Archive | Special Events RSS feed for this section

My Experience as an ABT Intern

1 Jun

As the Membership Intern, I go into the office once a week to create acknowledgment letters. Because ABT is a non-profit, it is important that donors receive acknowledgment letters for tax purposes. I would start the process by pulling a query on Raiser’s Edge, the donor database, of the gifts from the last week. I would then separate the gifts into 6 separate categories, as there were 6 different types of acknowledgment letters. I would then put each letter into a membership packet and envelope.  

When I worked remotely, I would send emails from the Membership Inbox and work on the Change List. The emails I sent were to recurring members whose cards had been declined, to members who received a link to a ballet (like Swan Lake), or to members who received a LWFC photo with their second ask donation.  

In addition, I worked with the Special Events team. For this role, I did a lot of prospect research. This research varied for different events, such as the June Gala and Holiday Benefit. I looked at potential sponsors, venues, and ticket prices. I would compile this research into a spreadsheet and present my findings to the Events department.  

I thoroughly enjoyed my time as an intern at ABT and truly learned a lot from the experience.  

Madi Burack

Membership & Special Events Intern (Development)

Spring 2023

An Eventful Semester!

15 Feb

As a last semester student moving to New York City and trying to find valuable experience, I was very nervous about finding a workplace that would give me as much as I was willing to give it. American Ballet Theatre did just this, and this wonderful semester has flown by quicker than I could have imagined.

During the semester, I have done a variety of tasks- big and small- that have taught me a great deal about special events in a nonprofit. No day looked quite the same as the special events intern. There were many ongoing tasks that I tackled, such as prospect research, donation acknowledgment letters, and sorting through the email inbox. However, I was also able to do so many tasks that prove how much goes into special events that you may not think of. For instance, on the day of the gala, me and my internship advisor glued cue cards for the speakers. Another interesting task I was part of was finding florists near the houses of our patrons so that we could deliver flowers to them as a ‘thank you’ after the gala. I would dare say these tasks are what taught me the most about special events. There is much more to this department than just planning two galas a year and hoping people will show up.

Along with these tasks, I also was able to sit in on zoom meetings weekly. Here, I begin to understand the importance of collaboration through the different segments of development. It was very interesting to see that in a company like ABT, all hands are on deck for anything where they need to be. It was also very inspiring to me to see how well ABT works as a team. I feel very lucky that, for a short period of time, I was able to be part of this team.

Working at ABT has been a really wonderful learning experience. It has shown me what interests me within development beyond special events, what a great work culture looks like, and lastly, what I am capable of. I was able to learn so much simply by my internship advisors trusting me to succeed. I am leaving ABT a more well-rounded and knowledgeable employee.

Chloe Cook

Special Events Intern (Development)

Fall 2022

A Summer Internship to Remember  

22 Aug

Where has the time gone by? That is what I found myself asking during the last week of my internship in the Special Events department at the American Ballet Theatre. My time with ABT was filled with amazing memories, new experiences and improved skills. I work with two talented women who truly made me feel like my work was important and I was a part of something bigger. And I enjoyed every moment of it!  

I worked closely with the Special Events Assistant Director and she allowed me to join in various department meetings. These meetings included sponsorship meetings, Development meetings, and Events meetings. These meetings gave me insight into some of the conversations that these departments have and how they work together towards a common goal. I was also able to learn about non-profit culture and expectations. This was very valuable information to learn as I might enter the non-profit world once I graduate.  

The Assistant Director also found it valuable for me to take on various types of tasks to ensure a well-rounded internship. These types of tasks included finance, communication, organization, data retrieving and entry as well as client correspondence. She made sure to explain the tasks well and why they were important to the department and ABT as a whole. This made me take more pride in my work and better understand the tasks I completed. These tasks also built skills that I had not known about before the internship.  

Working as an intern at ABT in the Special Events department has been a very impactful experience and created a summer I will always cherish. I made a lot of new connections, built my skill set, and learned way more than I anticipated. If I could sign up for this internship twice, I would do it in a heartbeat! 

