It was the summer of this year with Anna Rencz first stepped into the role of Sponsorship Sales Coordinator at the Agora Theatre, but it wasn’t the first time she’d been in that venue. Growing up outside of Cleveland she often headed into the city to Agora, but later left to study in Montana before returning to Ohio and that’s where we’re picking up this story below…
Kendra: Have you always worked in the music industry, or did you start out in some other realm and move over?
Anna Rencz: I consider myself a Jack-of-all-trades kind of gal. I tend to be involved in many things at once, but I have always in some sort of way been involved in events and entertainment. In addition to the Agora, I am an Event Planner and set up Sponsorship for others.
I completed the Business Entertainment Management program at the University of Montana in spring 2016. Being in that program really opened my eyes to the ins and outs of the industry and sparked my passion. I got heavily involved in the entertainment industry in Montana. Now I am currently finishing up my undergrad degree at Cleveland State University and setting up Sponsorship for the Agora.
Being a young adult in this industry has really pushed me to combat ageism by being the best I can be. I have a strong character and lots of grit. I am determined to become masterful in many facets of the entertainment industry and beyond.
Kendra: Other than sales coordinator, do you handle any other aspects of the Theatre?
Anna: I focus solely on creating national and local sponsors for the venue and activating their contracts. My job consists of networking with others and creating partnerships.
Kendra: Noticing what tours you all are getting, you’re a pretty great place to see some of the best shows coming through town. Do you feel that has to do with the size of the venue, the reputation of the staff, location?
Anna: Size, reputation, and location all play a role in bringing in great shows to the Agora. The Agora has a 2,000-size capacity Agora Theatre and 600-size capacity Agora Ballroom in the facility. This allows us to bring in larger acts and developing talent.
Cleveland has a rich history in regards to rock & roll. The Agora used to be a springboard for many classic artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Rush, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Meatloaf, AC/DC, Tom Waits, and much more.
Today many of the acts we bring into our venue are rock, metal, alternative, hip-hop, and electronic musicians. Clevelanders know though that the best metal and rock music is hosted here at the Agora. Tours also want to play at our venue because our fan base is wildly amazing and the venue is legendary.
Kendra: What’s the overall music scene like in Cleveland for someone working on the business side of things?
Anna: Cleveland is considered a secondary market, meaning, based on our population and economic capabilities lots of great artists stop through our city. Cleveland also still has a large rock & roll/metal scene.
Kendra: From when you started to where you are now, have you noticed any significant changes in your realm of the industry; venues and shows?
Anna: I have not been in the industry long enough to witness significant changes. However, the music industry is constantly evolving. There are less independent venues than there were 10 years ago. Promoting shows has changed significantly because of social media, etc. Part of my job requires me to focus on current trends in the industry. In order to make the best possible partnership between and businesses and our venue I largely consider customer, music, and branding trends. If you ask me this question again in a couple of years I am sure I will have a long list of changes for Golden Mixtape.
Kendra: Have any of your personal favorites come by Agora and played? If so, who and were you allowed to be a fan for the night or did you have to keep it business?
Anna: Yes! Many of my personal favorites have played here at the Agora. Just in the past few months, For Today, The Devil Wears Prada, Taking Back Sunday, La Dispute, Trice, Asking Alexandria, and the list really goes on. When I go to the shows I blend in with the crowd.
Kendra: What’s coming up for the Agora Theatre in the New Year? Anything new going on?
Anna: The Agora is constantly trying to improve the venue and the shows we bring in. In the New Year expect to see a full concert calendar. One of my personal favorite bands will also be playing March 3rd, Circa Survive. We are constantly adding new shows on our website, so join our mailing list and add us on Facebook!
Kendra: If you had to make a mixtape comprised of five songs by artists you’d love to play Agora in the span of a week, which ones would be on there?
Anna: This is super hard to answer. I am constantly falling in love with new bands and musicians, but I also love my throwbacks. I also tend to love albums in their entirety, so it is very hard to pick a single song. I am going to break the rules and make a throwback mixtape and current mixtape.
Rage Against The Machine – “Killing In The Name”
Linkin Park – “In The End”
LCD Soundsystem – “Dance Yrself Clean”
Senses Fail – “One Eight Seven”
Streetlight Manifesto – “We Will Fall Together”