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June 22, 2022

Meet the 2022/23 Season 21st Century Artist Interns


Each year, UMS and the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance pair students with an internship working with dance, theater, and music ensembles in the forefront of their fields.

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

Stefania GonzalezStefania Gonzalez

Class of 2023
Theater Performance – Acting
Minor: Spanish Language & Literature
Internship Pairing: Mull Theatre

Stefania Gonzalez (she/her) is a senior from Saline, Michigan, majoring in acting performance with a minor in Spanish Language & Literature. She enjoys studying classical texts such as Shakespeare, as well as making new work that addresses inequality. She is passionate about making theater more accessible and championing diversity and difficult conversations to move the field forward.

Nya JohnsonNya Johnson

Class of 2023
Theater Arts with a concentration in Performing Arts Management
Minor: Business Administration
Internship Pairing: Shakespeare in Detroit

Nya Johnson, a senior BTA and Business Administration minor from Belleville, MI, is excited to join the UMS family. Thanks to her mother, the performing arts have been a part of Nya’s life for as long as she can remember. Dance was her first love – allowing her to see the beauty in storytelling and artistic expression. This eventually led to her interest in acting, singing, and technical theater, as well as her fascination with performing arts management and business administration.

During her time at Michigan, Nya has taken on unique opportunities in producing, dramaturgy, strategic planning, event management, creative direction, and marketing. Ultimately, she is dedicated to creating and leading unforgettable experiences that are done safely and ethically for all parties involved, including the audience. Nya cannot wait to take this next step in her performing arts journey!

Molly SchwallMolly Schwall

Class of 2023
Minors: Performing Arts Management & Entrepreneurship and History
Internship Pairing: Wild Up

Molly Schwall is a senior from Hingham, Massachusetts majoring in Musicology with minors in Performing Arts Management & Entrepreneurship, and History. As a vocalist, Molly studies with George Shirley and performs in a variety of ensembles from UM’s Chamber Choir to the Bluenote Vocal Ensemble.

She currently works as a videographer for the Michigan Daily, is the treasurer and head of fundraising for the professional women’s music fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota, and researches and writes for the Handel & Haydn Society as a Musicology Intern. Next year, she will serve as president of the student-run organization Empty Mug Records, dedicated to promoting local artists and performance opportunities.

In her time away from film and music, she can be found hiking, longboarding, or playing volleyball. Molly is ecstatic to be a 21st Century Artist Intern this summer and is looking forward to an inside education on what it means to be an arts professional.

Brooke TaylorBrooke Taylor

Class of 2023
Minor: Education
Internship Pairing: Step Afrika!

Brooke Taylor is a Junior pursuing a major in Dance and a minor in Education. As a 17-year-trained dancer in ballet, modern, tap, and jazz, her passion is sharing her love for dance with young people and challenging them to find their own stories from within movement.

Brooke has planned two artistic protests, entitled “Drive In For Justice” and “Dance For Floyd” for The Black Lives Matter Movement. She has recently founded Black Scholars In Dance, an organization at Michigan dedicated to creating a community of African American dancers in the Dance Department. In 2021, she was awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. Spirit award in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. In 2019, she was awarded the Coca-Cola college scholarship and was selected out of a field of 95,000 students from all over the country for her academic excellence, leadership, and community involvement.

She believes in Discipline, Accountability, Narrative, Creativity, and Excellence… DANCE! You can see Brooke dancing in an upcoming Netflix film, Tyler Perry’s A Jazzman’s Blues, choreographed by Debbie Allen!

Jenna YounessJenna Youness

Class of 2023
Musical Arts and Business
Internship Pairing: Chineke! Orchestra

Jenna Youness is a dual degree student bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at the Ross School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in Musical Arts at the School of Music, Theater, and Dance. She specializes in marketing and jazz saxophone.

Growing up in Troy, Michigan, her music career began with classical piano lessons at age five. At age nine, she picked up drums, and at age ten, she started playing saxophone. After hearing Chris Potter perform at the Detroit Jazz Festival, she knew she wanted to study jazz beyond high school. She has won awards for her playing in Toronto, Orlando, Detroit, and San Antonio. Currently, Jenna is connecting music to her Syrian identity, learning the oud, and exploring Arab musical traditions.

Outside of the music world, Jenna enjoys painting, longboarding, and doing yoga. Her favorite visual art mediums to work with include spray paint, graphic design, and acrylic paint. She hopes to use her education at the University of Michigan to combine music and business into tools that foster global empathy and direct social change.