Interim CEO appointed to succeed Nash Laird at Newark Symphony Hall

Newark Symphony Hall, New Jersey’s largest Black-led arts and entertainment venue, on Monday said it appointed Talia Young as interim CEO following the resignation of CEO and President Taneshia Nash Laird.

With a background in government affairs, economic development and entrepreneurship, Young has served on the NSH board since 2014. NSH’s board, led by Chair fayemi shakur, is spearheading the search for a permanent CEO while working closely with Nash Laird and Young on a transition plan.

“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,” Young said. “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.”

Young brings nearly 15 years of experience to NSH, including serving as the 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 the senior project and policy manager under the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg. She is the CEO of Space 2 Create Social Impact Community Development Corp., which works to expand economic equity and sustainability for communities of color. Young is a graduate of Hofstra University and recently completed a certificate in Creative Placemaking from New Jersey Institute of Technology.

“Taneshia has set us on a strong financial path to restore the historic building and cultural gem that is Newark Symphony Hall,” shakur, NSH’s board chair and the city of Newark’s arts and cultural affairs director, stated. “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.”

In 2022, NSH added several full-time staff members, including NSH’s first-ever director of development, Mack Graham; first director of communications and social impact, Chris Sabin; first operations manager and acting facilities manager, Terry Brown; and first finance and administration manager, Ranesha Hunt.

In the last three years, NSH has become an in-demand location for film and television productions, creating a key revenue source. The organization expanded community programming for 2022 with the popular monthly Soul Line Dancing and Salsa Night events. In addition to these staple events, NSH will host seasonal activities and events that engage the community and celebrate its rich culture. As the restoration is underway, NSH 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.