After ushering Newark Symphony Hall back into the spotlight as the historic venue approaches its centennial year, President and CEO Taneshia Nash Laird announced earlier this month she’d move on from her position there in November. Now, an interim leader with experience working with the community-driven concert hall has been tapped to take her place.
Newark Symphony Hall announced the appointment of Talia Young as interim chief executive officer Oct. 31, while board Chair fayemi shakur spearheads the search for a permanent CEO and works closely with both Nash Laird and Young on a transition plan.
Young has served on the NSH board since 2014. The CEO brings a background in government affairs, economic development and entrepreneurship to the position, according to the venue.
“The opportunity to support Newark Symphony Hall during its time of transition is truly an honor. This legendary establishment fueled my love for the arts from an early age,” said Young. “I am committed to the restoration and revival of this remarkable center, expanding its accessibility and community engagement efforts, and reinforcing its fiscal solvency moving forward. I am grateful for Taneshia’s dynamic leadership and look forward to collaborating with the board, staff, administration, community leaders and donors.”
During her time there, Nash Laird launched the $50 million, 100th anniversary capital improvement campaign at Newark Symphony Hall, securing $15 million in funding toward that effort since she came on board in 2018.
“Taneshia has set us on a strong financial path to restore the historic building and cultural gem that is Newark Symphony Hall,” shakur, who also serves as arts and cultural affairs director for the City of Newark, said in a statement. “With strong knowledge of NSH’s mission, values and priorities, Talia will be an excellent interim CEO as we continue to fundraise, attract new programming, and complete our restoration by our 100th anniversary in 2025.”
NSH said Young, who is CEO of Space 2 Create Social Impact Community Development Corp., an organization that works to expand economic equity and sustainability for communities of color, brings nearly 15 years of experience to the position. She also founded and leads The 725 Standard, a full-service planning, design and event logistics firm that incorporates positive social impact program and strategies for urban and suburban markets, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Her past experience includes serving as vice president of public and government relations for the City National Bank of N.J., the state’s first Black-owned and operated bank. She also served as senior project and policy manager under the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, NSH said.
The Hofstra University grad recently completed a certificate in Creative Placemaking from New Jersey Institute of Technology.
In a statement, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who also serves as commissioner for the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, congratulated Young on the appointment.
“I look forward to supporting a continued relationship with Newark Symphony Hall through our affiliate, New Jersey Historic Trust, which has already funded a preservation plan which is helping to guide future efforts to maintain, repair and restore the historic interior finishes and exterior restoration of this structure,” Oliver said. “I am confident that Talia will continue the momentum of restoring this beautiful 1920s urban landmark.”
Over the past three years, NSH has emerged from its former life, and the pandemic, as an in-demand location for film and television productions — creating a key source of revenue. In 2022, it expanded its community programming to include popular monthly Soul Line Dancing and Salsa Night events. The venue said it plans to embellish its scheduled events with seasonal activities to engage the community and celebrate its rich culture. And, as the restoration proceeds, it will “remain open to the public and continue to serve as a cultural pillar for the city of Newark and the state of New Jersey.”
Taneshia Nash Laird’s profile in New Jersey has risen along with that of Newark Symphony Hall — and for good reason. She came on board at the heretofore beleaguered, historic venue in the state’s largest city as president and CEO four years ago next month, kickstarting not just a planned $50 million transformation to the physicality of the space, but also a change in perception that has already yielded results.
And all that groundwork is even more pertinent following Laird’s Oct. 20 announcement that she’ll move on from her post at the head of the nearly 100-year-old (the big birthday hits in 2025) Newark Symphony Hall next month.
“After 4 impactful – and in many ways life-changing – years with Newark Symphony Hall, I am starting a new chapter in my career that will be announced soon,” she wrote on LinkedIn.
“Taneshia has set Newark Symphony Hall on a strong path to restore a historic, cultural gem in our great city,” said NSH Board Chair and City of Newark Arts and Cultural Affairs Director Fayemi Shakur. “We are grateful for Taneshia’s leadership and wish her well on her future endeavors. As we work closely with her on the organization’s transition plan, we will share an announcement about the organization’s newly appointed interim CEO next week.”
