This blog is part of a series of posts from patrons, volunteers, former interns, artists and staff discussing how Glimmerglass has enriched their lives. Please consider posting your own stories about how Glimmerglass has impacted you, or make a gift (click here) to help ensure the future of our great festival. Any new or increased gift will be matched dollar for dollar by the Glimmerglass Board from now until the close of the year. Tim Pennell was part of the Glimmerglass Summer Internship Program in 2007 assisting the Box Office staff and in 2008 working as a Public Relations intern.  Tim is currently the Patron Relations Manager for Winston-Salem Symphony in Winston-Salem, NC. He graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science degree, magna cum laude, in Human & Organizational Development and Musical Arts.

…”constantly engaged with the vibrant life of an arts organization at work” by Tim Pennell

Anyone who has had the opportunity to attend opera at Glimmerglass will never forget their visit. Each summer thousands of audience members enter Alice Busch Opera Theater and are given a moment of time, an experience that leaves them forever changed. In addition to the audiences, each summer Glimmerglass offers participants in its Summer Internship Program an enriching and educational experience. I was, without question, changed by my time in Cooperstown.

The Glimmerglass internship program is unique among internships in the United States. It provides arts and arts administration students hands-on work experience within the rhythms of a production company, and my experience at Glimmerglass was instrumental in guiding my decision to pursue my career. Whether it was interacting with patrons and press at performances, pitching an opera or a Young Artist to a newspaper, learning about theater safety their educational seminars or giving local students a tour of the Glimmerglass campus, I was constantly engaged with the vibrant life of an arts organization at work. I ultimately realized that in order to give performing artists the room to shine and share their art with an audience, a different set of artists – administrative and production staff – had to lay the foundation. Glimmerglass is playing an active and vital role in ensuring that a new generation of administrative and production managers are being trained, cultivated and inspired. I am thankful to Glimmerglass for a proper introduction to this extraordinarily rewarding field of work.

This program is a transformative experience for many young, aspiring arts managers, designers, carpenters, electricians and costumers — practically anyone involved with creating a production. I made many friendships in my time at Glimmerglass and, although we are spread out across the country, we remain in touch, exchanging ideas, offering each other support, and reminiscing about our time at Glimmerglass. Whenever people ask me about the framed 2008 Glimmerglass program hanging in my office in North Carolina I make sure to tell them two important things. One is that if they want to experience some of the best, intimate opera in the country then they should take a long weekend in Cooperstown. And second, that the Glimmerglass internship program was pivotal to my lifelong dedication to the preservation and advancement of the performing arts.

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