABT!

5 Jan


I am a business student who loves sports, so naturally I began this internship knowing next to nothing about dance. I knew the company name and the basics of what a ballet consisted of: ballet dancers. So walking in on my first day was pretty nerve-wrecking. Not only was I the new intern, but I was also way out of my comfort zone.  Turns out that that is something I am now grateful for. I got to meet my coworkers Jackie, Gwen, Arielle, and Grey who I often worked and interacted with. They made the experience an opportunity to meet great people and learn and not just a job. I learned bits and pieces of what role the development department plays in a non-profit organization. I learned how to interact with members and was able to put faces to the names on the acknowledgement letters I did weekly. I made new friends, my fellow interns, who didn’t make fun of me for not knowing who Misty Copeland or Jeffrey Cirio were. Instead they taught me the basic essentials of the ballet world. For that I am thankful to them, for guiding me and helping me learn to fit in. Overall, I’m grateful for the experience. People always ask me why I selected American Ballet Theatre to be my first internship when I was clueless about dance and never danced before, and I’ll always tell them, “Whenever I’m given the opportunity to learn about something that I am clueless about, I will never say no, because all knowledge is precious and no one knows what you’ll learn, or who you will meet, that could impact your life.” I’m glad to have been able to see the behind the scenes aspects that make the ballet performance as breathtaking as the dancer’s view on stage.

Carina Escobar

Membership Intern

Fall 2016

The Four M’s

16 Aug

As I stepped into 890 Broadway for the first time, I was immediately enchanted by the classic elevator that carried me to the little office of one of the greatest ballet companies in the world. This little office, however, is also home to not just amazing artistic talent, but to a job that I had only dreamed of doing until this summer. The opportunity to combine my marketing degree with my lifelong passion for ballet has been incredible, and  much like how marketing revolves around the four P’s (product, place, price, promotion), I have found that my internship could be summed up in a similar way, but with four M’s.

Membership, the first of the four M’s, is where I had the pleasure of spending my summer as an intern. It is without a doubt one of the liveliest offices within ABT, as we are directly responsible for assisting members and ensuring that they have a positive experience. There was never a dull moment with everyone working together to ensure that the needs of the members are satisfied and I was able to witness just how vital the members are to the success of the organization. Without our members, ABT would not exist, and I was privileged to work alongside the people in my department to learn how to care for and cultivate membership so that ABT can continue to fulfill its mission. My favorite project with the department was when I researched different fundraising platforms and ideas to launch a social media fundraising campaign. It was interesting to see all of the different marketing options that are available today through social media, and I am thankful for the experience to learn about the process of organizing and marketing a social media fundraiser.

One of the major methods of communication with current and prospective members is through mailings, the second M. On one of my first days of work, I was introduced to one of our good friends in Membership, the mail machine. Though we had our rough days (the machine smells fear!), I eventually learned how to seamlessly glide the letters through without submitting them to the horrors of a paper jam! While I folded countless of mailings this summer, one of my favorite moments was when I had the opportunity to work with volunteers on the task. We would set up in the conference room, surrounded by mountains of mail that quickly faded as we chatted about our love of ballet.

The Metropolitan Opera House, the third M, is where ABT performs during their eight week spring season. Walking into the Met for the first time is an experience like no other, and you are immediately transformed by the beauty around you. The physical beauty of the space does not compare to the dancing that I would witness on the stage this season. Since many of our member events, such as dress rehearsals or a backstage tour, and the membership table, were housed at the Met, I was able to view many amazing moments that happened this spring. By seeing not just the performances, but also a peek backstage pre-show as Stella Abrera tied her shoes or notes from a ballet master in a rehearsal, I was reminded of the hard work and dedication that our dancers put forth to deliver such amazing performances at the Met.

As interns, we participate in events with other organizations in the area, and my personal favorite was our day at Pointe Magazine, the final M. It was so fascinating to see the office and editors that are the masterminds behind the magazine that I read religiously as a young dancer. Stepping into their office and having the opportunity to talk with the editors was wonderful because I got to see the thought process behind the content in their magazines. Everyone seemed so focused, yet the light and open atmosphere made it evident that it is a wonderful place to collaborate and work.

My time with American Ballet Theatre has been an invaluable experience that I will treasure forever. It has reminded me of my passion for the arts, and it has made me a well-rounded person by exposing me to the non-profit sector and field of arts administration. I am so grateful to have the experience with ABT to start me on my journey.

Mary Katherine Marr

Membership Intern

Summer 2016