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My ABT Experience

21 Nov

After attending American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive Program from 2010-2012, it has always been a dream of mine to return to 890 Broadway. I have felt a strong connection to ABT ever since then because I have kept up with the whereabouts of the dancers I met in the Intensive who are now company members. I became friendly and familiar with numerous dancers in the Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis School who had attended the Summer Intensive. Over the years, I continued to follow these dancers on social media and keep up with their whereabouts in the dance world. It is exciting to see dancers like Cassie Trenary advance through the company from a corp de ballet member to a soloist. I remember admiring her when we danced on the same stage in the Summer Intensive program.

My experience in the ABT internship program has been a unique experience. I am lucky enough to hold two positions. I am the Development Assistant intern and the Special Events intern.  I am incredibly grateful that I have the opportunity to work in two departments because it deepens my overall understanding of arts administration. The two teams are in the Development Department. Interning for both teams gives me the ability to see connections and overlaps within the department. For example, as the Development Assistant intern, I work with the Board of Trustees. Over the past couple months, I became familiar with their names. When I was given the task from the Special Events team to send an LA Benefit invite to a Board member, it was gratifying to be familiar with the name.

I thoroughly enjoy working with the ABT team. The ABT staff and interns are extremely supportive. During the first week of the program, I created a groupchat that allows us to write any questions or comments. Our weekly internship meeting often includes pizza! These meetings feature speakers from different departments giving us an idea of their positions. It has been a pleasure working alongside the staff members in the Development Department. They are helpful and passionate about what they are doing. I cannot express enough how this has been the best experience!

abtgalalalaMaddie Ricca

Development Assistant Intern and Special Events Intern

Fall 2017

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Halloween at ABT

7 Nov

After dancing professionally for Ailey II, the sister company of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, I began to develop an interest for arts administration in the nonprofit sector. I began to think of ways to transition my career off the stage to one day running a dance nonprofit. In this way I would be able to pursue my two passions of dance and giving back to the community. This pursuit led me to Columbia University where I enrolled in the Fall of 2017 to pursue a degree in Nonprofit Management. In retrospect, I had attended the American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive in 2006 during my earlier days in Ballet and somehow felt that it was not my last visit at 890 Broadway. So, after learning about ABT’s internship program and realizing that this would be a great asset in my education, I applied and was thrilled when I received a phone call from Dennis Walters, the Associate Director of Education and Training who offered an internship position for Fall 2017.

My first task was to assist Mr. Walters and ABT Teaching Artists at PS 261K with their Make a Ballet program. The experience gained by interacting with the public school students was truly rewarding and enjoyable, especially witnessing how ABT outreach programs were enabling students to develop their execution and appreciation for ballet. Seeing first-hand the benefits of educational outreach helped to solidify my desire to one-day work in education outreach, which further ignited my passion for arts education. My other tasks consisted of organizing the intern binders, updating programs, making IDs for the full staff, and attending educational program events. I really enjoyed participating in the meetings with my co-workers, Dennis, Amanda, and Richard because I learned first-hand the type of work that is required to successfully manage educational programs.

Intern meetings are held every Friday where we all convene and listen to an employee of ABT speaking about their responsibilities, challenges, and successes at ABT. I have learned to appreciate what it takes to be a company manager, how to write grants, enhance a resume, and how to write a proper cover letter. I particularly found the latter to be beneficial for me when I begin to seek employment after graduation. On October 20th, several interns and I attended ABT’s Koch Theater season. I was able to invite my aunt to see the company and we sat in the orchestra seats two seats away from the Artistic Director, Kevin McKenzie.

I also had the opportunity to work at the Lincoln Center Halloween Event on October 28th where I assisted in the setup of the ABT section and passed out candy to children while informing their parents of the upcoming ABTKids family-friendly performance. Seeing the joy on the children’s faces when I passed them a sticker saying “I am an ABT kid” was gratifying. The use of this simple sticker showcased ABT and served as a great marketing tool.

In conclusion, I enjoy working in the education department because everyone is welcoming and friendly. By the mere presence of Kate Lydon in the office, who was my repertory teacher in 2006, and chatting with Sascha Radetsky a former ABT Soloist who I watched growing up, and simply walking through the corridors of the building have come full circle for me. I admire the dedication and the hard work conducted by all departments that have contributed to make ABT the company that it is today. I am extremely thankful for what I have learned at ABT and I cannot wait to implement the knowledge gained into the nonprofit world!

Annellyse Munroe

Education and Training Intern

Fall 2017

First Week at ABT

3 Nov

My first week as the Development Assistant intern at ABT was a whirlwind to say the least. Not only is this my very first internship, but it’s also my first experience working in an office setting. I honestly didn’t know what to expect going in, but it is safe to say that my first week was better than anything I could have ever imagined.

