I am interning this summer at Carnegie Hall’s music education and social impact programs department, The Weill Music Institute (WMI). The mission statement is as follows: Carnegie Hall’s mission is to present extraordinary music and musicians on the three stages of this legendary hall, to bring the transformative power of music to the widest possible audience, to provide visionary education programs, and to foster the future of music through the cultivation of new works, artists and audiences. The Weill Music Institute is split up into three parts: artist training programs, social impacts programs, and learning & engagement programs. This summer I will be working as assistant to the Director of Social Impacts Programs. This internship will allow me to gain insight into what a possible career in arts administration will look like since my supervisor is an arts administrator at a very high level. I feel very lucky to be working with my supervisor because she exhibits many wonderful leadership qualities that I hope to learn from her. It is exciting to be around such a strong female role model! I am also excited to learn about the ways in which The Weill Music Institute creates new programs and maintains existing ones. I will be working on a new program that they just launched in March, Create Justice, so I will get direct experience in watching how these programs are shaped and get to help with the shaping of the future of the program.
My first day on the job was very exciting! On the way to work, I was joking with my friend that I wouldn’t get much responsibility and have the typical first day that any intern has: a tour around the office and a tutorial on how the copy machine works…but I was very wrong. I had never been to Carnegie Hall before my first day. I had only seen pictures and heard stories about incredible musicians putting on even more incredible concerts. The first few hours were mainly spent acclimating to the office space and meeting new people, but then I had a meeting with my supervisor about what I would be doing for the rest of the day. There was a small choir coming in for a concert that evening in the Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage (the main stage of Carnegie Hall). This choir was made up of older people who were either currently experiencing homelessness or had experienced it in the past. The program they were from participated in the first songwriting project that Carnegie had around seven years ago, so it was very special since some of the people in the choir were there for that first songwriting experience. My supervisor and I were hosting the choir from around 2pm until the end of the concert (~10:30pm) so it was a very long day of figuring out how to get around backstage/around the building while escorting this choir. It was wonderful to be able to engage with some of the people that the Social Impact Programs had directly worked with over the years. In addition to spending the day with the members of the choir, many people from the communities that The Weill Music Institute provides opportunities to were at the concert as audience members and I had the chance to speak with some of them. I can’t think of a better way to be introduced to The Weill Music Institute than through meeting the people who are experiencing the programing that WMI provides. As an added bonus, during the actual concert, Stephen Schwartz (composer of Wicked and Godspell) made a guest appearance and sang the well-known song from Wicked, “For Good”. Overall, my first day felt like the perfect introduction to both The Weill Music Institute and Carnegie Hall!