Meet SAB’s Summer DIAL Program Intern – Tyler Anderson

This summer, SAB once again had the pleasure of partnering with Americans for the Arts through their Diversity in Arts Leadership (DIAL) Internship Program. This program strives to strengthen and advance diversity in the arts management field by providing college students working towards careers in the arts or business sectors with a hands-on introduction to arts nonprofits. Interns gain invaluable exposure to dynamic leaders across a variety of arts disciplines and businesses, helping them become better equipped to enter the workforce as a diverse and creative future leader.

SAB was pleased to welcome Tyler Anderson as our summer intern this year. Tyler’s first day on the job was our annual Workshop Performance Benefit honoring Kay Mazzo, and he was instrumental in helping the School with several large-scale projects including SAB’s 2022 Impact Report. He also assisted with work around our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives and was a huge help at our week-long New York Junior Session. We asked Tyler to share a bit more about his experience as a DIAL intern and what he’s taking from his time working with SAB.

SAB: Tell us just a little bit about yourself and how you got involved in the DIAL internship placement program.

TA: I’ve been a lover of dance since I was a child and hold onto that passion deeply to this day; I was in a Broadway-style performance troupe for seven years of my childhood, all my school’s musicals, and have gone on to study Dance and Modern Languages and Cultures (concentration: Professional Spanish) at Slippery Rock University. This past year at SRU in conjunction with this internship has solidified my belief that a job in the arts sector is where I belong, whether in performance, administration, or development. I applied for the DIAL internship in January 2022 while searching for various opportunities in the arts and was elated to receive an invitation for an interview! After following through the interview process, I was informed (on my birthday, of all days!) that I was placed with the School of American Ballet—an institution I had just learned about in a course titled Dance in Contemporary Times during the Spring 2022 semester. Though I focus mostly on Modern and Jazz Dance at my university, I knew there would be a ton of information to learn from this preeminent organization. Immediately, I reached out to Elise Drew León, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Kristen Barrett, Director of Development, to learn more about what would be in store for me for Summer 2022. This was my first time applying for this internship, and I have the utmost gratitude for Jerelle Jenkins from American for the Arts, and the teams I’ve worked with at SAB for making this experience enriching, engaging, and exciting.

SAB: What interested you about SAB and the opportunity to work with us this summer?

TA: Truthfully, the legacy of the organization is most interesting to me. As mentioned, I learned about how integral this organization was in solidifying ballet — and dance, in general — in America, and to be a part of its history is truly a privilege. After coming into this space, I remained engaged due to the incredible people with whom I’ve had the chance to work. As I’ve come to find out about non-profit environments, there is a lot of shared responsibility, which kept me engaged across departments. Before even stepping foot on the Lincoln Center campus, I was deeply curious about what happens behind the scenes in order to keep this organization moving forward. How, I wondered, does an organization seem to stand the test of time? And how do I help push the needle a little further? These two questions, alongside an incredibly dedicated staff, have guided me throughout my time at this internship.

SAB: What has this internship been like for you, particularly in this hybrid working arrangement? What have been the best parts of the experience?

TA: This internship has been extraordinary, filled with an immense number of opportunities, information, and learning experiences. Working with the DEI department has allowed me to put the information I’ve learned from my Gender Studies minor into tactile initiatives. Working with the Development department has curated an interest in donor outreach, special events organizing, and fundraising in me. I’ve also been extremely grateful to have had multiple informational interviews in which I learned about departments I have had little interaction with, such as Finance and Student Life, as well as having spoken to renowned faculty members. Having an informational interview with Jonathan Stafford, the Artistic Director of SAB and the New York City Ballet, was extremely heartwarming; I have been watching NYCB’s YouTube videos for years now, and to speak with the person in charge was a dream come true. Working on this year’s Annual Impact Report alongside the Development department also allowed me to explore more of the School’s inclusive initiatives while using my artistic creativity. In terms of the hybrid model, I’ve tried to remain on-site as much as possible, but I have run into certain obstacles where the hybrid option allowed me to work from the comfort of my home. I’m thankful that when health complications arose and when I needed some mental recharge, the teams didn’t hesitate to allow me to work remotely. To me, it proved, yet again, how well this organization treats its people.

SAB: What challenges have you encountered during the internship?

TA: Most of my challenges have been from my desire to take on as many tasks as I could and finishing them as quickly as possible. This became convoluted at times due to overlapping due dates. To ensure that I finished the work properly and timely, I have had constant dialogue with my supervisors about the projected tasks and their level of importance. Equally, I wrote down essentially everything to keep a tangible to-do list. Navigating New York City also came with a learning curve, but I feel much more confident getting around now compared to my first week here. Thankfully, there hasn’t been any challenge that I haven’t been able to overcome with the support and guidance of my supervisors and fellow team members.

SAB: Are there any particular learnings or projects that resonated with you and will influence you in future work?

TA: I absolutely loved working on the Impact Report with the Development Team. For this document, I worked alongside Kristen Barrett on the process of designing the report, writing various articles, and creating a QR code to help bring the document to life. Working on this document exposed me to all the behind-the-scenes information that proves the School is continuously working towards further incision and expansion. Reading student quotes, statistics about scholarships, and the various advancements made in the Student Life and DEI departments proved to me first-hand that change is not only being made but has been solidified. I will undeniably bring this dedication to expansion in my future endeavors. It is inspiring to see a traditional, once-exclusionary art form grow to include all races, ethnicities, genders, and sexualities; I will ensure that wherever I end up in my career, I will bring with me this dedication to DEI work. I am extremely excited and proud to show off this document to all my professors back at school in addition to my family, friends, and future employers. But ultimately, what will resonate with me most of all is the connections I have made with the individuals here at the School; each and every person I’ve worked with has been supportive, engaging, and excited to work with me. I hope to stay in touch with everyone, and that our paths cross again in the future!

Our thanks to Americans for the Arts for this meaningful experience and to Tyler for spending his summer with SAB and sharing the story of his internship. We know he and his cohort of fellow DIAL interns have bright futures in the arts and we cannot wait to see the positive impacts they are sure to make in our community.