The Apprenticeship Program, while relatively short in duration, is a huge part of what makes the Festival successful year after year. Throughout the years, apprentices have been out in the city making sure that all of the smallest details are executed properly. The deadline for submitting applications is February 14.

Of course, we think the program is second to none, but don’t take our word for it. See what Nick Bragin and Caroline Hagood have to say about their experience as an apprentice at Spoleto Festival USA:

Apprentice

Name:

Nick Bragin   

Year as Apprentice:

2013                                                               

Department:

Box Office

How did you hear about the Spoleto Apprenticeship Program?

I was on the lookout for information from Spoleto. I have friends who had participated as musicians during undergrad. When the Spoleto Apprenticeship Program was advertised through our grad program, I was quick to jump on the opportunity.

What was your favorite aspect of being an apprentice?

It’s hard to peg one favorite aspect from my time with Spoleto. I was very excited to be given the opportunity to work with such a celebrated festival. I was able to expand my working knowledge and experience to Box Office operations, which helped me round out my understanding of performing arts management. The friendships made during the duration of the festival were great. Being such a tight-knit team, we were able to build relationships that are still present nearly one year later. Additionally, getting to spend free time seeing performances and exploring Charleston were huge perks.

What skills did you gain as an apprentice?

One great thing about the program was the diversity in age, experience, and areas of concentration. Coming from a background with previous professional work experience in Arts Marketing and Customer Service, I was able to work on some key areas. Spoleto utilizes Tessitura, software that is designed for ticketing, customer relationship management, development, and marketing. Tessitura is an industry standard, and my time at Spoleto afforded me the opportunity to learn the ropes. Additionally, I was able to gain a different perspective on management. I now manage a team of 40 student workers. My time with Katie, Ingram, and Becca was well spent. Observing their leadership and management has helped me with my staff.

What are you doing now?

In September 2013, I was hired fulltime as the Guest Services Manager at the IU Auditorium. It is a Front of House management position at a 3,200 seat venue located at the heart of Indiana University. In this role, I manage student staff, ticket takers, volunteer ushers, and our service maintenance team. Additionally, I am completing my Master of Arts in Arts Administration.

What would you say to potential apprenticeship applicants?

Go for it!  Spoleto Festival USA is an amazing organization. The Apprenticeship Program is a lot of work, but the experience is outstanding. 

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Apprentice1 

Name:

Caroline Hagood

Year as Apprentice:

2013

Department:

Artist Services

How did you hear about the Spoleto Apprenticeship Program?

I am from Charleston, and heard about the internship through the Gibbes Museum of Art.

What was your favorite aspect of being an apprentice?

I really loved being able to meet so many different artists and performers throughout the festival, and really get to know them on a personal level. It was definitely a perk getting free tickets to so many shows—I tried to see as many performances as possible, because they’re all so unique and amazing!

What skills did you gain as an apprentice?

I learned a lot about organization skills and time management. I learned especially how to be open-minded to adapting to changes in plans, and how to have a flexible schedule. I really loved the professional setting of Spoleto, while at the same time building genuine relationships with other apprentices and those in the department that I looked up to. It was particularly rewarding to learn just how much preparation and organization goes into putting on such a large scale, professional arts festival; I have taken the marketing, organizational, and administrative skills I learned from Spoleto into my everyday life and studies today.

What are you doing now?

I am still a student at the University of Virginia, studying Art History and Arts Administration. I have been interning for a local arts non-profit organization in Charlottesville called The Bridge: Progressive Arts Initiative.

What would you say to potential apprenticeship applicants?

I would definitely recommend this apprenticeship opportunity to applicants. It is a phenomenal cultural experience and window into how large scale, professional arts festivals function. 

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Media Relations apprentices from the 2013 season created this wonderful video:

CLICK HERE to apply for an apprenticeship during the 2014 Festival season.

If you are a past apprentice who would like to submit answers to the questions asked in this blog, please reach out to Jen Popper at [email protected]. (Jen is also an alumni of the Apprenticeship Program.) We’d love to hear from you!