Graciously supported by Denise Littlefield Sobel

Cooperstown, New York (January 10, 2022) — The Glimmerglass Festival, the summer opera and theater company in Central New York, has offered internships in all aspects of industry practice for decades. With a desire to offer a more inclusive, equitable and diverse experience for the next generation of theater professionals, the Festival has announced several changes and adjustments to its educational programming.

With the generous support of Denise Littlefield Sobel, the company has launched the Glimmerglass Apprenticeship Program, offering hourly paid summer apprenticeships in administration, artistic administration and theater production, working to provide a unique combination of practical, work, and educational experiences.

Sobel is a philanthropic leader with a longstanding interest in the visual and performing arts. She has, and continues, to provide major support for Glimmerglass’ Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) initiatives. Sobel’s multi-year contribution is the lead gift in a match challenge designated to the Glimmerglass Apprenticeship Program, which will pave the way for future support. Contributions made to the company in support of the Apprenticeship Program will be matched up to $250,000 for the next three years. 

While the Festival’s internship program previously offered a weekly stipend and provided housing, Sobel’s gift and the prospective matching funds now make it possible for the company to pay each apprentice an hourly rate equal to New York State’s minimum wage as soon as this summer. 

“Our industry has undergone much-needed reflection in recent years,” said Glimmerglass Festival Artistic & General Director Francesca Zambello. “With input from our community, industry and audience members, we made a public commitment to become a more equitable and diverse company, and a public commitment to assure there would be action behind our words. In 2019, we sought and received several grants to establish the Glimmerglass Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee, which created goals and an action plan. And, I am so proud that, with assistance from Denise Sobel, we are able to take a very large step forward, with a path for a new generation of theater and arts professionals from all walks of life to learn the trade.”

To learn more about the Glimmerglass Apprenticeship Program, visit To make a gift in support of the match challenge, contact the Development Department at (607) 547-0700 x256, or visit



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