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Contributing to ABT

1 Jun

Growing up, I always loved the idea of working within the performing arts industry and this dream only strengthened during the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent shutdown of live performances. While I have danced all my life, I never had the potential or desire to try and go professional however I always believed in the arts importance in our lives and I wanted to contribute to it. I connected with ABT immediately due to its mission of reaching the widest possible audience across the United States. Additionally, it also was the first professional ballet company I had seen perform even though I been dancing ballet since I was little. Therefore, when I saw ABT had available internships within a department I had previous experience with another nonprofit during my senior year at Fordham University, I knew I had to apply. This internship has not only accomplished a dream of supporting one of my favorite ballet companies, but was an incredibly rewarding and exciting experience.  

During my time at ABT, I worked on a variety of projects, supporting both the Major Gifts team and Donor Relations team, particularly with patron ticketing in the lead up to the 2023 MET season. Every day I would open my email and see what requests had come in, helping to keep track of them and complete their order forms to ensure every donor got the best tickets for them. I also helped with the long-term projects of preparing for this process, as I began in January, right in time to assist with the vital prep work for those requests. I loved to see the different shows that donors want to see and their excitement for the upcoming season. I also helped with prep work for credit in programs for shows, making sure every donor who needed credit received it. Working on these and therefore confronting how many people donate and care about this organization only cemented my belief in the importance of the arts. Working with Donor Relations proved a valuable experience because it showed the various ways that donors connect and interact with the organization.  

Meanwhile, I also worked with the Major Gifts team, helping the donating process for the higher-level donors. This included working on acknowledgement letters when people donated to make sure every person felt ABT’s immense appreciation for their donation. I also helped put together informational materials for donors, so they had all the relevant information when making their donations decisions and to stay up to date with the current events at ABT.  

ABT has exceeded and fulfilled a dream to work towards supporting the arts, even during the touring season without performances in New York. Seeing all the work that goes into making such an outstanding ballet company run and the amazing people that make it happen. Walking into the office and hearing the ballet music wafting through the hallway added the perfect touch to an amazing work day and internship.  

Katie Lewis

Major Gifts & Donor Relations Intern (Development)

Spring 2023

890 Comes Alive at the Met

30 Jul

As soon as I walked into the ABT dancers lounge for intern orientation, I knew I was in a very special place. The newly renovated lounge was one of the most beautiful rooms I had ever seen, and it was filled with people whose passion about the arts and excitement to be a part of ABT was tangible. We spent the morning learning about our day to day duties and internship guidelines, but I left orientation completely unaware of just how amazing this internship experience would be.

Joining ABT in the summer as a patron services intern was a very intense and exciting experience; ABT’s longest season is an eight-week run at the Metropolitan Opera House from May to July, and so I started in the busiest time for patron ticketing. For the first few weeks of the internship, I spent the majority of my time creating and tracking ticket order forms for donors and preparing for the many special events that are hosted during the Spring Season. I also had the amazing opportunity to design several save the dates and invitations for various special events.

The aspect of this internship I most enjoyed was seeing all of the work we did at 890 come alive at the Met. For example, one of my favorite days of the internship came in the second week, when all of the development interns helped run the Golden Circle Luncheon, which is a lunch, auction, and dress rehearsal for 300 donors at the Met. We arrived at the stage door early in the morning to start implementing all of the plans created at 890. Throughout the day, the Grand Tier of the Met transformed into the development staff’s incredible vision of the event. I had the opportunity to create many of the designed materials for the event, and it was surreal to see them laid out at each place setting.

Over the coming weeks, I had many more chances to interact with the Met. One day I was assigned to get the autographs of every dancer as they came out of company class at the Met, so I had the opportunity to interact with a large percent of ABT’s dancers. On other days, development interns could sign up to work the Belmont room in the Met, which is a lounge for donors to purchase food at intermission. On the nights I chose to work in this room, I was able to speak with the donors whose ticket orders I filled out at 890, and I also received free tickets of my own to watch the show.

