Some of the world’s greatest performers have taken the stage at Newark Symphony Hall – the Metropolitan Opera, Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis and the Rolling Stones to name just a few. But the century-old venue in the heart of downtown Newark has seen better days, and Taneshia Nash Laird is in charge of returning it to glory.
Nash Laird is the president and chief executive officer of NSH and is overseeing a five-year, $50 million renovation project and the fundraising to make it all happen. The venue recently released the first renderings of the exterior design changes drawn up by Trenton-based architecture firm Clarke Caton Hintz.
The CEO recently spoke with NJBIZ about the project, how the pandemic is challenging the arts community here and around the country and where the new NSH will fit in the modern Newark.
“One of the things that I’ve been hearing is that other than us in Newark there is the New Jersey Performing Arts Center — I’m just talking about the elephant in the room – there is the Prudential Center. Those are both beautiful, amazing places … but neither one of those venues existed when Newark symphony hall was built,” she said.
“And I’m from New York originally so I’m going to confess that I’m not a native New Jerseyan. The Prudential Center reminds me of Madison square Garden and NJPAC reminds me of Lincoln Center and Newark Symphony Hall is Carnegie Hall. And I think we all work together.”