Meet the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center Marketing Manager, Lynn Hardy. Recently having celebrated 2 years with the Fox Cities P.A.C., Lynn’s history with the Center and the arts extends beyond her current role. Lynn has been a patron of the Fox Cities P.A.C. since she was a young student, a community partner since 2016 through her prior position as marketing manager with Appleton Downtown Inc., a Season Ticket Holder since the 2017-18 Season, and a member of the Center’s Northeast Wisconsin (N.E.W.) Professional Advisory Committee when it first formed in 2019. In addition to this personal history, Lynn has always been an avid lover of the performing arts.
“Like many of my colleagues, I grew up in the arts, and the love of performing is something that has been engrained in me since a young age,” Lynn shared. “I have been dancing since the age of 3; I have explored many styles (tap, jazz, ballet/pointe, contemporary, hip hop, even dabbled in ballroom here and there).” Lynn has been able to share her love of dance with the next generation for more than 13 years as a teacher. She currently teaches at the local studio, NEW Fusion Dance & Performing Arts.
Remembering her first-time stepping foot into the Fox Cities P.A.C., Lynn was a student when she saw the stage adaptation of Romana B. Quimby, based on the popular book series. “Ever since that day, I fell in love with this building and what it brought to our community,” Lynn reflected. “I often joke that was the moment I knew I wanted to work here someday…and hey, look at me now!” She added, “The Fox Cities P.A.C. certainly left a mark on me at a young age. I welcomed a little one to my family earlier this year, I cannot wait to witness how the arts, and the Center, continue to impact him and the next generation of our community.”
Lynn’s love of arts carried on into her undergraduate career, leading her to attend and graduate from UW-Green Bay with a double major in arts management and dance. During her time as a student, she interned at the Weidner Center, choreographed several dance pieces, worked within the university’s music and theater department, explored the arts within the Green Bay community at large, and honed into her passion of arts administration.
Before coming to the Center, Lynn had been growing in her marketing knowledge as a young professional in her position with Appleton Downtown Inc. She promoted community events and businesses and was able to meet many local organizations and partners and make connections in the community. Eventually, she found her way back to the arts full time. Lynn commented, “As I continued to explore my love of the live performing arts, I knew I wanted my career to include the arts, that’s when I discovered arts management in college. It’s the perfect balance of the left and right sides of my brain.” She added, “Marketing within the arts industry captures that balance even more so. I spend my days getting to be creative in how we promote upcoming shows, events, and the Center as whole, but also get to be analytical and strategic with the tactics we use to share our mission and story.”
In the world of theater, most in the industry will attest that no two days are alike. Lynn echoes this sentiment, loving the fact that no day or show promoted is the same. “Each new program or performance opens a door to exploring new audiences and generates new ideas of how to communicate to our current and future patrons,” Lynn said. This allows her to contemplate how to reach specific types of audiences or where these audiences are consuming their entertainment. These questions help shape the Fox Cities P.A.C.’s advertising, social media, press interviews, email communications and more to develop a plan that invites patrons to experience exceptional live performing arts. “I spend my days forming relationships with local media representatives and on-air talent,” Lynn mentioned. “With these relationships, I am then able to place media buys on radio, tv, digital platforms, print outlets, etc. and pitch stories to press to help share our mission further.” There are times when Lynn is sitting down at her desk, implementing marketing plans and budgets, analyzing data from running campaigns, or even coordinating interviews with touring show cast members. Other days Lynn is in meetings talking through collaboration efforts across departments or with partner organizations to further share the Center’s mission.
Lynn had a difficult time selecting just one thing as her favorite part about being with the Fox Cities P.A.C. She enjoys:
- The fast-paced environment.
- The wide variety of exceptional live performances that come through the building.
- The buzz post-show when patrons are talking about how much they loved what they just saw.
- Seeing the smiles on students’ faces when they attend an education show and watching the love of the arts begin for the next generation.
- The fact that her job is in the arts, something that Lynn has been passionate about her entire life, dreaming of the possibility for it to become a career.
It’s especially rewarding for Lynn when the marketing team is able to find unique local businesses or organizations to partner with a show to establish good cross-promotion of each other. Lynn excitedly shared, “The arts resonate with so many and can be connected to different aspects of our lives; I love finding those moments to expand upon a specific show’s message by relating it to another great event, promotion, or project happening in the Fox Cities.” One of her favorite examples of this was during the touring Broadway musical, CATS in the Center’s 20th Anniversary Season. A partnership with The Pawffee Shop Cat Café offered a chance to promote the show with a themed drink special the weeks leading up to the engagement. This partnership also created opportunities to promote The Pawffee Shop and encourage the community to visit/learn more about the local cat café. Working toward a good cause, Lynn also helped organize a cat supply donation through the partnership while CATS was in the Center. Ticketed patrons donated various cat supplies on their way to the theater – all donations went back to The Pawffee Shop and their adoption partner, Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary.
Some may be surprised by how far Lynn’s work as a marketing manager extends, often leading her to work with other marketing professionals across the country and on occasion, different countries. “Each show we bring to the Fox Cities P.A.C. has their own team behind them helping with the show’s tour and marketing,” Lynn commented. “It is fascinating to chat with each other to discover what clicks for their specific show in other markets and how we can implement similar strategies locally.”
One of Lynn’s first memories after joining the Center’s team was attending the opening night of the touring Broadway production of Wicked in October 2021, the first Broadway production in the building after the building’s extended intermission. “The energy of the patrons was something that could not be matched after waiting 594 days to be back in Thrivent Hall,” Lynn remarked. “If you are familiar with the first line of the production itself, Glinda comes down from her floating bubble and says ‘It’s good to see me, isn’t it?’ and the audience roared with applause and cheers, a sound that brought goosebumps after not hearing it in those 4 walls for such a long time; it really was good to see Glinda, a local metaphor for being back!” And being back has been wonderful, reinforcing a feeling like no other that will not be taken for granted.
Written by Philomena Dorobek, Brand Storyteller
Fox Cities Performing Arts Center