I also assisted at the AMEX champagne toast, which was an event held during the Friday Evening performance of Swan Lake. The event went late into the night, and by the time it was over, another intern and I were two of the last people in the building. While we were walking through the Met to collect our belongings, all of the lights in the building turned off. At first it was jarring to be in the Met when it was pitch-black and empty, but navigating through the depths of the Met to find our way out was quite the adventure, and it ended up being one of my favorite moments from the summer.Picture1_claire

I am so grateful to have interned at ABT this summer – my experience was better than I could have ever imagined!

Claire Ganiban

Patron Services Intern

Summer 2019

All the World’s a Stage

16 May

Five months ago, I started my internship at American Ballet Theatre. I had no idea what to expect. I walked into 890 Broadway, went up the historic and manually operated elevator, and Kristine (best mentor ever) showed me my desk in the main development office. Yesterday, May 15th, I had the chance to take a backstage tour of the Met Opera House so that I could learn how to give tours to our donors. These donors are the people who I have been contacting on the phone, meeting at studio visits and special events, and learning about slowly through entering their data into our database. Walking onto the stage at the Met was something I will never forget because it was a perfect culmination of the most rewarding semester and internship yet.

Most people know ABT as America’s National Ballet Company. However, most ballet companies have a home/stage of their own. ABT doesn’t, in fact; everywhere the company performs which includes the Met is considered a tour. Therefore, everyone at ABT must work incredibly hard to mount around 15 staged ballets to perform at the Met in only 8 weeks. That is incredible. This semester, I got to see how hard and diligent the people at ABT work, especially the employees in the relatively small development department.

One of my main tasks this semester was inputting ticket orders from our donors into a tracking sheet in our drive and also on Raiser’s Edge. Although this may have been tedious at times, it made me realize this seemingly small task does have an impact. The information that is in our database is our way of knowing which seats we assigned to the donors, what nights they are coming, and what location they are sitting in. Therefore, being able to work for a little period of time at the Met Season, I get to see the faces of the people I have been entering into our system.

I had a very hard time choosing what my favorite part of this semester was. Here is a list of my top three moments (other than touring the Met):

1) Attending and prepping for ABT at Hamilton where ABT dancers and AMEX representatives were able to see a Broadway show and then meet each other afterwards

2) Going with Alex and Chad to the site of our Junior Color Party which was stunningly gorgeous and made me feel like I was in Italy rather than NYC

3) Seeing numerous studio rehearsals where I was able to watch the joy on donor’s faces in seeing their favorite dancers rehearse and work on many different ballets.

Tomorrow, my college graduates at Lincoln Center and I am able to take graduation photos in front of the huge ABT  banner at the Met. I truly believe that ABT helped me to develop skills that I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else, and I can’t wait to come back to NYC and go to Lincoln Center remembering my time with ABT.

Meredith Beisel

Patron Services Intern

Spring 2019

Making ABT Shine

11 Dec

It’s crazy that I’m almost done with my internship at ABT. I have really enjoyed getting to work with the staff and learn more about the functions of arts organizations both by listening to speakers in our weekly intern meetings and by working in the development department. Throughout the semester I have had the chance to work on a wide range of projects and events varying from spending four days cleaning out the development closet and working backstage just before the Fall Gala performance.

Weirdly, one of my favorite experiences was actually cleaning out the development closet. Although it seems kind of tedious and frustrating (which at times it was) it offered a really cool chance to look at the history of the company. We had to go through boxes and files to find what we could get rid of but in the process we found a old playbills, materials from past events, membership information and old thank you letters for donations. At also felt really good when we finished because even though it seems pretty insignificant in the grander scheme of things, something that simple can make life a lot easier for everyone in the department which, I hope helps them succeed more in the future.Picture8

Honestly that’s how I felt about a lot of the projects I worked on at ABT. I spent a lot of time processing and recording tickets sold through the Patron Services department and spent several weeks working on data analysis from the past Met seasons. Even though it can feel tedious, it is important and useful to make sure major donors have good seats to the shows that they want to see and to understand what ballets people want to see and who is actually buying tickets. I really appreciated being able to contribute to ABT even if it was in a small way.

Katherine Baldwin

Patron Services Intern

Fall 2018


Stepping up

23 May

For the spring internship at ABT I interned under Fallon Sullivan, Assistant Manager of Patron Services. Working with Fallon meant that I would help keep track of all orders taken and oversee all ticket information for donors $1,200 and up. These donors included VIP’s, board members and over 1,000 patrons and prospects.

