Newark Symphony Hall, operated by Newark Performing Arts Corporation (NPAC), has selected Taneshia Nash Laird as President and CEO, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). She began her tenure on November 1, 2018.
Ms. Laird is a seasoned fundraiser and leader with decades of experience in the nonprofit, government, and private sectors. Most recently, she served as Executive Director of the Arts Council of Princeton, notably as the first woman of color in this role. During her tenure, she launched an instructional art program for adults with disabilities and created a grant-funded professional development program to ethnically diversify the teaching artist pool. Additionally, she secured new funding from family foundations, significantly increased free?to-the-public performing arts programming, and expanded all programming to appeal to diverse communities in terms of age, culture, and ability. Ms. Laird has also served as Director of Economic Development & Acting Director of Housing Production for the City of Trenton, Regional Director of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and Executive Director of the Trenton Downtown Association, where she initiated Destination Trenton, an award-winning arts and tourism program. Ms. Laird is the Founder of Legacy Business Advisors, a consultancy for social entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and government agencies, and the Co-Founder of MIST Harlem, a popular entertainment center in New York City.
A current faculty member of Bloomfield College’s Master of Fine Arts Program and a grants panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, Ms. Laird holds a bachelor of business administration in marketing management from the Bernard Baruch College of the City University of New York. She also holds certificates in nonprofit executive leadership from Rutgers Newark School of Business and designing leadership from the Arts & Business Council for Greater Philadelphia.
In making the announcement, NPAC Chairman of the Board Alfred Bundy said, “Today a new curtain rises at Newark Symphony Hall. Our board of directors is proud to announce that we have selected Taneshia Nash Laird as our new President and CEO of our historic arts organization. The members of our search committee recognize that we have chosen a bright and shining star for the Newark arts community.”
“I’m excited to bring my vision and leadership to this institution,” said Ms. Laird. “Newark Symphony Hall not only has a rich legacy, but it also has incredible potential as a world-class entertainment hub. I’m committed to working with my board, city administration, donors, Symphony Hall staff, and community members to restore our legendary performing arts center and transform the entertainment experience within the Hall. The historic preservation and revitalization process will also provide significant local community economic development opportunities.”
“Congratulations to Taneshia Nash Laird on her placement as Newark Symphony Hall’s next President and CEO,” said ACG Senior Consultant Daniel J. Zanella, “As a visionary leader, Ms. Laird’s experience in development financing will help jumpstart the facility’s renovation and usher Newark Symphony Hall into a new age with freshly developed programming. We wish Ms. Laird and Newark Symphony Hall the very best as the organization begins its next chapter.”