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The End (and a new beginning)

Hard to believe it’s been almost 2 years since my State Theater dreams first took flight.  Crazy to think of how it all started, with a startup weekend I didn’t attend and a casual suggestion from my friend Brendan that we go check out this cool theater in downtown. It was almost love at first sight!  How had I missed this beautiful building during my 2 years at ND? Really it doesn’t matter because for me, The State HAS been a South Bend Love Story (like how I did that with the marquee?).

I’ve worked extremely hard at the theater for the last two years.  Sometimes I call it a passion, sometimes an addiction.  I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve bled, I’ve change the marquee in blinding rain and I’ve danced the time warp.  I’ve learned a lot about this city, the theater, and, most importantly, myself.

This role has challenged me in every possible way and I’ve been blessed to have so many passionate supporters and volunteers, particularly Mara and Trish.  We’ve done some amazing things here at the old State Theater, things that we hope the city can be proud of.

I’ve also learned that I can’t do it all.  I can’t run a restaurant, an attraction, and a shop.  There simply aren’t enough hours in the day for me to do it all and live the happy & healthy life I aspire to.  My time here has made me realize the value of doing one thing and doing it well.

So it is with a happy heart that I announce my retirement from the theater to focus on and pursue my South Bend Brew Werks dream.  This project has been in my mind for 2 years and almost into the world for nearly a year now. It’s time to give it the attention it deserves. I owe that to my business partners and the people who have been so excited to see it come to life.

Trish Gehring, one of our most passionate volunteers will be succeeding me.  It has been a dream of hers to run the theater since she was a child so I’m thrilled to be able to get out of the way and watch her pursue it.  She has some big plans so watch for more information.

This website, and the various social media properties Mara and I have built will be transitioning away from a focus on the State Theater to a more community wide focus, from The State, South Bend to The State OF South Bend. We’ve always been about the community, telling stories outside of the boundaries of the theater, and we’re excited to be able to share even more of what makes this, in our opinion, such a great place to live.  If you’d like to be a partner with us, please let us know.  We’re looking for more content creators!

The best part of all this? I get to stay in this city I love and be an active part of a downtown that is arguably far more vibrant than it was 2 years ago.  I’ve been asked to be on the events committee for the SB150 Sesquicentennial celebration so I will still get to be involved with events.  I’m also looking forward to spending more time volunteering and mentoring, through organizations like Big Brother Big Sister and also exploring the area to better understand what it means to be a Hoosier. All in all, this is a very exciting time for me and I’ve been renewed with energy and enthusiasm since I made the decision.

I say I chose South Bend over Seattle, but it was never really in doubt. I was always going to end up here because this is where I belong, my home .  Thank you to everyone for being so welcoming and supportive.  I am very much looking forward to seeing what the future brings.

-Drew

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5 thoughts on “The End (and a new beginning)”

  1. This brought a tear to my eye. As much as I can’t imagine the State without you, I can’t imagine South Bend without you even more! I know that Trish will grab the torch and carry it proudly and well. I’m happy to hear that you are even more excited about upcoming adventures, and I look forward to chatting with you about it all. {{hugs}}

  2. What a beautiful story. Best wishes Drew. South Bend is lucky to have you. We\’re all lucky to have you. (I had to type through three captchas to post this. That\’s how awesome we think you are!)

  3. Congratulations on getting the State from where it was, to where it is now. You have worked hard and given it your all. I am so proud of and inspired by you Drew!
    I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t screen Madagascar at the State… but that’s ok – I guess :)
    Good luck on your next chapter in life habibi.

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