Last month, the venue announced it secured another $2.75 million in new funding from Prudential Financial and the Mellon Foundation, part of which will go toward its redevelopment efforts. Regarding her planned departure, Laird told NJBIZ that there aren’t “just revitalization plans in place, but more than $13 million dollars in place to implement those plans.”
“I’m very proud of what we have accomplished in the past four years and I feel so honored to have been at the helm of the organization and to help grow our organizational capacity, especially since while we were beloved, most thought our best days were behind us,” she said via email.
The venue’s resurgence is evidenced by its recent activity. When MTV first chose Newark to host its annual Video Music Awards in 2019, artists like Missy Elliot used the space for rehearsals. During the pandemic, a time when live venues nationwide were challenged, Newark Symphony Hall offered virtual programming, keeping the community engaged and entertained. This time last year, the space was home to USA Network’s “America’s Big Deal.”
“Much of my early days was figuring out how we could distinguish ourselves in the marketplace, so I thank the board of directors of Newark Symphony Hall for the opportunity to lead and for believing in my vision of Newark Symphony Hall as a place that centers the work of performing artists of color from the African, Latin and Asian diasporas while also providing and important career pathway for for people of color in arts and entertainment both on and off the stage. Arts administration and entertainment management remain fields that lack diversity.”
When productions take place at Newark Symphony Hall, that creates job opportunities that people may not typically think about, Laird told NJBIZ earlier this year. Opening up positions for residents as stagehands, for instance, which are well-paying, union jobs. Additionally, the venue is part of the Diversify the Stage initiative, which seeks to expand employment for touring production jobs – “from the tour manager, to the roadie, stagehands, in addition to the people who are on the stage” – to women and people of color, in particular.
Off stage, the revitalization work at the venue is expected to create some 500 construction jobs and contracting opportunities for 50 locally owned small businesses, keeping the focus on the community.
“This was truly a public-private partnership, so I also thank Mayor Ras Baraka, Gov. Phil Murphy, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver and our entire Newark delegation to the state Legislature, especially State Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Ruiz, NJ Assembly Budget Chair Eliana Pintor-Marin, as well as Assemblywoman Cleo Tucker, Assemblywoman Shanique Speight and Assemblyman Ralph Caputo,” Laird said. “I also worked with the NJ Legislative Black Caucus and their leadership, past and present, in chairs the retiring Sen. Ron Rice and his Black Caucus successor as chair Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter and her vice chair Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds Jackson alongside their caucus colleagues. Then there is also Prudential Foundation President Shané Harris and Mellon Foundation’s Emil Kang.
“I am sure I’m missing someone as I attempt to list them all so everyone that I worked closely with selling the vision that our near century old venue remained relevant today are among those that I thank for the opportunity.”
Newark Symphony Hall turns 100 in 2025 and as the centennial approaches, the storied venue in the state’s largest city is pursuing a $50 million capital improvement campaign to revitalize and restore the landmark. It moved closer to that goal last week with the addition of $2.75 million.
The new funding for the effort, announced Sept. 2, comes from fellow Newark anchor institution Prudential Financial and from the Mellon Foundation. The former contributed $2 million for the renovation project, while the latter’s $750,000 will go toward programming for NSH.
“Newark Symphony Hall is a community pillar and long-time partner,” said Prudential Financial Vice President of Inclusive Solutions Nicole Butler in a prepared statement. “This funding helps preserve a historical treasure, continues our support of Newark’s vibrant arts community, and moves Newark Symphony Hall closer to achieving its renovation goals.”
NJBIZ Conversations: Taneshia Nash Laird
In 2021, the CEO of Newark Symphony Hall, Taneshia Nash Laird, joined NJBIZ to discusses the venue’s renovation, how the pandemic was challenging the arts community, and more. Watch here.
Those goals include a new exterior façade and streetscape in addition to modernizing and reactivating interior community and creative spaces, and the re-introduction of commercial space for offices on certain floors of the building. Leading the effort, and the historic venue, is CEO Taneshia Nash Laird. The work is expected to create 500 construction jobs and contracting opportunities for 50 small businesses from the community.
Located at 1020 Broad St., in a designated Opportunity Zone, the Newark Symphony Hall project is also expected to utilize federal historic tax credits and other economic development funding tools for catalytic projects. And, for the first time in decades, the venue saw state funding from the Fiscal Year 2022 ($5 million) and 2023 ($6 million) spending plans.
