Volunteer Spotlight: Amy Craven

Volunteers are an important part of our family here at California Ballet, and we are grateful for the incredible people who give freely of their time and resources, and go above and beyond to help CBC in any way they can. We would like to recognize one of our amazing volunteers, Amy Craven, for all of her hard work, great ideas, and amazing enthusiasm. Thank you Amy, you help make great art possible!

CBC: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Amy: I am a native San Diegan. I grew up with a large extended family, most of whom still reside here, and have always enjoyed the love and support that brings. I earned my BA in English from UCLA, but Los Angles never became home so I was eager to return here where I taught literature and composition to high school students while completing my master’s degree in secondary education.

CBCTell us a little about your family.

Amy: My husband Andy and I met in high school, and after establishing our respective teaching careers, we were married in 1999. When our first child was born, I resigned my position to stay home with him. We now have five children—Jonah (15), Cooper (13), Ainsley (11), Luke (8), and Charlotte (6)—and home school them, which is more than a full-time job! One reason we chose homeschooling was to provide time for our children to wholeheartedly pursue their interests. This means we currently have kids involved in library volunteer work, oil painting, kung fu, guitar, piano, rock band, worship team, Model United Nations, youth group, swim, and, of course, dance. Logistically all of this would be impossible without the help of our incredible extended family.

CBCHow did you get involved with Volunteering for CBC and what areas have you volunteered in?

AmyBallet has always been Ainsley’s first love, and I wanted her to have excellent training so I brought her to California Ballet School when she was 8 years old. She had battled severe anxiety all her life, and CBC’s 2015 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was her first time on stage. I volunteered for dressing room supervision because she needed me nearby. Now, however, the stage is her home, so I have ventured into other areas of service. I have folded newsletters, collected silent auction items, worked in the boutique, assisted with Nutcracker costume fittings, and supervised yearbook sales.

CBCDo you have a favorite job that you do at CBC?

Amy: I like being backstage because the excitement is palpable. Ensuring that costumes look flawless, hearing the overture on the dressing room speakers, and watching the captivating artists from the wings all draw me into the joy and beauty that define ballet. My new favorite job, though, is yearbook sales. Gathering the children who sell yearbooks lets me participate in the backstage enthusiasm and welcoming patrons to the theater allows me to share their eager anticipation of the upcoming show. It also enables me to use the organizational skills I have honed over the last 15 years!

CBCWhat does service mean to you?

Amy: To me service means giving of yourself to something bigger than yourself. One goal in our home school is to seek truth, goodness, and beauty. But truth does not stand without support, goodness does not reign without action, and beauty does not endure without devotion. Volunteering at CBC makes you part of the structure needed to showcase the ephemeral beauty of ballet.

CBCWhat advice would you give to new volunteers who are just starting their journey with CBC?

Amy: There are innumerable ways to be involved with the CBC magic, which means the perfect job is just waiting for you. Ask other volunteers what jobs they have enjoyed and try them out until you find your niche. Knowing that you have helped bring joy and beauty into the world is a wonderful reward.

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