My first day went by in a blink of an eye. During the first intern meeting the previous Friday we had a tour of the office and brief introductions, so I wasn’t a complete stranger to 890 Broadway when I walked in for my first full day. The entire staff welcomed me with open arms and I was greeted with smiles that fueled my excitement for the day. I was quickly set up at my very own computer and was introduced to the programs that ABT utilizes for day to day activities. My mentor, Michelle, guided me through the entire process and made me feel as though I was already a part of ABT’s family! I left that evening more enthusiastic than ever for this entire experience, and the next two days did not disappoint.

Thursday, I was scheduled to work ABT’s Junior Turnout, an event organized by ABT’s Junior Council, which included a silent auction and dancing at the Bowery Hotel. One of the great things about interning at ABT is that you aren’t chained to a desk all day, and there are tons of opportunities to help out at events. Some of the other interns and I worked alongside the Development department staff to add the perfect amount of glitter and glamour (the theme of the event) to the Bowery Terrace. Bonding as we worked, I was able to get to know the other interns and the staff a little better throughout the day. As I passed out VIP bracelets, I spent the evening in awe of the gorgeous dancers and other attendees. I was even able to take part in some of the festivities at the end of the night. The highlight for me was being able to take home one of the extra gift bags!

The next morning, I set out to work ABT’s Leadership Lab, which was a preview for a new workshop designed for corporate training retreats and conferences. Luciana Paris and Calvin Royal were there to assist with the presentation. My job was to greet the guests in the lobby and I was introduced to some of the Board of Trustees. It was great to be able to put some faces to names of the people who play integral roles in ABT’s success. After the Leadership Lab I was able to go up to the roof where the event was being held and I stood in awe of the opportunity I had been given through this internship. My first week kicked off one of the most incredible journeys with ABT and I know this semester will be the experience of a lifetime.

Marisa Simon

Development Assistant Intern

Fall 2017

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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.

It’s More than Just an Office Job – My Experience as an ABT Intern

22 Aug

Working for the National Training Curriculum at American Ballet Theatre this summer has been amazing. Unlike some of my past internships, ABT has provided me with experiences that go beyond the development of basic professional skills. Weekly intern meetings allowed opportunities to learn more about non-profits and how to create the perfect resume. Outings to Pointe Magazine Headquarters and the Roundabout Theatre Company expanded my knowledge regarding potential careers in the arts. In addition, speaking with numerous ABT employees helped me network and working alongside the other interns provided me with lifelong friendships. Frequent trips to the Metropolitan Opera House were awe inspiring and validated the hard work that happens at 890 Broadway. Besides the computer, communication and organizational skills that I developed in the office, I also got to meet ballet teachers from all over the world during the training sessions.

After almost three months of amazing experiences however, there is one that stands out from the rest. It was the end of the day during one of our training sessions and I was the only person in the office. The teachers were preparing for their last class of the day in which they would be observing a group of young dancers. As I was printing programs for the Young People’s Ballet Workshop, I happened to look up and see a mother and her young daughter. The mother came over to me with pleading eyes and asked if I knew anyone that could do her daughters hair for class. Luckily, I have danced for years and have conjured countless ballet buns. I told the mother I could do it and watched her face flood with relief. Sitting the little girl in my office chair, I twirled and pinned and twirled and pinned until she was adorned with a perfect ballet bun. They both thanked me profusely and headed off to class.

This moment is so memorable to me because I think it really shows what ABT is all about. It does not matter if you have been a part of the dance world for your entire life or are brand new; ABT brings people together and facilitates a love and appreciation for the arts. Whether it is the Education or Finance Department, student or member of the company, they all work together seamlessly towards a common mission. Doing the little girls hair for class made me feel like I was part of something bigger, and that is what it is like working for American Ballet Theatre.

Lindsey Jacquier

National Training Curriculum Intern

Summer 2017

Beauty and Chaos- ABT’s Met Season

22 Aug

“Why ABT?”  This was the first question I was asked when I interviewed for my position at ABT. Bouncing from art galleries to museums to magazines, I admit applying for ABT was an anomaly among anomalies. But after a summer of working in the Major Gifts department, I can definitely say that I’m beyond grateful they took a chance on me. My first day was at the end of May and everybody was already deep into the hectic Met Season, a string of eight weeks where ABT puts on eight different ballets at the Metropolitan Opera House. If you get the chance to take a summer internship with ABT and experience the wonderful chaos that is the Met Season, do not hesitate to accept it. I dove in head first, working shows, luncheons, auctions, board meetings, backstage tours, you name it. I got to meet a few major donors and talk with them, tour the Opera House with my all-knowledgeable mentor who told me fun facts about the founding of the opera, the famous Met Opera chandeliers, and the inner workings of the immense building, and I got to step out onto the stage and see what the dancers saw every night. I got to walk backstage while Hee Seo was warming up, and see Devon Teuscher dance the Black Swan in Swan Lake from backstage and see her run off laughing, care free. Almost more exciting, I got to hear the news firsthand when she was promoted to principal dancer. I got to see Misty Copeland dance an excerpt from Swan Lake and see her perform in The Golden Cockerel. I went from having little to no exposure, to seeing six different shows and having daily interaction with dancers and dance fanatics. Admittedly when the Met season ended things slowed down. But my time was spent conducting research and walking through the studios amidst all of the summer programs while the halls filled with music and the sound of pointe shoes hitting the floor. How can work ever be boring when your office is half-office space half-rehearsal space?