Laird will celebrate her fourth anniversary as CEO in November. According to her, the venue increased its earned revenue by more than 100% during the pandemic.
Some of that comes from productions using the space – like the USA Network series “America’s Big Deal,” which broadcast live from the venue in 2021, or the Hulu drama series “Wu-Tang: An American Saga,” which transformed the 145,000-square-foot complex for two episodes – and all of it comes ahead of any physical construction. As Laird noted in July, “The only thing we did is change the perception of what Newark Symphony Hall can be. And so now we are part of a national conversation around inclusive, economic development.”
That inclusive nature also speaks to another component contributing to NSH’s second-coming: The programming that has returned to the space.
The Mellon gift, in particular, will help to set up a new programming department at NSH with three years of support for a director, manager and coordinator. According to NSH, this marks the first time in nearly 20 years that the facility will have a dedicated programming staff. Last year, a financial commitment from the foundation allowed Laird to expand the leadership ranks at NSH.
Speaking over the summer, Laird illustrated a vision that “support[s] the people that have been supporting Symphony Hall for years.” Following the new funding, she said a major programming focus will be to “center the cultures of communities of color, those traditionally marginalized, but who constitute majorities in the city and state and around the globe — including from the African, Latinx and Asian diasporas.”
The new programming department will be tasked with assessing the community’s needs, developing internal infrastructure and scaling scope and reach for its efforts.
As Newark Symphony Hall continues its re-emergence as an anchor institution in the city, Laird acknowledged the role other leaders have played in those efforts.
“It could not have happened without Prudential’s belief that Newark Symphony Hall could truly anchor this side – the very tip, the very end other than the park – of the mayor’s new arts and education district,” she said over the summer.
Shanè Harris, Prudential’s vice president of inclusive solutions, head of social responsibility and partnerships, and president of The Prudential Foundation, detailed the importance of cultural anchors as critical drivers of Newark’s revitalization during a tour of the city in July.
“One of the things that has been interesting, and some of the feedback that we’ve gotten, is that anchor institutions traditionally have been … eds and meds, right? And in Newark, we are really harnessing a diversity of leaders and institutions to really drive growth in the city. And that includes corporates … but it also includes arts and cultural institutions that have really been the, the backbone of the vibrancy for the city.”
When it comes to the national perception of Newark, and how far from reality that image may lie, Harris said that arts and cultural anchor institutions have been driving the change of that narrative, “and really demonstrating how we could holistically connect with community and have community drive the course of the city.”
A 2020 study on gender and diversity from Commercial Real Estate Women Network found that while more than half of respondents said changes have been made in the industry when it comes to workplace diversity, equity and inclusion, just 16% reported that 25% or more of their coworkers were people of color.
Project REAP’s work centers on advancing those culture initiatives in commercial real estate, and one of the ways it does that is through the ULI/REAP Online Academy.
REAP Chairman G. Lamont Blackstone says the organization is threefold: “The base is the academy, the professional continuing education program focused on commercial real estate.”
That’s complemented by a networking component and the organization’s career center.
REAP launched its first in-person academy in Washington, D.C., in 1998. Since then, it’s expanded the program to eight additional cities: Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Los Angeles, Kansas City and New York. Back in 2020, REAP had just launched in-person academies in New York City and Chicago when COVID hit. “[A]bout a week into the launch of both of those academies, the lockdown came, and we had to suspend them,” Blackstone – who is also principal of real estate services firm G.L. Blackstone & Associates – said. “And then, later on in the year we re-tooled.”
Project REAP teamed up with the Urban Land Institute to create the ULI/REAP Virtual Academy. The eight-week program launched in the fall of 2020 and has been operating online ever since. “However, when public health conditions allow it, we do envision reverting back to the in-person academies,” Blackstone said.
The course consists of on-demand modules, live webinars and panel discussions. REAP cohorts receive a one-year ULI membership, offering even further networking opportunities for participants beyond those fostered as part of the program, which include breakout rooms and a dedicated Slack channel. Past instructors have included senior level executives from Starbucks, JLL and Cushman & Wakefield.
