Hackensack Meridian partners with Count Basie Center

By Eric Strauss
Red Bank | Oct 29, 2018 at 11:18 am

Red Bank’s Count Basie Center for the Arts, in the midst of a $27 million expansion project, has teamed up with Hackensack Meridian Health in a partnership that will see the center’s main venue renamed the Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre.

The former Count Basie Theatre launched its expansion project in September 2017 at a planned $23 million, with a goal of potentially doubling its performance, educational and cultural offerings, it said in a news release.

“The Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre will hold a special place on our creative campus,” Tom Widener, chairman of the Count Basie board, said in a prepared statement. “Our historic theater is the centerpiece of the Basie Center, and we are thrilled to have such an important statewide institution associated with it.”

Construction on the expansion is underway, and will eventually see an expanded lobby, an outdoor arts plaza, modernized backstage facilities, an education building, second performance space and more.

“We value our relationship with the Basie Center and are proud to play a role in its expansion,” Robert Garrett, co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health, said in a statement. “Our association with the Count Basie Center for the Arts is a natural extension of our dedication to improving the health and well-being of our patients and their families.”

Garrett’s co-CEO, John Lloyd, reiterated his words: “At Hackensack Meridian Health, our mission is to transform health care and serve as a leader of positive change. This relationship with the Basie Center aligns with our commitment to create and participate in a caring community.”

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Eric Strauss | estrauss@roi-nj.com | acerimrat