The Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) this week announced the promotion of Brent Hyams to Chief Operating Officer.
A 10-year veteran of the performing arts center, Hyams oversees all operations in production, ticketing, patron services, marketing, and facility maintenance for the organization’s four performance venues, including Andrew Jackson Hall (capacity 2,472), James K. Polk Theater (capacity 1,075), Andrew Johnson Theater (capacity 264) and the historic War Memorial Auditorium (capacity 1,789), adjacent to the center.
The Hopkinsville, Ky., native has served as the center’s executive vice president and general manager since 2009. Before joining TPAC as a marketing director in 2003, Hyams worked for the Ryman Auditorium, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, and Gaylord Entertainment in Nashville. He also has worked for agencies in Atlanta and New York. Hyams graduated from The University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication in 1994 with a degree in advertising. He now serves on the Grady Society Board.
“Brent has brought to our organization an unrivaled dedication to detail and a passion for creating full, memorable experiences for all of our audience members,” says Kathleen O’Brien, TPAC president and chief executive officer. “We’re extremely fortunate to have his forward thinking and leadership talents, and I’m privileged to work alongside him as we enter the next fiscal year.”
Recently, Hyams has spearheaded plans to renovate and research the historic War Memorial Auditorium, which was dedicated in 1925 as a memorial to Tennesseans killed in World War I. The auditorium has a unique history as both a civic center and premier music venue for Nashville. Presidential candidates have spoken there, and it was home to the Nashville Symphony for 55 years (1925-1980) and the fourth home of the Grand Ole Opry (1939-1943).
“TPAC has long managed the auditorium as a beautiful space for weddings, special events, and performances. My goal has been to dig deeper into the amazing history of the auditorium and help people rediscover it as a Tennessee treasure,” Hyams says. “We have collaborated with local and state archives to find old photos, remodel the dressing rooms, and upgrade the sound system to work better with the auditorium’s natural acoustics. It’s really been a labor of love for me, and I’m excited about continuing the tradition of bringing a wide variety of musical acts from all genres for Nashvillians to experience in this storied hall.”
Hyams is involved with the Nashville Downtown Partnership and the 5th Avenue of the Arts. He also is a member of the International Association of Venue Managers. Hyams is married to Amy Lewis, with whom he has two sons, Lewis and Fentress.
Over three decades, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center has welcomed more than 11 million audience members and served more than 1.5 million students and educators with performances at TPAC, resources for teachers, classroom residencies, and enrichment programs for adults. Founded in 1980, TPAC serves several hundred thousand audience members each year with the annual series of HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC, a variety of special engagements, and the productions of the three resident artistic companies—Nashville Ballet, Nashville Opera, and Tennessee Repertory Theatre. For more information, visit www.tpac.org. For more information on the historic War Memorial Auditorium, visit www.wmarocks.com.
*Photo of Brent Hyams courtesy TPAC.