Hazveen Lazare  

Special Events Intern (Development)

Summer 2022 


Till We Meet… Again

3 Aug

Growing up as a dancer in northern Westchester, an hour from the city, I have always viewed American Ballet Theatre as the most prestigious ballet company in the country. As I grew older and became more invested in dance, I realized that I wanted to pursue it as my main career path. However, I am constantly reminded that becoming a professional dancer is not an easy or predictable job nor is it financially stable.

Going into my first year at Southern Methodist University, I knew that I needed to find another interest that I could pursue as a complementary career path to dance but was unsure of what exactly that might be. Once Covid-19 hit, I decided that I would make use of online classes offered during the Summer of 2020 in hopes that the business courses would spark a new interest. After six general business courses, this summer provided a great opportunity to intern in arts management, combining my two interests: business and dance.

Eager and nervous, I submitted my application to American Ballet Theatre at the end of February. After much built-up anticipation, I checked my email and had received an interview invitation with Fallon Sullivan and Megan Stahlberg, the special events coordinators. I was able to complete my interview with them the following week and show them how my passion for dance and skills in business would prove useful in the Special Events Internship for the Summer of 2021. I was fortunate and overjoyed to be offered the position.

During the first few weeks of my internship, I learned the basics of the Raiser’s Edge donor database and met many professional artists during the bi-monthly Ballet Banter’s and Virtual Studio Visits. As the end of June was approaching, the special events team was fully invested in producing a virtual Summer Celebration Gala on July 15th. For this event, I worked alongside Fallon and Megan in weekly meetings as well as emailing and documenting hundreds of donors whose generosity allows for the growth of America’s National Ballet Company.

Summer Celebration was drawing near as the special events team was fully preparing for their biggest virtual fundraiser of the year. On the premiere of Summer Celebration, the microsite that ABT used was down due to issues with their server. As I watched the site buffer from my kitchen table, I sat back as my two mentors (and many development team members) performed some severe damage control in attempt to premiere the event to the thousands of viewers across the world. I was amazed by their talents in improvising this virtual nightmare. I was reminded at this moment that even the most prestigious companies are not perfect.

Aside from the multiple virtual events this year, America’s National Ballet Company set off on a country-wide tour visiting multiple cities and concluding their ABT Across America tour in the heart of Rockefeller Center. I was honored to be invited to the dress rehearsal where I was able to watch the dancers perform, as well as meet my many colleagues I had been working with all summer! One of my fellow interns and I stood there greeting the audience in the middle of Rockefeller Center with our “All Access” badges around our necks. This was such a surreal moment at the beginning of my career as I realize how proud of myself I was for working for such an elite company.

Throughout my special events internship with American Ballet Theatre, I have learned a tremendous amount about myself and what direction I see myself headed after college. I learned that I can prepare and strive for perfection, but when it comes down to it, I must be ready to improvise and think on my feet according to what is given to me. I am thankful to my mentors Fallon and Megan for fully integrating me into their daily work and providing me with challenging duties. Also, for giving me several opportunities to learn about myself which has inspired me to steer my career path to incorporate both dance and the business aspect of the arts.

Emily Slater

Special Events Intern 

Summer 2021

Hello Nice to Never Officially Meet You Both!

23 May

If you have read any posts on this blog from the Spring 2020 – Spring 2021 interns, you will be well aware that this year our internship experience was virtual. Meaning wake up in your bed, walk 10 feet to your desk and voila there is all of 890 Broadway at your fingertips – your ABT internship awaits. However, the virtual nature of the internship is not entirely what this post is about. If you would like to hear about that, just scroll down a couple posts.

When I interviewed for the position of Executive Office Intern, I met with Meredith Shell, the Executive Assistant at the time and immediately felt a connection with her and dare I say, had a pretty successful interview. Everyday I was waiting by my computer with my phone in my hand to hear back from her about whether I had gotten the position. I knew this is where I was meant to be for the next semester, but had Meredith known too? Turns out, she did! (Yes, I know you all knew that considering you are reading my post, but I threw it in for dramatic effect, ok?)

