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

WORK HARD, DANCE HARD

19 Jun
I have to say that interning at ABT is probably one of the best internship opportunities you might ever get. I studied Dance in College and am still active artistically in the dance scene. ABT gave me the opportunity to get a closer look behind the scenes and I am very thankful to have gotten the opportunity to learn from a successful arts organization what it means to keep the arts alive.

The ABT staff is incredibly inspiring. I could sense that they are very passionate about their work, which makes it fun to learn. As a Membership Intern in the Development Department I was lucky enough to have the opportunity of fulfilling a wide range of tasks. Getting to know and learning from the Membership staff has been an absolute pleasure. Everyone is super friendly and very open-minded.
In addition to that, my favorite part of the internship was helping out at Events. One of my first events I helped out with was a Ballet Class for Donors. For that class, staff members of the Membership Department joined in and also invited me to take the ballet class, which was taught by one of ABT’s current dancers. We, as well as the donors, had the best time dancing together in one of ABT’s studios, where I always saw the Company rehearse while passing by during the day.

Another one of my favorite moments was when I was invited to one of Project Plié’s meetings. ProjectPlié encourages people of color to work within the area of Classical Ballet. For that meeting Calvin Royal III came in to tell us about his experience and we ended up having great conversations involving interns, staff members and a dancer.

I have to say again that everyone at ABT is very humble and welcoming and I truly enjoyed my time working there as an Intern; an experience I will never forget.

Reshma Anwar
Membership Intern
Spring 2017

A Fouetté Turn Into My New Internship

22 Jan

Backstory: Summer 2016 was one of my biggest transitioning periods yet. After, interning and working for Dancewave for the past two years, my time came to an end in May. Due to funding, I was sad to hear that I was not going to be returning to Dancewave in the Fall. Although, I was bummed about the news, I am thankful for the amazing staff who introduced me to the field of arts administration and provided me with an exceptional experience of a working non-profit company in New York City.

At this point, I knew I wanted to continue gaining experience in arts administration or in the dance world in general, so I considered potential internships or jobs that would provide me that opportunity. My opportunity came sooner than I thought, when I was hired as a Summer counselor for ABT’s Summer Intensive 6-week program in June. In those 6-weeks I enjoyed watching over my group of students, taking class, and working with ABT’s staff. It was at the end of the 6-weeks, in July, when I was informed that I was not going to return to Dancewave. By now, I knew most internship positions were unavailable for the Fall, so I looked for internship positions in Spring – one of them being ABT’s Education and Training internship with the JKO School. Just when I thought I would have to wait an entire semester to even apply for the position, I received an email by Rebecca Schwartz (Director, ABT JKO School) offering me a positon for the Trainings Programs Internship for the fall semester. Delighted and beyond excited, I said yes.

Before I knew it, it was already September and my internship began. Interning with the JKO school gave me the opportunity to acquire office literacy skills, hands on experience/interactions with students, parents, and working professionals. It has taught me how to handle and manage situations with the most efficient solutions possible. My colleagues, Rebecca, Katie F., Katie C., and Leann of the JKO School took the time to teach me the ins and outs of what it takes to run a school within a world-wide known company like ABT.

Attending events like ABT’s 2016 Fall Gala at Lincoln Center or Sacks Fifth Avenue-Land of 1000 Delights, while working behind the scenes is an experience of a life-time. Knowing I was part of a team that was working towards making a high-volume event come together for the company, the students, their parents, and guest audiences to enjoy, brought me self-satisfaction and honor. I got to see working professional artists like Misty Copeland or Gillian Murphy outside of the stage in their morning company class or backstage at Lincoln Center, securing their ribbons just before going on stage; I felt like a little kid in a candy store. Inside the ABT studios, I was surrounded with warm-smiling children, older students, and teaching artists every day. Both the students and teachers were dedicated to each other in providing exquisite training and commitment to their progression in their training.

Four months later, walking away from my internship, I realized it was a dream come true. I could never fully put into words how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to intern for ABT or how much more I have learned about myself and professionally. The skills that I have acquired will stick with me for a life-time and I will be applying them throughout my career within the performing arts.

Elizabeth Juarez

Education and Training Intern

Fall 2016

A Learning Opportunity

22 Jan

“Why don’t you pull up your chair. This is a good teaching moment.” Many times this semester my mentor would ask me to do just that, and so time and time again I would pull up my chair next to her desk. These are the moments that truly make ABT a unique place to intern. Interns at ABT are part of the Educational program. Not a distraction but a valued investment.

Coming from a liberal arts background, finance or budgets were not really my strong suite. But perhaps the opportunity to intern in ABT’s Institutional Support Department excited me precisely because of the challenge it presented. I knew I could learn, because I knew I’d be taught.