For the first few weeks Fallon wanted to inform me of all that she does and what I would help her with during my time. I started with inputting all the subscriptions for the members we currently have into Raiser’s Edge. Soon Raiser’s Edge would become my best tool while working in Patron Services. The next big task at hand was creating single ticket and exchange orders for members as ABT’s Spring Season approached. My job was to make sure the single ticket and exchange orders were logged three different ways; in an Excel order tracking sheet, in separate single ticket and exchange folders, and physical copies of the orders. At the beginning I was a little confused with the system, but as the weeks went on I started to understand Fallon’s plan. Another assignment of mine was to take care of the tickets sent over from the MET. I had to make sure the tickets matched the selected seats, date and time before I entered them in Raiser’s Edge and before they were mailed.

My ability was put to the test when Fallon traveled with the company and some members on a trip to Hong Kong. For two weeks I had to make sure I kept single tickets and exchange orders up-to-date, handle all calls that came in for Fallon, and email Fallon daily with orders taken from the membership and development department. Fallon prepped me by explaining my assignments thoroughly, she laid out the necessary folders needed to keep track of all incoming orders, and adding Brain from the membership department as additional help. Handling Fallon’s calls was the most difficult part during her two week absence. Members and nonmembers would call and ask questions I wouldn’t have the answers to, thankfully Brain was there to help. I was able to go to Brain or other members in development to get the appropriate answer and relay it back to the callers. My biggest concern was making sure the caller left with their questions answered or needs attended to.

After Fallon’s trip to Hong Kong, it was crunch time because the Spring Season was quickly approaching. This was by far my favorite part of working in Patron Services. I could feel the energy shift in the building during this time. Sitting in on a development meeting with the Executive Director, Kara Medoff Barnett, I was able to see how membership, development and special events worked together to stay on top of assignments for the Spring Season. Also walking by the studios and seeing the dancers rehearse was a great treat as well. Overall, my experience with Patron Services was very fulfilling.


Make Griffith

Patron Services Intern

Spring 2018

Balancing College and ABT

12 Dec

Looking back on the past few months, it’s pretty clear that the time I’ve spent at ABT has taught me more than I ever could have imagined upon first sending in my application. I began my time here just as I was starting my first semester of college, so I was honestly pretty clueless coming into it. Luckily, the amazing people around me made it a great experience, so I’d like to share more about what it was like to have ABT as the home of my first internship.

Before I started, the idea of some random teenager like me working at such a well-known company was honestly pretty daunting. Constantly met with warnings from friends and family that balancing an internship and a college course load would be extremely difficult, I was pretty nervous about it all. I knew that I wanted to work hard and that it would be an amazing experience, but I was still scared that I would overwhelm myself.

Now I know that these moments of doubt were completely unnecessary! I found that accepting the internship was one of the best decisions I have ever made, because I learned so much about the work that the Development department does. Not only that, but I got to have a lot of fun while working on projects in the office and while helping out at ABT’s awesome events like the Fall Gala at the Koch Theatre!

Managing an internship at ABT and the transition into college at the same time never really felt like a challenge to me. It required slightly better time-management than just being a full-time student, but my mentor really scheduled me to work very reasonable hours. I never felt like I was overwhelmed at all. In general, everyone in the organization was a lot of fun to work with, so the environment always made going into work just feel like a nice break from the stress of my classes.

I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to begin my time in college while working at such a wonderful organization and I encourage all who are thinking of applying to go for it!

Kasey Gelsomino

Patron Services Intern

Fall 2017

My Time at ABT

29 Aug

It is hard to believe that my time interning at ABT has come to an end. It has been an incredible experience seeing how this non-profit organization runs, from the dazzling performances on the Met stage, to the private auctions with donors and board members. If you are someone who is thinking of applying for an internship, please do so! Here is what I took away from my summer internship at ABT in Manhattan:

The incredible staff! I had the privilege of working in the development suite with an incredibly welcoming and hardworking group of people. From day one they were eager to meet the interns and were so accommodating to all our busy schedules. Each day when I came to work, Roseanne at the front desk greeted me with a friendly ‘good morning’ and everyone smiled. ABT works very hard ‘behind the scenes’ to put on such fabulous performances, and I appreciated that. It was eye-opening seeing how much time, effort, and most of all, money, goes into making this organization what it is. However, just like every ballet performance, all the hard work happens in studios and behind the curtain, and in this case, downtown at the office as well.

