By: Ansje Burdick
It’s not every day that classroom theories collide with the vibrant art scene of New York City. But for a group of Florida State University seniors, witnessing artistic processes from conception to culmination is exactly what their final semester holds. These students, who interned with Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC) in 2023, are now experiencing the fruits of their labor firsthand as participants in Florida State University’s Arts in NYC program, attending the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) conference where several MANCC artists showcased their final productions.
During their MANCC internships, FSU undergrads (Emma E. Morris, Sophia Pfitzenmaier, Abigail Nelson, Io Ermoli, and Callee Egan), had the unique opportunity to both engage and support the creative worlds of established national artists like Dianne McIntyre, Leslie Parker, Jinza Thayer, Antoine Hunter, Julie Crothers, Faye Driscoll and Juliana May. They did research in support of the work, were engaged as crew for rehearsals, attended showings, and were even asked to stand in as performers at times as artists tested creative approaches. School of Dance senior Sophia Pfitzenmaier, spent a year and half interning with MANCC noting, “I did research for a variety of artists projects, assisted with Jinza Thayer’s installation, and was asked to participate in Fay Driscoll’s MANCC showing. I was also able to see several artists’ works in progress including that of Julianna F. May. As an Arts in NYC student, I was able to see May’s work, which was developed at MANCC, come to fruition in New York. It was not only a truly amazing opportunity but also an aid in my own artistic growth and development.”
Now, their internship experiences have come full circle as they witness the culmination of some of these same projects at APAP, a premier platform for performing arts professionals including presenters, producers, funders, artists, managers and service organizations. The Arts in NYC program has provided them access to the conference, placing them front-and-center to the culmination of the artistic journeys they were privy to as interns. Witnessing the final visions come to life on the New York stage offers them a firsthand perspective on the impact of MANCC’s contributions, reminding them that even seemingly small intern roles can play a significant part in the tapestry of creative work.
Arts in NYC Director Dr. Hannah Schwadron reflects, “Connecting with artists and works first engaged at MANCC best exemplifies the bridge nature of the Arts in NYC semester program, as students launch their own professional careers within a network of makers they admire most, noting in real time the life growth of a work from research and development phases at MANCC to production on the hippest stages in NYC.”
For these FSU students, it’s more than just attending a prestigious conference; it’s a homecoming of sorts. Their ongoing connection to MANCC, no longer as interns, but as invested audiences, enables them to carry with them their memories of collaboration and personal growth, giving them a deeper understanding of the artistic process and a sense of pride in their contributions.
While their FSU journey may be nearing its end, their connection to the artistic world, forged through the School of Dance and MANCC, and solidified via Arts In NYC, remains a testament to the enduring impact of
artistic exchange and the invaluable experiences that blossom at the intersection of education and artistic exploration.