Tag Archives: Press

The Next Step at ABT

15 Feb

In June of 2022 I walked out of the Metropolitan Opera House basically speechless after seeing ABT’s Of Love and Rage. My mother and I couldn’t stop talking about the beauty and intensity we saw on stage that day. Shortly after, I saw that internship applications were open at ABT, and my heart skipped a beat. I could never imagine working where some of my favorite ballets were performed, and it became possible just then.

Cut to September, and I am having my first of many intern meetings. These meetings are designed to give you professional development opportunities, and also connect you with many leaders in the company. Hearing the stories of others in the arts field was inspirational. I was able to see how they used their business or communication backgrounds to succeed in a performing arts space, how they were able to channel these skills to further the message of ABT.

Each day I worked closely with my mentor and the rest of the Press Department. From the beginning, each member of the department was so welcoming, and I was able to dive right into projects and tasks. I worked on collecting article mentions of ABT in the press, finding press contacts, and my favorite part: writing. I have always found writing to be an interest of mine, and I was really able to exercise this skill during my internship. Whether it was pitches, press releases, or media alerts, the team gave me so many opportunities to write and edit. Through reading, writing, and researching I was able to get so much information and history about ABT, which was so rewarding for me as someone who used to dance.

What was most exciting for me during these past few months was being a part of ABT’s Fall season. As an intern, we got tickets to see many of the shows, but as part of the press department I was able to see so much more of what goes on behind the scenes. Throughout the season I saw rehearsals, photoshoots, and worked with the press and photographers for the Fall Gala. Being able to witness these performances and rehearsals was so special to me, but was also a moment of professional growth. I saw how the press department and the press interact, and the process by which an article or review about the company gets published.

Overall, this internship was so incredible for my personal and professional growth. I got so much hands-on experience with Public Relations and communications, but I also found how special it is to work for a nonprofit, and to work for an organization with a clear mission. As someone in business school, working somewhere like ABT wasn’t something originally on my radar, but through this internship I was able to see the impact of performing arts organizations, and I am truly grateful for this experience and everything that it taught me.

Mia Brown

Press Intern

Fall 2022

A Summer of Learning, Joy, and Kindness 

22 Aug

As a lifelong dancer, New Yorker, and writer, with developing passions for journalism and communications, the ABT Press Internship was the ideal opportunity. The tasks I took on were familiar enough to confirm and fuel my passions, while also challenging enough to prompt questions and learn a lot about the inner workings of the Press Department. There is so much to share about my summer with ABT, so I will focus this post on three main pillars of my work: being at the Met, writing On Point articles, and working in Cision. Day-to-day, I also completed lots of smaller projects to support my mentor and the rest of the team that included organization, research, and polishing/updating many different types of documents, in addition to Zoom meetings and the occasional photoshoot. Every day, my mentor and the rest of the Press team were always accessible and more than happy to answer all my questions (do ask questions!!!) They worked their hardest to offer me every opportunity available and responded to my feedback about the types of projects I was interested in. From day one, they not only trusted me with their work, but also confidential information. I truly felt like another member of the team—very far from a coffee fetcher.  

At least once a week during the Summer Met season, I was able to join a member of the Press team at the theater to hand out press tickets and/or escort photographers and videographers. Handing out press tickets was very much a game of coordination with company management and reviewers, and then also a great way to learn names and faces as the same reporters showed up show after show. When photographers or videographers came to capture content for archival or media purposes, they frequently had questions about the production or specific dancers that the Press team answers. This was a learning curve at first, because as an intern, I was in the same information desert the reporter was in, but I quickly learned how to think on my feet and get them the information they needed. A huge plus of helping at the Met was getting the chance to watch performances and rehearsals of each ballet!  

After talking to my mentor about wanting to work on more writing intensive projects, one of my supervisors tasked me with working on two different articles for the Fall On Point newsletter! One article was entirely prose on two Fall season ballets, which I researched and wrote, and the other was an interview between a choreographer and dancer, which I transcribed and condensed. Getting to work on both was a great exercise in writing for both information and commercial purposes (we want people to come to the ballets!) and in editing based on feedback from my supervisors, all while writing about stuff I love! I expect it to be super rewarding to see my work in print, knowing it has gone out to ABT members everywhere, and will motivate people to get excited about the Fall season.  

Working in Cision may have been a less glamourous duty than the Met or On Point articles, but equally rewarding, informative, and a great learning experience. Cision is the website the Press department uses to monitor and organize mentions of ABT in the press. Each day I worked (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) I went through articles from the past days and tagged them according to their content. A few times throughout the summer, I worked with my mentor to organize them into a newsletter, complete with images, blurbs, and a high level of organization, to be sent out to ABT staff, dancers, and administration. This task was something I never considered the Press team was responsible for but is a critical aspect of the department. I learned that the role of the department is not just to facilitate ABT obtaining and making the most out of press opportunities, but also to keep everyone in the company informed of how they are being portrayed in external media.  

Before closing, I’ll add that in addition to how fabulous each individual department is, the intern program itself was awesome. Naomi and Julie are great resources and knew how to bring in other great resources to talk to the interns during our weekly meetings about all things arts administration. They communicate just enough to preserve our independence but let us know we are still supported and appreciated. Spending the summer with ABT was an incredible opportunity for so many reasons. If you are thinking about applying, do it! 

Sarah Weiner  

Press Intern

Summer 2022