The new director of marketing of UNC Pembroke’s Givens Performing Arts Center is an experienced graphic designer and promoter. Chad Locklear also understands GPAC from the audience’s perspective.
“I ‘ve been in the audience at GPAC for as long as I can remember,” Locklear said. “When I was in college at NC State, I drove to Pembroke to hear a distinguished speaker.”
Locklear is a Robeson County native who comes to UNCP from Wilmington, where he worked in marketing for Whole Foods. He also worked in higher education as a graphic designer for Fayetteville State University and UNC Wilmington.
GPAC Executive Director Patricia Fields said Locklear’s history with GPAC and his experience will benefit southeastern North Carolina’s largest performing arts center.
Along with marketing several series of shows for GPAC, including the Broadway and More Series, Locklear will help coordinate summer theatre camp for youth, write grants and participate in event management.
“We are finalizing our upcoming season, and it looks like it will be another great year,” Locklear said. “I will be working on the promotional materials this summer.
“Our role is to provide live entertainment and cultural enrichment for our audiences,” he said. “GPAC plays a role in two communities, on campus and off.”
Locklear said the coming season, with several Broadway musicals, ballet, symphonic music and the children’s series, is diverse and will be entertaining. The new director has considerable marketing and design experience, having worked for the Fayetteville Observer creating ads, promotions and illustrations for the region’s largest newspaper.
For UNCW, Locklear created its “viewbook” and related materials, which are used by the admissions recruiters to promote the school to prospective students. He has designed magazines, newsletters, annual reports and logos.
Locklear designed the logo for Native Visions, the Pembroke monthly magazine. “I also worked with the River People on its annual show in GPAC,” he said. “I did promotional work for the band Dark Water Rising and with the Native vocalist Pura Fe.”
Locklear’s connection to the local music scene ultimately found him on GPAC’s stage as a performer when he was invited to join the Deer Clan Singers. The group was nominated for a Native American Music Award in the Best Historical Album category.
“Deer Clan performs traditional Native American music,” he said. “It’s not what you would hear at powwows; it is the kind of harmony you would find in social and community singing.”
Locklear’s interest in the arts is broad. He majored in mass communication and art studies at NC State University and earned a Master of Arts in liberal studies from UNCW. He focused on creative writing among other areas.
“I’ve always had an interest in the arts,” Locklear said. “GPAC is a good fit for me with its mix of marketing, graphic design, public relations, social media and outreach.”
Locklear is not surprised to be working at GPAC, but “I never thought I would perform on GPAC’s famous big stage.”