By Sarah McAlister
After a national search, the Raleigh (NC) Convention and Performing Arts Complex announced the promotion of
department veteran Michelle Bradley to the position of assistant general manager, where she will oversee the overall and day-to-day operations of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts (DECPA) in downtown
Raleigh. With more than 20 years’ experience at DECPA, Bradley brings with her an extensive knowledge of the venue, a firsthand understanding of its operations and business goals, and a portfolio of well-developed
relationships with promoters, industry professionals, local organizations and the venue’s resident companies. Bradley began her new position on March 13.
“Michelle has been a passionate driver for expanding the role of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in our community,” said Kerry Painter, CEM, CVP, CVE, director/general manager, Raleigh Convention and Performing Arts Complex. “She continues to champion the arts as a way to build bridges and has improved access to the venues, advocated for events that meet the cultural interests of our community and developed partnerships to welcome a new wave of patrons to the theater. I cannot think of a better person to lead our fantastic performing arts center out of this pandemic and into a busy, vibrant future.”
Bradley, who began her City of Raleigh career in 1998 as a receptionist, eventually went on to hold the Director of Marketing position for a decade before being promoted to Theatre Manager in 2019. In her roles, Bradley has brought success to the DEPCA, including an overhaul of the center’s safety and security measures and impressive annual ticket sales of $11.5 million.
In March 2020, she quickly stepped in as the venue’s interim assistant general manager, not knowing that a pandemic was on the horizon. On leadership during a global health crisis, Bradley credits an attitude of resiliency and adaptability: “Embrace the moment when it is presented. Every challenge is an opportunity to learn and do better.”
Most recently, Bradley has developed a partnership with the African American Cultural Festival, resulting in the production of the City of Raleigh’s inaugural Kwanzaa Celebration, as well as a Virtual Celebration of Black History Month and “The Hidden Crisis: Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19 within the African American Community.” An active member of the IAVM, Bradley has participated in the Association’s Venue Management School and Academy for Venue Safety and Security programs.
The Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts has served as Raleigh’s premier performing arts venue since 1932. The venue draws approximately 400,000 guests annually to its four separate event spaces and is home to the Carolina Ballet, North Carolina Theatre, North Carolina Symphony, North Carolina Opera, and PineCone. With roughly 600 events each year, the venue draws an average of $35.4 million in economic impact to Raleigh’s businesses, hotels, and restaurants.
Sarah McAlister is Marketing Management for the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh, North Carolina.