Matt Wisotsky ’23

Classical Uprising, Portland, ME

Matt Wisotsky in front of ocean view.
At one of the beaches on Maine’s beautiful Southern coast, after a day of rehearsals and concerts.

Over the summer, I worked as an arts administration intern with Classical Uprising, a nonprofit arts organization based in southern Maine which organizes classical music events with a focus on community engagement and accessibility, directed by Emily Isaacson ’04. My work was hybrid, so I spent most of June in Maine working on-site at the annual Portland Bach Experience (PBE) summer festival, and the rest of the summer working virtually. The internship was immensely rewarding and offered me a unique opportunity to see everything that a nonprofit organization has to do, from the smallest minutiae to the most important projects. My specific responsibilities varied significantly, ranging from editing music parts and researching composers, to delivering chairs and coordinating with artists during rehearsals. One of the most interesting jobs I had was as the designated harpsichord mover, which meant I had to help the harpsichordist move and set up his instrument before and after every event or rehearsal. While working remotely, I focused primarily on grant writing and other administrative tasks. This work offered me insights on the grant application process and to see the direct utility of this work by helping the organization successfully submit a letter of inquiry to a grant fund.

As part of a small organization, I felt that my work was valued; and I developed strong connections with my supervisors and fellow intern, while improving a variety of skills including customer service, event planning, and marketing. I particularly enjoyed being able to create tangible products in the form of classical music events, which directly benefited the Portland community, as well as organizational outcomes which benefited the Classical Uprising organization. The internship was especially useful for my career direction, in that I now know that I definitely want to work in the arts in some capacity. To this end, my work helped me discover the different types of jobs I might pursue within the arts and the responsibilities associated with those. I not only learned about arts administration, but also work as an active performing musician by networking with the orchestra musicians during the festival, as well as conducting from watching Emily Isaacson, and audio technology from observing the sound technicians during our performances.

Matt Wisotsky playing a harpsichord.
Playing the harpsichord of festival musician, John McKean, after one of the events.

I feel very fortunate to have had such a broad reaching internship in which I was entrusted with numerous different responsibilities, allowing 
me to learn a significant amount about an industry in which I am deeply 
invested. I would like to personally thank Martha Williamson ’77 and 
Peter Martin Nelson ’76, as well as the ’68 Center for Career Exploration —your generous support allowed me to have a fulfilling and informative 
summer internship experience. In addition, I would like to thank my 
supervisors Emily Isaacson and Emily Southard for giving me the opportunity to work with Classical Uprising, and for creating such a supportive work environment.