Hometown: Mount Vernon, OH
Program: Arts Management
Degrees: A.A. (humanities focus), Ohio University
What sparked your interest in Arts Management?
My interest in arts management began while I was studying theater performance at Ohio University in Athens, OH. I had recently completed an internship as company assistant for Tantrum Theater, and it was the most enjoyable work experience I had had to date. I loved being able to be there for the performers, designers, tech team, and everyone else involved with the productions. Later, when I decided to shift career paths away from acting, I thought back on my experience with Tantrum and knew I wanted to pursue arts management.
Why did you choose Ohio State for your BA studies?
Over time, I realized the instability that comes with an acting career was incompatible with my mental illness and began to shift focus to find another way I could still be involved in the arts and the production of theater. Ohio University was launching an arts administration master’s program, and it sounded like exactly what I wanted to study, but I was still an undergraduate. I began to look for an undergraduate program that had similarities to the Ohio University program, and that is how I found out about The Ohio State University’s undergraduate degree in arts management. It also had the added benefit of allowing me to move to a city for the first time.
Where are you completing your internship and what are your internship duties?
I am currently completing an internship at the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts, or CAPA. As the Special Events and Development intern, it has been my responsibility to assist the development team and the special events manager with fundraising endeavors for the various Columbus arts organizations that utilize CAPA’s shared services. I have been involved in development staff meetings, compiling mailing lists for donor solicitations, keeping records, securing donation items, creating raffle displays, compiling collateral for events, catering meetings, theater operations team meetings, event set up, event registration, and distributing pledge cards during a fundraising paddle-raise. I have also had the opportunity to receive some training with the Tessitura database, which is becoming a more popular system among arts organizations.
What goals did you set for yourself in completing your internship at CAPA and how have you met these goals?
At the beginning of the semester, I set several goals for myself, including learning CAPA’s role in the Columbus arts scene, building my network, learning what a development department does, and increasing my knowledge of how to plan and execute events. I have made improvements in all these areas through my day-to -day responsibilities at CAPA and while assisting with the planning and execution of galas and VIP events for the McCoy Center for the Arts, the Lincoln Theatre Association, and CATCO theatre company. This internship has been an amazing learning opportunity and will help me secure more arts management positions in the future.
What advice would you give to students interested in completing an internship? What advice would you give to students about applying for internships?
My advice for those interested in completing an internship, and for arts management students who are required to complete one before graduation, is to frequently visit Handshake and apply to internships even if you do not meet every requirement. You are never going to feel 100% like you know what you are doing all the time, so you may as well apply. When you create a cover letter, be sure to research the organization so that you can state what it is you like about the organization and so that you can include subtle references that show that your values and passions align with those of the organization. Do not be afraid to show off your personality! And finally, try your best to find paid internships when possible. Your time is worth it!
How has the Barnett Internship Program helped you learn additional professionalization skills?
Taking this course has improved my skills in professional communication like emails and has taught me the importance of networking. Through my time at CAPA, I have learned what a valuable asset knowing the right people can be when it comes to finding new collaborative opportunities and fundraising within the arts world.