The necessary re-tooling due to the pandemic also helped to break down logistical barriers that may have previously prevented participants from being involved. When in-person academies were being held, people from New Jersey were interested, but Blackstone acknowledged that logistics played a part in restricting who was able to make the trek into the city for the course. Now, Project REAP is looking to expand its offerings to professionals in the Garden State, particularly the virtual academy, according to Blackstone. “[W]ith the virtual academy … we can service and accommodate fellows who live in Central Jersey, as well was southern New Jersey,” he said. “Whereas with the in-person academy that probably would have been highly unlikely.”
REAP’s curriculum also lends itself to accommodation, taking into account industry trends for its modules. Blackstone pointed out the potential for synergies aligning between REAP and New Jersey due to the kind of “rising sectors” that are well represented in the state. For example, an industrial real estate section is included among the planned live session topics for REAP’s upcoming cohort – meanwhile, the sector has experienced high demand, and record-low vacancies in the Garden State.
“We’ve already had a couple modules on the life sciences industry, and obviously life sciences is a very major sector in the state of New Jersey, as well,” Blackstone added.
In all, 23 people from the state have gone through the three virtual academies that have taken place. As far as getting the word out is concerned, “We’re looking to any avenues, any conduits in the state of New Jersey that may be of interest,” Blackstone said. Last fall, he penned an op-ed for the state’s Urban Mayor’s Association. And moves like that are paying off:
After seeing the number of participants from N.J. drop to three, it jumped back up to nine for REAP’s most recently completed cohort.
In fact, the pursuit of growing the group’s reach in the Garden State is exactly how one recent Project REAP grad got involved.
‘Can I apply?’
Newark Symphony Hall President and CEO Taneshia Nash Laird also serves as economic development committee chair for the New Jersey State Conference of the NAACP. It was in that capacity that Blackstone reached out about REAP so that Laird could spread the word through the state’s NAACP channels. “And then I said to him: Can I apply?”
“Well, first of all, Taneshia is a great ambassador for whatever she embraces,” Blackstone said. “And she’s very well respected in economic development circles and just generally in political circles in the state, and she’s also unique in that she understands the potential intersection of culture and commercial real estate development.”
It was in the interest of perspective that Laird said she wanted to be involved. At the historic Newark Symphony Hall, she’s overseeing a $50 million renovation project that the venue aims to have completed in time for its centennial in 2025. “I know it from a particular lens,” she said of the material. “I know it from the lens of being an appointed official that is tasked with making sure that these projects happen … but I said, ‘I want to know it from the perspective of a developer,’ because this is what I’m doing in this job.”
One lecture that Laird highlighted came from an asset manager who was building sound stages in Hollywood. The work, she said, and the thought process behind it, “was very much in alignment of what we’re seeking to do.”
“[O]ne of the things that I really liked about the project is that it wasn’t just about people presenting ‘how to maximize profits,’ and that’s it, right? There is a through-line, the social impact of it, and I guess that makes sense with what Project REAP is all about, period,” Laird said. “I really enjoyed that aspect of it. That it was really about, how are we going to continue to develop the communities that we’re in, and that we’re invested in; and we’re going to continue developing the people.”
In addition to the fundamentals – “the process, the financing, … market analysis, and leasing and lease analysis; it was the full spectrum of commercial, as you think about it” – Laird said she appreciated the diversity of the curriculum, which covered different sectors and included a presentation on historic preservation from L+M Development Partners Inc., using the firm’s work at the former Hahne department store in Newark as a case study.
“And the other things is, it’s clear that everybody that Project REAP got to present really was passionate about helping people like me,” Laird said. “I am not a typical person in this industry, I’m a Black woman. And so … it was great to see a number of Black women present.”
Laird thinks that positivity will carry through with her work at Newark Symphony Hall.
“I always say – when this is successful, I definitely think that this experience is one that is going to contribute to the success,” she said. “[T]he fact that I know the language is going to be really helpful as I go through this process. And not just relying on experts to tell me; that I have an understanding, because I’ve not only gone through this program, and I’ve seen case studies that they presented to us. And that was also something that was sort of invaluable.” And worth well beyond the initial $850 financial investment in the course, she said.
Bottom line: “It’s basically like going to graduate school and getting a graduate certificate in commercial real estate,” Laird said.
REAP’s virtual pivot was one, like many companies made, of necessity, but it’s given the group a larger platform and outreach. And down the road, those opened doors could be literal.
