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Melissa Gao

Jamesville, NY
Young Audiences of Western New York
  • Planned, implemented and assisted with the summer apprentice program, ArtWorks, offering students the chance to work alongside Master Teaching Artists in Visual Arts, Media Arts, and Book Arts in a high-intensity workplace environment.
  • Onboarded new artists and familiarized them with organization’s Salesforce software, a CRM program.
  • Completed grant research, specifically on Title !V, SIG, and GrantStation
  • Managed Young Audiences social media accounts to generate engagement with the community and publicize events.
  • Assisted with the M@Re (Most at Risk) program, in collaboration with the Erie County detention center.

“My coworkers easily and readily took on each other’s projects and covered for each other when others took vacation. From my ILR class in organizational behavior, I was able to conclude that there was a strong organizational culture in Young Audiences. The office layout is conducive to this strong culture. Though we each have our own cubicle, they are spacious and are not soundproof whatsoever so it’s very easy to talk to whoever one needs to from one’s own seat. The intimacy of the office invites transparency, which I believe inspired the easy collaboration and great relationships I see between my coworkers. Additionally, the walls are painted a cheerful orange and the furniture is full of color. Student artwork hangs on the walls, and the large supply of art materials is right next to the fridge - a constant reminder that though the office handles the more tedious administrative duties, we work to provide creative, hands-on programming.”

-–From Melissa’s Reflection Journal

“ArtWorks and Young Audiences is eternally grateful for the impact that Melissa Gao has had with the youth we serve and our arts-in-education programming. Melissa provided her expertise with her skills in photography to teach and inform the youth and staff on the principals of photography. Melissa was also able to cultivate genuine, meaningful relationships with our youth, which is not an easy feat. The students, staff, and teaching artists will greatly miss Melissa's energy, knowledge, and positive attitude. We all wish her good luck in her continuing education at Cornell and her future in H.R.”

--Benjamin Dohn, Outside of School Coordinator, Young Audiences of Western New York