In 2008, arts marketer Chad Bauman was handed one of the toughest marketing jobs in town. Arena Stage would vacate its SE home base for two years, while crews moved in to construct a brand new facility. Arena would have two full seasons in two widely separated venues- Crystal City in Virginia and U Street in DC.
Would audiences follow them, or simply wait two years for Arena to return to its SE home? It was a daring project from every perspective, yet Bauman had a marketing plan and executed it flawlessly. A live videocam recorded the takedown and construction of the building, street signs and sidewalk footprints helped everyone find the way to the Crystal City location, and every major opening at the Lincoln Theatre on U Street felt like a Hollywood movie premiere.
Once Arena returned to the brand new Mead Center for American Theater, Bauman oversaw the installation of state of the art box office management, and, as Director of Communications, manages a busy press and marketing organization.
Yesterday, Bauman sent an email announcing that he will be leaving Arena Stage the end of March, to become Associate Director/Director of Marketing & Membership at The Smithsonian Associates, the outreach and membership division of the Smithsonian Institution.
We assume the Smithsonian will offer him many exciting opportunities, but imagine that Bauman’s time with Arena Stage will be hard to top. We wish him all the best.