Meet the 2021/22 Season 21st Century Artist Interns
Each year, UMS and the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance pair students with an internship working for a dance, theater, or music ensemble that UMS will present in its season. This year students were also paired with artists and organizations with whom UMS has worked in the past or plans to present in the future.
The 21st Century Artist Internship is a highly competitive program developed to prepare students for new demands that working artists face in the contemporary marketplace. In addition to generating outstanding creative work, today’s artists are also tasked with reaching potential audiences in innovative ways. This unique program provides real-world work experience and professional connections to help develop these skills within the context of UMS’s programming.
The 21st Century Artist Internship program is made possible in part by Tim and Sally Petersen.
This Year’s Interns
Class of 2022
Major: Theater Performance – Acting
Minors: Community Action & Social Change and Creative Writing
Internship Pairing: A.I.M by Kyle Abraham
Ruby Pérez, Bay Area native and daughter of Mexican-American immigrants, is among the first in her family to pursue a college degree. At a very young age, she fell in love with mariachi singing, ballet folklórico dancing, and the beauty and art in the culture of her family’s home country. This evolved into a desire to create positive Latinx representation in the media, television, and film.
At the heart of Ruby’s work is a passion for diverse storytelling and equitable access. She has prepared theatre workshops with incarcerated individuals through the Prison Creative Arts Project, performed in several UProd productions, and served as a co-director for Cabaréy, SMTD’s first-ever performance dedicated to empowering Latinx performance students at Michigan.
Ruby has been recognized for making her school’s programs and spaces more inclusive for BIPOC students. She recently organized and led a student strike, co-created a list of demands, and co-fostered Long-Term Accountability action plans and teams. She is a recipient of the 2021 North Campus Deans’ MLK Spirit Awards.
Ruby has been inspired by the We See You White American Theatre demands and continually refers to this work as a blueprint for creating inclusive art. She has served on the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion’s Student Advisory Board, as Basement Arts’ Diversity Officer, and will serve as Basement Arts’ Artistic Director in the fall.
Class of 2022
Majors: Dance and International Studies
Internship Pairing: Tania El Khoury
Jenna Segal, hailing from Millersville, Maryland, is a fourth-year student at the University of Michigan pursuing a BFA in Dance and a BA in International Studies. This past year, Jenna served as a producer for “Range of Reaction”, the 2020 iteration of Arts in Color’s annual showcase centering arts activism, social justice, and personal identity. Jenna has also spent time as an intern with Parsons Dance, working in the development, research, and touring sectors of an internationally renowned touring company. After two years of involvement with the Dance Student Assembly, she will begin the fall as the organization’s Vice President.
Throughout her time at U-M, Jenna has performed in original works choreographed by Joel Valentín-Martínez, Charli Brissey, and several Department of Dance Alumni. Jenna has also choreographed many of her own works, her most recent being a screen-dance created for and performed by the Department of Dance’s First-Year Touring Company.
Passionate about the intersections of art, diplomacy, and activism, Jenna is interested in interdisciplinary movement and scholarship. She is currently conducting her own research exploring the potential of art to substantially serve communities in ways similar to non-governmental humanitarian organizations. Jenna is elated to begin her work with Tania El Khoury and UMS as a whole this summer and is excited to discover new possibilities of all that art can be.
Class of 2023
Majors: Dance and Women’s & Gender Studies
Internship Pairing: Milka Djordjevich
Originally from Norwalk, California, Annabella Vidrio is a rising junior at the University of Michigan. She is a Dual Degree student studying Dance and Women & Gender Studies, with an additional Spanish Minor. Annabella has been dancing since the age of four and has been professionally trained in both Western styles and Mexican/Spanish Folklore dancing.
As a Mexican-American woman, Annabella is an active member of the Latinx community on the U of M Ann Arbor campus and has involved herself in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives. This past year she served as the SMTD Dean’s Liaison for the Office of DEI and will continue to work in the office this upcoming academic year. Throughout her time at U of M, she has worked with her peers to facilitate crucial conversations and create more inclusive environments.
Within the dance community, Annabella is a part of the Dance Student Association and has been a part of BFA and MFA choreographic processes. During the pandemic, she was fortunate to participate virtually in Charli Brissey’s 2021 Power Center piece. Annabella has ambitions of incorporating her three degrees to pursue a career in arts administration. She is passionate about bringing awareness to her multiple communities and intends to continue her endeavors post-graduation.