Interns bring busy TFAC season to life

Published 3:43 pm Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Young arts professionals get hands-on experience

Tryon Fine Arts Center continues to welcome talented young interns for hands-on learning experiences. Thanks to generous support from the Polk County Community Foundation, Polk County High School students Dietrich Jackson and Lily Nelson are spending the summer getting a behind-the-scenes look at the operations of TFAC. They are joined by Shay Carlson, a North Greenville University student honing her professional skills.

Carlson is a senior communications and marketing major at North Greenville University with plans to pursue a career in nonprofit and sustainable branding. Shay was first introduced to TFAC while playing the fiddler in Tryon Little Theater’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof” several years ago.

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“As a musician and occasional thespian, I’m excited to intern with TFAC as it will blend my interest in the arts with nonprofit marketing,” said Carlson. “I hope to learn how the arts are promoted entirely through community involvement and support while I continue to hone my media and communication skills.”

Carlson is joined by two local student interns this summer. Polk County Community Foundation has supported the Arts Management and the Entertainment Production internships to provide broad experience in the operations of a busy performing arts venue.

As the Entertainment Production intern, 17-year-old Dietrich Jackson is working closely with TFAC Technical Director Jimm Brink to learn the ins-and-outs of event production.

“I’ve been involved in theater since I was 12,” said Jackson. “I’ve done a little bit of everything in the theatrical scene, from acting on stage to programming lights for a show. I applied for the summer internship to further develop my knowledge and skills in the technical side of theater.”

After graduating from Polk County High School in 2018, Jackson plans on majoring in chemistry and continuing to participate in theater any way he can.

Lily Nelson, Arts Management intern, is a 17-year-old rising senior at Polk County High School. Both Nelson’s parents are artists, giving her a long-standing love of the industry, and a desire to learn more about the day-to-day operation of bringing the arts to life as she prepares for a career as a professional photographer.

“When I was a kid I would always look forward to the summer plays held at TFAC,” said Nelson. “Going on stage and helping create a story was an amazing experience and I’m so excited to work for the people that made that happen for me. Seeing all the marketing and organizing that goes into it is an amazing opportunity that I am incredibly excited to participate in. I am looking forward to learning new skills and gaining more confidence in my career path. I have so many great memories in this building; I’m grateful for the opportunity to create more on a professional level.”

Both Polk County High School interns will continue working with TFAC through the end of the summer. Together, Nelson, Jackson, and Carlson are expanding valuable arts management skills to a new generation while making an impact of the Foothills arts community.

More information about available TFAC internships and programming is available at

– article submitted by Michelle Fleming