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Sarah Rose Christy ’10 writes about her internship at the Princess Grace Foundation in New York City

Sarah Rose Christy ’10 (Levittown, Pa.), an economics and business major, spent her summer as an intern for the Princess Grace Foundation in New York City. She secured the position with the nonprofit arts organization through the help of Amy Desmond ’77, its assistant treasurer.

For the arts, New York City is a center for talent and culture that is unparalleled. This summer, I had the privilege to work in the center of it all at the Princess Grace Foundation-USA, a nonprofit that supports emerging artists in dance, theater, and film. As an intern, I was able to combine my love of the arts and my interest in the business world to learn a great deal about careers in the arts, nonprofits, and event planning.

One of my main tasks was to assist in the planning of PGF’s fundraising gala, which is held annually to honor the award recipients of that year. I was exposed to a variety of aspects of planning a large-scale event, from designing the invitations to choosing award winners. My main focus, however, was helping to acquire donations for the silent auction and create cohesive packages that incorporated the various items.

Living and working in New York City was something that I had dreamed about for many years and the experience surpassed my expectations. The excitement and energy of the city is something that I have not found anywhere else. It was amazing to work in an arts organization while at the same time being in such close proximity to world-class culture. On any given day I was able to see a Broadway show, visit a museum, or take a class at one of the most prestigious dance studios in the country. Having the chance to experience the arts in so many facets of my life this summer has solidified my desire to work in an art-related job after graduation and live in New York City to continue my exposure to and participation in the arts.

The current economic climate is very troublesome for the nonprofit sector. In such difficult times, one of the first places that individuals and businesses cut their expenses is in funding for the arts. People are simply unable to donate as much of their income as they had in the past. Although working at a charitable organization during such a tough financial time may be seen as an obstacle, it also presents the opportunity to be creative and brainstorm new ways to save money while at the same time following through with the goals of the organization. As someone involved in theater and dance myself, I am eager to see that these aspiring artists have all the resources they need to practice their craft. My love for the arts made me more passionate about the job that I was doing.

This coming October, I will be able to directly see the product of my labors when I return to work at the 2009 Princess Grace Awards Gala.

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