“I have wanted to pursue arts administration for a long time, and this experience helped me get an inside look at the field.”
This summer senior Ryan Phillips worked as an intern with Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts in Vienna, VA. Interested in a career in arts administration after he graduates, Ryan got a close-up look this summer at the administrative side of a large performing arts organization. He worked specifically in the education department and helped bring artists into classrooms across Virginia.
Ryan is a Kenan Music Scholar and clarinetist majoring in Music Performance and English & Comparative Literature. We caught up with him to learn more about his experience at Wolf Trap. Read on to see all the wonderful opportunities Ryan was able to be a part of this summer!
UNC Music: How did you find out about the internship with Wolf Trap?
Ryan Phillips: I found out about this internship because I have been attending shows and spending evenings at Wolf Trap since I was a young child. When my internship search began, Wolf Trap was one of the first places I looked. I was very excited to get a job at a place that has been so influential in my artistic journey.
UNC Music: What were your responsibilities as an intern?
Ryan: At Wolf Trap, I worked in the education department and assisted their Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts. This program involves bringing teaching artists into classrooms across Virginia and some other states to teach early childhood lessons with arts integration. In this role, I helped the team in budgeting and planning for the upcoming school year, as well as summarizing and reporting for the previous year. I also helped with running shows at Wolf Trap’s Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods.
UNC Music: What was your favorite part of the summer?
Ryan: My favorite part of the summer was volunteering at the Out and About Festival. The festival, which ran on June 24th and 25th, was a celebration of LGBTQ+ artists and community members, and featured performances from performers such as Brandi Carlile and Lucius. I helped with social media content and pictures at the festival. It was a great experience to see live music, as well as to observe the joy and unity that the festival brought to the community.
UNC Music: How do you feel the internship has helped advance your skills and propel you to your post-college goals?
Ryan: I think that the internship was extremely helpful in helping me achieve my post-college goals. I have wanted to pursue arts administration for a long time, and this experience helped me get an inside look at the field. I now know about the daily processes of both show production and administrative planning, including budgets, partner relationships, and scheduling.
UNC Music: Would you recommend this experience to other students? If so, why?
Ryan: I would absolutely recommend this experience to other students looking to learn about arts administration. Wolf Trap is a welcoming and educational place to work, and this summer has been a wonderful experience.
Interview by Catherine Zachary, ’10