A rendering of the Tateuchi Center in downtown Bellevue. Courtesy photo

A rendering of the Tateuchi Center in downtown Bellevue. Courtesy photo

Tateuchi Center names Ray Cullom CEO

The Eastside’s first performing arts organization will begin development and programming this year.

  • Monday, May 21, 2018 8:30am
  • Life

Tateuchi Center, the Eastside’s future home for innovative performing arts programming from around the globe, today announced the hiring of their new CEO, Ray Cullom.

Cullom brings over 20 years of experience in the commercial and not-for-profit arts industry, with expertise in the development and supervision of arts venue construction and renovation projects. Cullom will begin his tenure as Tateuchi Center CEO on Aug. 1, 2018.

“I am excited to join a community renowned for being the hub of innovation, entertainment, gaming, and forward thinking in the United States, and to draw on these collective resources as we work together to create the next-generation of performing arts spaces,” said Ray Cullom, new CEO of Tateuchi Center in a press release. “The Center will be a reflection of Bellevue’s storied past, thrilling present, and aspirational future. This is a particularly ripe setting for the incorporation of state-of-the-art technology into the venue design. I’m looking forward to getting to know the community and developing educational and performance programming that meets their diverse needs and expectations.”

Early in 2018, Tateuchi Center’s Board contracted with Arts Consulting Group (ACG) to conduct an international search for a new CEO resulting in 39 qualified candidates. Chaired by Jane Hague and involving a range of community members, the search and search advisory committees worked closely with ACG through a rigorous process.

Their work identified the right leader whose expertise and energy will drive the organization through the final phases of securing the remaining funding, building, and opening the much-needed, world-class performing arts center.

“Ray stood out for his high energy, enthusiasm, and approach to developing the Tateuchi Center into the world-class performing arts destination that Bellevue deserves,” says Alex Smith, chair of the board of the nonprofit Performing Arts Center Eastside (PACE), which has been doing business as Tateuchi Center since receiving a naming gift from the Tateuchi Foundation in a press release. “When asked who he envisions performing at the Center, Ray responded he would first have to talk to community members before he could answer that question. He knows from experience that for our programming to serve our growing and diverse population he has to get to know our future patrons. We have to be relevant and responsive to our unique community.”

Cullom’s prior experience overseeing the development process for several performing arts venues delivers exactly what’s necessary for Tateuchi Center’s next evolutionary stage.

Previous renovation and development projects include: the historic Theatre Row complex of five Off-Broadway Theaters on 42nd St. in New York City, The Bethesda Theatre in the Washington DC region, oversight of the development and construction of the 650,000 sq. ft. Zorlu Center for the Performing Arts in Istanbul, Turkey, now Europe’s largest multi-stage performing arts complex, and most recently, the 2,000 seat SIDC/North Bund Broadway Theater in Shanghai, China.

“This is an important time as Tateuchi Center is targeting ground breaking to occur this fall,” said Cathi Hatch, campaign chair and PACE Board vice chair in a press release. “Hiring our new CEO represents a huge step forward in making Tateuchi Center a reality. We are very confident that Ray’s expertise, vision, and personal style will boost our momentum and lead us through to opening and beyond. He will be moving to Bellevue with his wife and 3 school-age children, and is eager to become a leader in our community, working with us all to create something truly unique, adding value to our lives for generations.”


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