University of South Carolina

What I Did This Summer: Learn how an international arts festival is run

"What I Did This Summer" follows a number of University of South Carolina students this summer as they work, travel, and explore the world. Many of them are blogging about their adventures. This is the first story in the series.

Check out Brantly Hancock’s blog at


For 17 days and nights each spring, Spoleto Festival USA fills Charleston with more than 140 performances in opera, theater, dance, and chamber, symphonic, choral, and jazz music. The festival is in its 34th season and is internationally recognized as America’s premier performing arts festival. This year, the festival runs from May 28 through June 14.

Brantly Hancock
Brantly Hancock

Art history major Brantly Hancock will be a festival apprentice during those 17 days and nights.

"I’m in Spoleto's apprenticeship program and I'll be working in the box office in one of three locations: a kiosk, on site, or in the main call center," said Hancock, a junior from Easley.

The apprenticeship really began for her on May 16 with a 12-day training program.

"I'll handle incoming telephone sales orders, process mail orders, sell event tickets in the box office and at performance sites, disseminate program information, and reconcile daily ticket sales," Hancock said. "I'm like a representative of Spoleto: I'll try to get people to go to different festival events and let them know about other things they can do and see in Charleston."

Spoleto logo
Spoleto logo

Spoleto's apprentice program is a short-term intensive opportunity to learn about the performing arts world and to acquire hands-on experience in producing an international arts festival. Apprentices work under the guidance of professional arts administrators and technicians. They work at least a 40-hour week, and housing, a travel allowance, and a performance pass are provided.

"Getting into the program is a competitive process," Hancock said. "I watched for the call for applications on the Spoleto home page and applied as soon as it was posted. There are about 18 interns in the box office, and there are other areas where apprentices can work, like artist services, development, media relations, and orchestra management."

For a career, Hancock is looking into the commercial aspects of art and into the contemporary art business world.

"I'm a hotel, restaurant, and tourism management minor, so I'm also interested in travel and tourism," she said. "The Spoleto apprenticeship is the perfect learning experience for me."


By Web Communications

Posted: 05/24/10 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 12/09/10 @ 3:38 PM | Permalink