If you meet Aran Rush, the new general manager of Hartman Arena, he’ll likely ask you what your dream act is for him to bring to the Park City venue.
“I’m always interested to hear what other people are interested in,” Rush said.
In fact, he readily offers his e-mail address for anyone who might want to share his or her thoughts: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rush began his career as a 17-year-old in the box office at a school in his native Michigan, and he immediately loved it.
“No day was the same day twice.”
Rush didn’t find that exhausting.
“No, it was energizing.”
Since then, Rush has worked a range of jobs in the industry both nationally and internationally. He’s been in the marketing department for the Detroit Pistons, and he did game day media relations for the Miami Heat and the Miami Dolphins. He’s worked at convention and visitors bureaus and for facilities in Mexico. Most recently, Rush was executive director for the events and facilities department for Sioux City, Iowa.
Q. What’s the Wichita market like for shows?
A. “Artists and agents and managers know that Wichita is a great town. Wichita as a whole has a very good reputation in the entertainment industry. We want to continue that and build on that. … I think all of the venues need to work together to sell Wichita to the industry.”
Q. How do you make Hartman Arena stand out?
A. “First of all, we’re going to ask people what they want. We’re going to conduct a survey, and we’re going to identify what people want to see. We’re looking for that little-known (act) to help build up momentum. … We’ve got to sell more tickets.”
Q. Hartman has about 60 acts – including a dozen concerts – a year now. What would be an ideal number?
A. “I would like to increase that to 80.”
Q. What’s your dream act for Hartman Arena?
A. “My dream act is an act that goes on sale and 25 minutes later it sells out. And we’re going to get one of those. I just don’t know what it is.”
Q. What’s one thing few people know about you?
A. “My life is an open book. It seems like there’s more stuff on me on the Internet than I want.”