“[W]e’ve been able to enter and penetrate into markets that we previously did not service at all with the in-person academy,” Blackstone explained, highlighting a cluster of fellows from the Charlotte, N.C., area. It’s that kind of interest that, in time, he said, could see an in-person academy established in the metro. But even when in-person academies start up again,
Blackstone sees a place for both formats. “Even though we do want to return to the in-person format, you know because there’s certain benefits to the in-person formats that you can’t completely capture with a virtual model. We’ll want to be hybrid,” he said. “We’ll want to maintain both as formats.”
In 2021, the Virtual Academy saw a combined 225 fellows representing 24 states, Washington, D.C., and Canada — accounting for the largest cohorts in the group’s history. Perhaps it’s another sign that the pendulum is starting to move when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion in commercial real estate. Either way, Blackstone says REAP’s mission is beneficial to the industry at-large, including in the Garden State and nationwide.
“At the heart of Project REAP’s mission is development of human capital. And that, I would believe and assume, is something that should be of significant interest to the commercial real estate community in the state of New Jersey,” he said.
The ULI/REAP Virtual Academy is currently accepting applications for its Spring 2022 Academy through March 30. Classes begin April 25.
Every story has many sides, and the story of Newark’s developing arts district has three: the “cultural triangle” formed by projects at the Newark Museum of Art, Newark Symphony Hall and New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Leaders are seeking to not only transform each institution’s own physical features and legacies, but to build connections between them to establish a hub.
For the first time in two years – almost exactly to the day – the Newark Regional Business Partnership came together in-person last week for its 2022 Real Estate Market Forum at NICO Kitchen + Bar at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, an event that highlighted the ways institutions, developers and organizations are collaborating with each other and the City of Newark for the city and its residents.
“I think a lot of people might view us as competitors, and we’re not,” said Newark Symphony Hall President and CEO Taneshia Nash Laird during a panel discussion moderated by LMXD, an affiliate of L&M Development Partners, Senior Director Sam Chapin. Instead, another “c” word seems better suited to describe the trio: collaborators.
There are common threads that run through each of the artistic anchors’ development plans, housing and access to the city’s greenspaces, for example, along with creating sustainable paths for the organizations’ financial futures, that all align with the common goal of establishing an active, artistic hub in downtown.
“NJPAC is unique, in that our mission statement actually uses the word, that we are a catalyst for economic development in … the City of Newark,” said Tim Lizura, senior vice president for real estate and capital projects at that venue. The performing arts center is embarking on a $150 million project, slated to break ground this year, that will transform more than 7 acres and answer the question of “How do we create a community around our main building.” An initial phase of work will create 300 mixed-income rental units, along with about 30,000 square feet of retail space. NJPAC’s project will also see 15 for-sale units available for one of the first times in the district, according to Lizura, who highlighted the milestone as a contributing factor to establishing equitable housing opportunities in the city.
“We’re going to have 2,000 people living on this plaza in the next three years,” he said, pointing out that the number is more residents than some small towns in the state can claim. Along with projects at Symphony Hall and Newark Museum “it really is going to create a community that is a 24/7 environment, and that is just the holy grail of what we want this to be,” Lizura said.
At Newark Museum, Director and CEO Linda Harrison said the organization sees its $85 million development – which will include 250 units of housing, with 20% dedicated to affordable options – as “an art-focused project that actually helps the museum to … be a museum of the community” – not just one that is located in the community. To that end, the work at the museum will not displace any residents, she said.
“If we’re going to be a financially stable and sustainable cultural organization then we had to look at new models – different models – of revenue,” she said. That includes short-term contributions, like from renting the space out for TV and film productions – something Newark Symphony Hall has had success with, as well. But, “We knew … we also had to have a longer-term play,” Harrison said, which led the 112-year-old museum to embark on this project, which also offers a form of financial stability for the city.
At Symphony Hall, a $50 million transformation that is scheduled to be completed for the venue’s 100th anniversary in 2025, is revolutionary for the historic site, where Laird has been working, with success, to change perceptions of the historic entity. “I want to acknowledge the fact that we’re even invited here,” Laird said – because three years ago that likely would not have been the case.
