Breaking into the entertainment industry at any level is one of the most difficult tasks, but for 25-year-old McKay Bolden, who is already a Marketing Manager for Blue Note Entertainment Group - she’s just getting started. McKay is the Marketing Director at the historic Howard Theatre (operated by Blue Note Entertainment) in Washington, D.C., and as a millennial woman during this contemporary time, she finds joy in building exciting partnerships and bringing new life to the famous venue.
Bolden was originally born in D.C. but spent most of her childhood in Atlanta, Georgia. In her younger years, she enjoyed singing and set the initial goal of wanting to be a singer, however, after school and attending Belmont University to study Business Administration, and additionally learning about music publishing she changed her course of direction.
After graduating, in October 2017, she accepted a position back in her hometown with Radio One as a Promotions Coordinator. Like most millennials - our first jobs in the industry teach us more about life and ourselves then we could have imagined. “Working as a promotions coordinator was the most stressful job I’ve had in my entire life, but I learned a lot, and It’s the main reason why I’m in marketing/promotions now,” she stated. Radio One inspired Bolden to work and push herself beyond her own limits, but after a year, she left in hopes of finding something fit for her lifestyle.
Shortly after leaving, she tapped relationships she had made at one of the leading venues in D.C. who had a vacancy in marketing. The Howard Theatre which opened in 1910 and has been the stage for many legends from James Brown, Duke Ellington, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and The Supremes all the way to D.C. heroes like Chuck Brown, and more recently Kendrick Lamar, The Roots just to name a few.
After thinking she was just interviewing for the role of Promotion Coordinator, The Howard Theatre ultimately offered her the position as the Marketing Manager. Still very fresh out of school, Bolden doubted herself but was extremely grateful for the opportunity. “I was so shocked, I was only two years out of school, and they wanted me to be the Marketing Manager,” Bolden stated.
Taking on the role, she felt honored, but there was a lot of work to do! Determined to change the historic music venue narrative, Bolden was continually thinking about the next step, and her plan to get The Howard Theatre on everyone’s radar.
Despite her swift success, one of the challenges Bolden discusses is the blatant disrespect and misogyny from men that still exist within the industry, especially as an attractive woman “some of the comments I get from tour managers, agents, etc., I know they wouldn't be saying anything like that if I was a man in my position.” she stated.
As a DMV woman in entertainment, Bolden loves the city which is ever so expanding and is dedicated to connecting women in media and putting on more events like Broccoli City. “Putting that on a larger scale would be amazing for the DMV.”
Get to know Mckay Bolden below!
Do you have a hidden talent?
I don’t really paint as much anymore, but I love painting, I like to think I’m a really good one.
Who was your favorite character growing up?
Definitely one of The PowerPuff Girls! Don’t ask me why, but I used to be obsessed with all three of them.
I wanted to be all of them, but I also wanted to be Britney Spears, I’m glad that went away haha!
Growing up, who/what did you want to be?
I wanted to be a singer, 100%! I used to sing and write songs all the time, I took dance classes as well, but unfortunately, I can’t dance! I have rhythm, but I look corny.
Do you think the world would be a better or worse place if everyone suddenly could read each other’s thoughts?
I think it would be absolutely horrible! That’s a no.
Most influential women of all time?
My mom is very inspirational, but while making my everyday decisions, I think of Michelle Obama.
She went through so much in The White House, but she still carries herself with grace!
What’s your favorite album to date?
Usher’s fourth studio album, Confessions.
ALL Photos Taken By: Derek Admana