ABT has taught me invaluable knowledge about ballet but they have also nurtured and grown indispensable skills. Research, writing, communication, Excel and Word efficiency, attention to detail, even learning how to use Raiser’s Edge, are all skills that I have had to use in the past and will need to use in the future. They are skills that one never truly masters but is constantly improving, and my experience with ABT has sharpened them immensely. Not only did I learn how Major Gifts operates, and for a company as big and renowned as ABT, but through the internship program and our weekly meetings I learned about the other departments as well and even got to experience some of the inner workings of the Roundabout Theatre Company and Pointe Magazine. An internship with ABT is all about growth, about learning new things, trying new things, and enjoying what you do. Dance is about passion from every angle, even those who work in dance share a passion for it and that is what makes working for ABT so great. Everyone loves what they do and they do it because they love it. Even those who don’t dance themselves (like me) can enjoy and treasure a position at ABT. There is so much more to the company and so much to learn and experience, you will not regret an internship here.

 

Baylee McKeel

Major Gifts Intern

Summer 2017

Ballet and Beanie Baby Basketball

31 Jul

“How do you feel about going on a field trip on Thursday?” Dennis Walters, the Associate Director of Education and Training, asked one afternoon in March. I was here to learn so whatever it was, I knew that it would be valuable for me to observe. Dennis soon explained that he would be going to the City Hall with Ebonie Pittman, the Manager of Institutional Support. She is in charge of corporate sponsorships and grants at American Ballet Theatre and they scheduled a meeting with one of New York City’s Council Members. The meeting would hopefully convince the councilmember to support ABT’s outreach programs with his flexible funds to enrich arts in the schools in his district. I was taking a class on fundraising and grants so this was the perfect opportunity for me to get a glimpse of what a meeting would look like. Then Dennis added a cherry on top to an already exciting day when he asked “I’m going to the Metropolitan Opera that afternoon for a meeting after that. Do you want to come to the meeting?” My answer, of course, was a yes!

 

Thursday came around and Dennis, Ebonie and I got on the train to head to the City Hall. As they reviewed the folder full of data and information on the subway, I was excited to be able to connect what I learned in class to a real funding meeting. The meeting itself was brief but Ebonie and Dennis articulated the importance of arts programs and the results of ABT’s outreach programs through its 20 years’ history. As we left the office, I asked Dennis and Ebonie when the funding would be secured and learned that we may not know until August or September. While it may seem like a last minute decision before the school year, knowing that the students would ultimately benefit from the program would surpass the inconvenience of uncertainty.

 

We then headed to the Metropolitan Opera House. I was in awe of the beautiful chandeliers and it was even more special to see it when the house was empty. Representatives from the Metropolitan Opera, ABT’s Special Events, Company Management and Education Departments gathered to align all the events that were scheduled for the Met Season. They went through each event and confirmed that everyone was on the same page with room arrangements, catering, and even smallest procedures. While it may seem tedious, it was important to prevent any confusion on the day of the event when there are patrons and audiences in the house.

 

Of course this was one of many exciting days. To name a few others, I helped out at donor events, assisted final performances at Make a Ballet schools, helped teach a Make a Ballet Administration class at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, witnessed kids’ excitement as they were about to step onto the stage for Young People’s Ballet Workshop at the Met, sat in on a company wide meeting, and delivered pre-performance workshop materials to the Met. Even a monotonous day at the office was made interesting by flying cupcake beanie babies. (Long story short, they were bought for a pre-performance workshop for Whipped Cream and they are the perfect size to be catapulted across the office without hurting anyone. Don’t be alarmed when you’re in the office and there’s a cupcake beanie baby or an angry bird plushy in the air! Dennis will launch one into the air when you least expect it and an impromptu basketball game might ensue. As Dennis says, all ABT interns learn how to catch because you don’t want your face to end up being a backboard.) From exciting field trips to working in the office, I am so grateful to say that my time as an intern at ABT was full of opportunities to learn and fulfilling.

 

Sarah Cho

Education and Training Intern

Spring 2017