The city of Newark’s arts and cultural affairs director, fayemi shakur, has been elected chair of Newark Symphony Hall’s board of directors, the arts and entertainment venue announced Tuesday.
In her new role, shakur will provide strategic advice on focus areas including fundraising, programming, racial justice initiatives and more.
“fayemi’s reputation demonstrates a commitment to cultural organizing, mentorship and engaging programming that explores art that challenges the way we see and experience the world, ourselves and each other,” CEO and President Taneshia Nash Laird said in a prepared statement. “We’re thrilled to have her as chairwoman of our board, and value her input.
“Overall, we anticipate success in the months ahead — in everything from enriching new programming to several community and economic development initiatives.”
Added shakur: “Newark Symphony Hall’s vibrant cultural history deserves to be celebrated. I’m excited and humbled to chair its board of directors — comprised of such talented professionals, who have worked tirelessly to preserve and support the venue’s growth and long-term sustainability. This is important and joyful work.”
In her role as Newark’s arts and cultural affairs director, shakur started the city’s first arts fund, the Creative Catalyst Fund. She has also served in leadership roles at City Without Walls gallery; Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art; and other venues and projects.
“Newark Symphony Hall’s historic stage represents the cultural backbone of our city, and I’m pleased that fayemi shakur, Newark’s arts and cultural affairs director, has been elected to preside over its board of directors,” Mayor Ras Baraka said in a statement. “Her sound counsel on the venue’s arts programming and fundraising efforts will have a dynamic and positive impact for years to come, enhancing our city’s luster as a center for the arts and ensuring that residents and visitors alike enjoy world-class quality performances at Symphony Hall.”