Taneshia Nash Laird https://tnj.com/taneshia-nash-laird-newark-symphony-hall/ president and CEO of Newark Symphony Hall (NSH)
and a 2020 TNJ Influential Black Women in Business honoree, was appointed to the inaugural board for the National Independent Venue Foundation, an advocacy organization tasked with saving independent live-performance venues in the U.S. and shaping the future of the industry while promoting social and racial equity.
The foundation will focus on its Emergency Relief Fund, raising money for the most vulnerable venues, and will build upon the work of sister organization, the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) – its sponsorship and membership trade organization branch.
“The live music business contributes billions of dollars to the nation’s economy. Independently owned venues are important not only for their economic value but for the quality of life they contribute to their communities,” said Nash Laird, who serves as the only Black female leader of a performing arts center in New Jersey.
Since taking the reins of Newark Symphony Hall in 2018, Nash Laird has dramatically expanded the venue’s programming, and has announced plans to restore the 95-year-old concert hall in a $40 million renovation beginning in 2021. The project is set to create 500 construction jobs and opportunities for 50 small businesses – in a city where nearly one in three people live below the poverty line.
Nash Laird, the acclaimed co-author of “Still I Rise: A Graphic History of African Americans,” was the first person of color to serve as executive director of the Arts Council of Princeton. She also served as director of economic development and acting director of housing production for Trenton, N.J.
Bash Laird is the co-founder of MIST Harlem, a popular entertainment center in New York City, and an adjunct professor at Drexel University, where she teaches Strategic Management in Entertainment and Arts Management.