Although I had to put up with many boring tasks and a lot tedious work that was saved for an intern, I also had the opportunity to work on some amazing projects and meet some incredible people at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. I have learned how donation solicitation works, how to do mail mergers, how to laminate cards, how to use loads of office equipment and also how much is involved in keeping a historical landmark such as Shea’s running.
While the shows do bring in a lot of money, Shea’s actually makes very little off of ticket sales for shows and the majority of the funding that is used to bring in big shows and restore the history within the theater is from donations. There were many days where I yawned at my desk while looking up local businesses to ask for donations, but that is the truth behind keeping the theater alive and running. I made hundreds of trips into the creepy basement carrying boxes and boxes of things and I stayed up once until 3 am cutting out little stars with auction item numbers on them that would be used in the silent auction for the Black Tie Gala. One of the biggest projects that I had was to work on the Powerpoint that would be projected over the stage during dinner at the Gala. It had several different names on the screen at a time and was a thank you to all of the donors and companies that helped to make the 90th anniversary celebration happen. I slaved over this Powerpoint because I had to watch it from the beginning any time I made adjustments. I cannot even imagine how many times I must have watched it and edited it. One of the most rewarding moments of my internship was when I walked into the house during the dinner that night and saw my Powerpoint playing over the stage (I honestly almost cried). It was such an honor to know that something I had worked so hard on had paid off and that the guests were able to see how much Shea’s appreciates everything they do.
There was an amazing sense of pride that I would feel every time I told someone where I interned and I truly loved being downtown during my afternoons. I love what Shea’s brings to Buffalo and I’m honored to have worked with such amazing people who work so hard to keep this theater as amazing of a place as it is. I will truly miss spending my mornings walking into this beautiful gem of a theater and knowing that I was helping sustain the Shea’s community.