She described the city’s residents as “full participants” in the project to not just restore Symphony Hall to its former glory – hosting acts like The Rolling Stones and Dionne Warwick over the course of its history – but to build it back in a way that supports further growth. According to Laird, the venue’s renovation project will create 500 construction jobs and contracting opportunities for 50 small businesses. It will also result in two floors at the propetrty being revamped as commercial spaces and the addition of a coffee shop and onsite restaurant.
And Laird said, things are already happening around Symphony Hall as a result. The venue is partnering with Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District to try to curb displacement in the area and provide job training for residents. And private development has started to proliferate, as well, with a building proposed next to the venue that would offer 111 residential units.
Laird said a lot of the work centers on the idea of changing perceptions people have about what Newark can be. “I do believe that we are going to be a model for inclusive development … in terms of policies that the mayor’s put in for inclusionary zoning … But also the way that we’re approaching our individual work,” she said.
The efforts at NJPAC, Newark Museum and Newark Symphony Hall to establish this arts district are organic and so far, informal, which is important because, as Harrison said, it helps state and city lawmakers to see the big picture.
“The other piece is the placemaking partnership that this is all about,” Lizura said. “The placemaking is part of it, but there’s a lot of pieces to it – certainly active storefronts, great retail, signage, collaboration between partners … But when you think about it, the ingredient is people walking around.”
Which can help with the next step: the formal adoption of an arts district by the city.
“[T]he key piece of this is we want people to feel comfortable that they can walk in this cultural hub. That it is safe to walk downtown,” Harrison said. “It is safe to walk from the Museum to NJPAC, to Symphony Hall … We want people to experience this, because this is where cultural hubs can really impact a city’s vibrancy and its economic growth.”
Long-time Essex County resident Chris Sabin is being tapped as the first director of communications and social impact at Newark Symphony Hall, located in its namesake city, according to a Feb. 7 announcement.
At the helm of this new office, Sabin will oversee community development and engagement within Newark, as well as public events and other programs, and the venue’s job training and placement program called Symphony Works.
The historic entertainment venue on Broad Street – opened nearly a century ago in 1925 and with enough seating for a 3,500-person audience – considers itself the largest Black-led arts and entertainment venue in the Garden State. Formally called the Mosque Theater, Newark Symphony Hall played host to major musical figures like The Beatles, The Rolling States, Aretha Franklin and Jimi Hendrix, and was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.
“It’s a great time to be joining this important historic landmark institution in New Jersey’s largest city,” reads a Monday statement from Sabin, a South Orange resident.
His resume ranges from work at MTV Networks, UWG and Prime Access to marketing for the NAACP, according to the Monday announcement.
The theater has plans for a $50 million renovation, which it aims to complete before the venue’s 100-year anniversary in three years. A seven-member, Black-led committee was formed in the fall 2020 – with members from companies such as Goldman Sachs – with the goal of fundraising for the renovations. In January, the venue added Mack Graham as director of development to lead it’s fundraising department.
Nearby, plans at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, another major cultural institution in Newark, call for a $150 million arts neighborhood with townhouses, rental units, retail establishments, arts and cultural spaces, and restaurants.
Editor’s note: The story has been updated to note the theater has plans for a $50 million renovation.
Newark Symphony Hall has hired Director of Development Mack Graham to lead its new fundraising department, the organization announced Jan. 12.
In this role funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Graham will create and steward relationships and partnerships for NSH to sustain and increase funding streams.
“I’m thrilled that Mack has joined our leadership team, as he brings deep experience in social justice advocacy, nonprofit leadership and brand development,” said NSH President and CEO Taneshia Nash Laird in a prepared statement. “As we continue to raise funds for a $50 million renovation timed with our 100th birthday in 2025, Mack’s unique mix of experience and talents will be invaluable to us.”
Graham was previously the executive director of the Long Beach Martin Luther King Center in Long Beach, N.Y.. There, he managed programs, fundraising, finances, communications and staffing. He’s previously served as director of development at Lifeline Center for Child Development, a development manager for iMentor, and director of outreach at Texas Association of Nonprofit Organizations.
“As a community organizer, I am inspired by the Newark Symphony Hall’s legacy and its commitment to empowering the community through arts, invaluable educational programs, and outreach,” said Graham. “I am thrilled to be part of this organization and look forward to continuing the work to rejuvenate the community of Newark.”
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