I always had a lot of questions. But my mentor was extremely patient and more than willing to answer them. She spent time explaining the details of raising institutional support: what the application process for the different foundations looks like and how diverse the requirements can be, what the best ways to organize and document files are, what the nuances of interactions with representatives of foundations or corporations are, how project budgets are created, how to write reports, and so much more. But not only did I have the opportunity to learn about Institutional Support, I also got a glimpse into the Development, Artistic, Production Departments, and the Company as a whole. I knew that after graduating I want to be working in arts administration, but more and more I’m coming to understand how broad of a term it really is. ABT gave me the opportunity to explore and learn about the field not limiting me only to one aspect.

Looking back at my four months as an intern in the Institutional Support Department, I am blown away by how much I have had the chance to learn: what is a W990 form, how to make project budgets, how to write grants, and do prospect research. Things that only a couple of month ago existed vaguely in my imagination have now become concrete concepts I am ready to talk about and work on. The hands on experience and actively being able to apply the knowledge to a real life situation right after sitting by my mentor’s desk and learning about it make the ABT Internship Program truly unique.

Alisa Goz

Institutional Support

Fall 2016

The Real Highlight was the Guest Speakers!

9 Jan

The National Training Curriculum internship at American Ballet Theatre has been an incredibly rewarding experience! Looking back on the semester I can’t believe how much I have learned in such a short time! American Ballet Theatre is a place I could have only imagined working for and getting to come to the office every morning felt like a dream come true! This internship was also a huge asset to me as a NYU Masters student in the ABT pedagogy program pursuing my certification in the National Training Curriculum and a degree in Dance Education.

 

The guest speakers that lectured during the internship program were a real highlight for me. They offered great insight to various departments of the performing arts administration world. For me, as someone seeking a job in performing arts administration but unsure about which path to pursue, this was extremely helpful and interesting. Often, the guest speakers would over lap with ones brought in to speak at my NYU Performing Arts Administration course. This was so beneficial to me because not only did I get a clearer understanding of what the role of a Controller, a Company Manger or The Manager of Institutional Support is but I also got to see what I was studying in action and how it applies to the real world! This created a very well rounded experience for me.

 

I felt very welcomed into the ABT family and I was so lucky to work under such great mentors, Meghan, Molly and Sonia. I have so much respect for how much work goes into running the NTC program and how dedicated they all are to their job! I feel as though I really have really gained skills that I will carry with me into the future and much greater insight when looking for employment in a performing arts institution!

Dasha Schwartz

National Training Curriculum Intern

Fall 2016

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

Go To All the Events!!!

26 Dec

Coming into my internship with the Major Gifts department at ABT, I had only a vague idea of what words like “Major Gifts” or “Development” meant. I was the tiniest bit afraid it would turn out to be dry or not at all what I expected. But over this past semester, my experience with ABT proved how interesting and creative a career arts administration can be. It’s so inspiring to work with people who care deeply about ABT’s mission and the performing arts as a whole, and to see all of the behind-the-scenes work give life to the projects on stage.

While the events and performances were definitely highlights of my time at ABT, I can’t overlook the experience I had day-to-day at 890 Broadway. In the Major Gifts office, Fallon Sullivan was so ready to help me learn (about development, the industry, our finicky printers, etc.) and contribute to the staff’s work. I was happy to see how the work I was doing was immediately used by Major Gifts to reach out to donors, organize events, or create reports. There were also of plenty of little hands-on projects that came up now and then – designing invitations, putting together an information binder for the board, asking a dancer for their signature for a donor gift, etc. I never felt like I was stuck doing “busywork,” and if it was ever tedious, the people I was surrounded by always brightened things up!

Aside from regular office duties, my favorite parts of the internship were the occasional pop-up events. Just before the opening of the Fall season, donors sometimes came into 890 Broadway to sit in on a rehearsal or dance class. I loved putting faces to the names I’d been working with and hearing a bit about their lives. It was also inspiring to see the dancers work tirelessly to perfect their performance. Another day, Burberry NYC was hosting a special fundraiser for major donors and members in their midtown location. I tagged along with another intern, taking in the incredible runway collection, the dancers, and donors who shopped the event. And at an early morning intern meeting, Kara Medoff Barnett (ABT’s new Executive Director) came to talk informally with us about her professional and personal experience leading up to her new job at ABT. After each of these little surprises, I looked at ABT with a new appreciation – the office and the art and all of the staff are constantly blending into each other, each of them striving to put forth the best work possible.

As a note of advice for future interns, I would recommend that you go to ALL the events possible. They’re so fun, and that is where you get to soak in what the heart of ABT is about and to make a connection with the staff and the other interns. Ask as many questions as possible, and don’t be afraid to reach out to anyone and everyone! Everyone I encountered in my time at ABT was so open and willing to help out. I can’t thank them enough for the incredible experience I had this semester. I look forward to putting everything I’ve learned into practice!

Rebecca Souza

Major Gifts Intern

Fall 2016