Very swiftly after the offer letter, the first days on the job arose. I worked effortlessly hand in hand with Meredith on everyday projects and tasks related to managing the Executive Director’s time and schedule efficiently. Meredith also introduced me to other departments in ABT that I had the pleasure of working with collaboratively and creating amazing content. The most notable would be the ABTalk series, which is a series of interviews with distinguished ABT community members who work in adjacent fields. I took a couple episodes from the idea to produce content, which was incredible to be a part of.

As soon as I got my bearings and was navigating the virtual internship seas, about 3 months in, with my incredible mentor/supervisor Meredith at my side (virtually), the boat tipped over and Meredith took her graceful leave of the company to pursue another opportunity. I was more than ecstatic for her, as I had seen day in and day out the hard work and dedication she puts into everything. But I was also scared for my future. What would I do without Meredith? I had only put three months into the position, and I was not sure if I could swim on my own.

However, I had no choice, so when Meredith left, another wonderful Executive Assistant, Johanna Kepler came in. She was new and wide eyed and knew less about the company than I did. So, for the remaining month of my internship experience, I told Johanna everything I knew, and we explored the vast depths of her responsibility together.

I have learned many valuable lessons from this internship, but the most important, I learned from Kara Medoff Barnett, the Executive Director, herself. During the beginning of my internship experience, Kara’s advice to me was to lean into the unknown and say yes to opportunities as a woman even if you’re scared. Be scared to do the things you don’t think you can or don’t feel prepared for, because at the end of the day, your success lies within you. You can do anything you put your mind to. Even going from intern to mentor in a virtual world for someone you’ve never met in an office you’ll never see.

Deja Robinson

Executive Intern

Spring 2021

See You Soon, ABT!!

23 May

Interning (virtually) at ABT has been an incredible experience and I am beyond grateful I  had the opportunity to learn and work at this incredible organization. Although I have  volunteered at organizations in the past, this experience was the first time I had ever interned at a  non-profit. When I applied I knew I was ready to get some finance experience at a non-profit and  bring some of my accounting skills to the organization. Additionally, I had not stepped into a  ballet studio since the age of six, however, art and the performing arts have always been an  important part of my life. I love to paint and would help with the dance and theater productions  at my school whenever I had the chance. Therefore, interning at ABT allowed me to experience  another side of productions I had never seen before, finance.

The projects I was given during my internship helped me understand the operations going  on behind the ballet productions, like payroll, depreciation schedules, prepaid expenses, and even  tax forms! I learned a lot about what goes into making performances come to life through  unconventional ways. For example, preparing the depreciation schedule for fixed assets allowed  me to learn more about productions and which materials, costumes, and props goes into creating  them. (I also discovered ABT’s production of Whipped Cream and went down a rabbit hole  researching that show!!) Additionally, Godwin and Sandra were amazing to work with and the  projects and guidance they offered helped make this internship an incredible learning experience.  I learned more about payroll with Sandra’s help and even with complications due to the virtual  nature of this internship and the sensitive information I was dealing with, I was still able to  complete many projects. Also, Godwin is an incredible mentor and truly made this internship a  chance for me to learn. The skills I acquired through each project helped me understand how the  accounting concepts I am learning in class apply in a real organization.  

 Finally, I am grateful for the (virtual) community I was able to join through my ABT  internship. Although I was in California, I still felt very much connected to the ABT community,  especially through Kara’s and Kevin’s kind and informative emails they would send out.  Additionally, Dennis’s weekly Friday meetings gave all the interns a chance to regroup and learn  useful technical skills, from writing a good cover letter to acing an interview. I also enjoyed all  the amazing guest speakers from across different departments at ABT who shared their  interesting experiences and fascinating stories.

 I am so grateful I had a chance to be part of ABT and contribute to this organization’s  mission. Although my internship ends soon, this is definitely not goodbye, I can’t wait to finally visit the studio in person!!!

