Women Artists of Color Leading Major Renovation of Newark Symphony Hall

NEWARK, NJ (SBN) – The City of Newark’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Director, fayemi shakur, is leading the 19-member board of directors at Newark Symphony Hall (NSH), New Jersey’s largest Black-led arts and entertainment venue. At NSH, shakur will provide strategic fundraising and programming counsel on community programs, virtual events and ongoing racial justice initiatives. This includes NSH staff-led programs designed to bring more diverse populations to arts careers, both onstage and behind the scenes.

“I just think women like to get things done,” shakur said in an interview with SBN news director Steve Lubetkin on SBN Newsmakers, the news service’s TV program featuring conversations with newsmakers around New Jersey. Joining shakur in the discussion is Taneshia Nash Laird, president and CEO of the symphony hall. (Lubetkin is a member of the NJ-SPJ board of directors.)

In December 2020, NSH began Phase 1 of a planned three-phase, five-year, $50 million renovation, (a price tag that increased after the interview was recorded). The project will create 500 jobs and assist 50 local businesses. shakur and the NSH board will provide counsel on the venue’s various fundraising goals for the renovation – a major initiative for its Lincoln Park neighborhood and the Greater Newark region. The election of shakur, also a champion of new and innovative programming, is part of an overall plan to revitalize the hall both structurally and with its many offerings.

You can watch the complete interview in the player below.


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