My specific internship! I worked in patron ticketing, which allowed me to process tickets from many major donors and learn the importance of staying organized. It is crucial that the exact amount of tickets with the proper seats for each specific ABT donor is precise and correct. I learned about ABT’s process for communicating with the Metropolitan Opera House and David H. Koch Theater, the preparation that occurs during off and performance seasons, and the database that holds the precious information. Most of my work consisted of data entry into ABT’s system, but there were also times when I interned at the Met Opera House. These days were my favorite days, not only because I gracefully walked upon the scarlet carpet, but because I saw my hard work come alive. The opera house events were where I met the donors for which I had been processing and packaging tickets and watched the ballerinas perform.

Dina Resnick

Patron Ticketing Intern

Summer 2017


A little about me:

I am entering my senior year of college studying finance and marketing with a minor in theatre. My passion for theatre and dance inspired me to seek career opportunities in these industries, and it has been an absolute pleasure interning for ABT. I always loved ballet (I took lessons for 12 years) but knew I didn’t want to perform for a living. You don’t have to give up the things you love just because you become an adult. This industry is where I belong, and it is inspiring because the arts are filled with great people who have passion.

A Return to 890 Broadway

19 Jun

Hi everyone!

My name is Alex Gallagher, and I am currently working as ABT’s Spring 2017 Patron Ticketing Intern. I am an undergraduate student at Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business and I plan to major in Global Business with a double concentration in Marketing/Consumer Insights and Healthcare Management. So how did I get to ABT, you might ask? Well, I grew up dancing ballet for thirteen years, four of which were actually spent here at ABT’s JKO School, so in some ways, 890 Broadway feels like home to me. This semester I was looking to gain some professional experience and explore a potential career in arts administration, and I thought what better place to do that than here at ABT.

I thought I’d share a bit about what my typical day looks like in the Development Office as well as some of the extra events I have gotten to take part in. As a Patron Ticketing Intern, the vast majority of the work I do, deals with preparing and recording ticket orders for ABT members that belong in the Golden Circle category and above (A Patron, the first level of giving in the Golden Circle, entails an annual donation of $1200). When a ticket request has been placed, it is my job to prepare an order form if it hasn’t been done already, record the details of the order on a tracking sheet, and prepare copies of the order to send to the Metropolitan Opera House Box Office for processing. When the tickets are returned to ABT, I then have to enter the final data into Raiser’s Edge, ABT’s database, and prepare envelopes to send tickets back to the members. In all stages of the ticketing process, attention to detail is crucial. Whether it is making sure the right performance and number of tickets are entered on an order form, checking that the Met printed the correct tickets, or reviewing my database entries, it is important that everything is double checked not only for the sake of the patrons receiving the tickets but also for the ABT staff that will use the data for future donor interactions. While data entry may not sound like the most glamorous work, it is actually quite important in facilitating a high level of customer service for ABT members. After having only previously been exposed to the dancer side of a ballet company, it has been immensely interesting to me to learn about the administrative side of the organization both in the work I do every day and in meeting and listening to staff members in other departments.

In addition to all of the office work I do each week, I have also been able to participate in a number of events held for ABT donors. Whether it was weekend studio visits, a rehearsal preview of Alexei Ratmansky’s new ballet Whipped Cream, or the Young Patron’s Evening post-performance party, it has been wonderful to see the administrative and artistic sides of the company come together and interact with ABT donors.

My experience at ABT has been nothing but positive, and I attribute that to the wonderful people I have been fortunate enough to interact with. The ABT staff has been incredibly friendly and helpful to me, and this has made all of the work I have done quite enjoyable. Of course it has also been lovely to interact with a number of ABT patrons and to share in the joy they experience at ABT!

I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to work for this incredible organization, and as my internship comes to a close I am making sure to soak up each moment I have at ABT!


Alex Gallagher

Patron Ticketing Intern

Spring 2017