Allia Al-Darmaki 

Finance Intern  

Spring 2021

My Semester at ABT

23 May

My life has always revolved around ballet. I started dancing when I was six, attended ballet performances monthly, and volunteered at the annual Nutcracker performances,  to name a few. At sixteen years old, I made the difficult decision to leave ballet to focus more on my studies. Although I had stopped dancing, I never left the dance world. I continued to volunteer at Miami City Ballet performances and continued to attend shows. When it came time to apply for my first internship, it only made sense for me to apply to a dance organization. When I learned that ABT was hiring interns for its spring semester, I immediately jumped at the opportunity to work for the JKO School, as I was a student at their summer intensive back in 2013 and had a fantastic experience. Fortunately, I was hired and joined ABT as an intern in the Department of Education and Training. 

During the past couple of months, I have hosted Zoom classes for four different levels of the JKO School, worked on data entry for fundraisers and summer intensive audition results, and final student evaluations for the semester. Through each step, I was guided by the JKO team of Katie Ferris, Katherine Currier, and Jenna Berloni, who provided constant assistance. It was astounding to see how detail-oriented the team was, as they were constantly aware of any issue with any student in the school. They were all very attentive and considerate of each student’s individual needs, especially during such a complicated time. As a student at Miami City Ballet, I always admired the hard work of the school administrators, and now I understand how much they genuinely care for every person at the school.

Although I would have loved to experience this internship in person, the online opportunity allowed me to travel to visit my family for an extended period of time. For two months, I was in my mother’s home country of Brazil, perfecting my Portuguese and spending time with my family, who I had not seen in over five years. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend so much time with my family, and I am so grateful that I could complete this work in Brazil. I will never forget this opportunity as my first internship experience, and I hope to be at 890 Broadway one day in the future!

Ashley Kail

JKO School Intern

Spring 2021

890 Broadway: A Community

21 May

890 Broadway seems to hold a special place in the hearts of so many people who are a part of American Ballet Theatre. This physical address was mentioned in our weekly intern meetings by many different guest speakers, again in weekly check-in meetings with the Children’s Division staff, and by teachers during JKO ballet technique classes. I have heard stories of students running up and down the hallways asking questions of the JKO staff, the relationships that are forged between pianist and dancer in the company’s studios, and the conference rooms in which a small, but mighty, marketing team discusses ways to bring ABT “into the now.”

Throughout my time as an intern for American Ballet Theatre, however, I have discovered that 890 Broadway is so much more than a physical location with ballet studios, offices, and conference rooms. 890 Broadway is a community of people—students, dancers, artists, musicians, staff, and audience members.

As one of the JKO School interns, I hosted and moderated the JKO Zoom technique classes throughout the week for four different levels. Although my face was hidden behind the ABT logo under the guise of “ABT JKO School”, I too feel part of the 890 Broadway community. Watching the dancers work and grow throughout the semester has been such a wonderful experience—one that inspires my love for this art form even further.  I watched as the Level 1A’s began to more clearly understand the technique of a tendu, was inspired by the Level 3A’s eagerness to explore the mechanics behind certain steps, listened as the Level 1B’s shared the excitement of their days before beginning their warm-up, and read their comments supporting each other during center exercises. Teachers encouraged questions and understanding; lectures in partnership with the NYU Harkness Center taught dancers about anatomy, nutrition, and mental health. Character classes brought excitement to the traditional schedule of ballet, conditioning, and modern classes, and parents were able to observe their dancers perform an exercise to music from The Sleeping Beauty during the final week of classes.

The JKO School is a community, and this community extends beyond the school, through every facet of the organization. Every single staff member or former intern who spoke during our weekly Friday intern meetings encouraged us to reach out with questions, or even just to have a conversation. Dennis Walters, our ABT internship coordinator and the Director of Education Operations, was available any time of the day for internship help, resume questions, and ideas on how to make the internship experience the most valuable it can be. The camaraderie among staff was almost tangible in the Weekly Education Staff meetings, and the JKO team of Katie Ferris, Katie Currier, and Jenna Berloni were so welcoming and quick to respond to any questions I had while moderating Zoom classes.

Over the last few months, I also worked on evaluation projects, summer intensive database entry, and began work on increasing the accessibility of adult classes. One project that particularly resonated with me was transferring data from a JKO fundraiser in coordination with Custom Ink to an Excel spreadsheet. Hundreds of individuals purchased a sweatshirt or donated in support of the school, but they also left comments sharing what ABT means to them and how the JKO school has shaped their life. The way American Ballet Theatre has impacted so many individuals, whether former dancers, company members, current students, audience members, or fans from across the world, is so inspiring. These comments are such a beautiful testament to ABT’s commitment to its mission of bringing ballet to the widest possible audience and the global community the company has created.

So, although I have never traversed the maze that 890 seems to be, what seems to truly make this place is the people.  I feel so honored to have been able to work with, learn from, and be a part of the same community as all of the wonderful staff at ABT. Thank you so much to the JKO team for such an engaging semester, and I cannot wait to see how the Children’s Division continues to grow, adapt, and become an even stronger community. 

Morgan Jankowski

JKO School Intern

Spring 2021

In Demand with ABT OnDemand!

21 May

One of the most interesting parts of being involved in a virtual internship is watching how different companies adapt to the current environment to stay relevant. Being in the arts and humanities industry, I figured that ABT would mostly be relying on the generosity of donors and members to help them stay afloat until they were once again able to perform. I was surprised to learn that not only were dancers still performing by utilizing a pod system, but the company was ensuring that performances were still being live streamed, and content was being presented.

I got to be a part of the launch of one of these efforts called ABT On Demand. Marketed as an online viewing platform, it would be a way for members to still find joy in performances even though they couldn’t attend live. This streaming platform would not only feature full length ballets, but Ballet Banter episodes, private classes, and other short films including the dancers. 

Once the platform launched however, we ran into a slew of problems that we weren’t entirely prepared for. Members were only allowed to access the streaming service if they gave above a certain amount in a calendar year or were a certain membership level. We were more than happy to extend access to anyone who requested it and made a generous donation.

However, we soon realized that we had donors who were donating their Met Subscriptions in place of cash donations. Because their donation was still accepted and typically fell over the required amount, we decided to also include them in the promotion. This led to an incredibly successful launch of ABT On Demand with viewers all over the world who were accessing our content. 

I loved being able to witness a project like this come to life and have a part in its success. Watching an industry that relies so heavily on its community be able to still provide for their supporters during a challenging time was incredibly satisfying. Knowing that people were consuming and enjoying the virtual performances gives me a lot of hope for the future of American Ballet Theatre for when we return to live shows.

Emma Titus

Patron Services Intern

Spring 2021

On Being the Membership Intern…

21 May

American Ballet Theatre’s internship program has been an amazing experience. I was a spring intern during the COVID pandemic and it was quite the trip. We zoomed into everything, which was weird but still awesome that ABT decided to still do internships. I loved how fast-paced it was and how you never knew what was going to happen, I love that kind of excitement. This internship kept me on my toes and was good practice for problem solving quickly and effectively.

One of my favorite parts of my internship was sitting in on department wide meetings to see what it takes to launch something like ABT On Demand or ABT’s spring campaign. As an intern, you were asked your opinion on things, which I thought was really cool. My mentor was very down to earth and honest with me about non-profit development work. She trusted me with big projects and I greatly appreciated that. She just kept giving me projects and asking what I’d like to be a part of. It’s crazy how fast the past 5 months have gone by. It feels like yesterday that I was meeting all of the spring interns and setting up logins for ABT. 

As an intern, you have an amazing opportunity to make lifelong connections that could help you with your future. Make friends and don’t forget to ask questions. It’s much easier for you and your mentor to ask questions about anything. You never know what kind of connections/meetings you could partake in. I would highly recommend asking to meet with people in departments that you are interested in. Take advantage of all the opportunities in front of you and make the most of your personal internship.

ABT’s internship program is a good way to get some exposure and see what job fields you might be interested in. I highly recommend applying to ABT’s internship program because it is an unforgettable experience.

Jessamyn Efken

Membership Intern

Spring 2021