October 1, 2023—I hope you will join me in celebrating the recent appointment of Talia L. Young as the CEO of the Newark Symphony Hall (NSH), New Jersey’s largest Black-led arts and entertainment venue. Before her appointment, Talia, a cherished colleague, served for nine months as the venue’s interim CEO, and she has been a member of the NSH Board of Directors since 2014. Over the years where our work has intersected in the Newark cultural landscape, is exciting. Talia is a leader, a collaborator, and a visionary expanding the footprint of Symphony Hall in Newark and beyond.
During her tenure as interim CEO, Talia supervised the restoration of NSH, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2025. The first phase of the $75 million project was the renovation of NSH’s Terrace Ballroom, which is now one of Newark’s largest banquet spaces. The features of the restored 15-thousand-square-foot room include a sunken dance floor and an elevated stage with two terraces on each side. She also secured an additional $4 million, which has been earmarked for NSH in the state’s 2024 budget.
Talia has positioned the venue as a community development corporation; a for-profit venue, and a nonprofit arts institution, and established three guiding principles for her work at NSH: Art is Now, Art is Impact and Art is Service. Setting a future-forward agenda for NSH, her plans include performing arts workforce development; arts education; support of performing artists; growing NSH’s membership, and addressing community needs.
A native of Teaneck, NJ, Talia has credited NSH with fueling her love for the arts from an early age. She brings more than 15 years of professional experience in government affairs, economic development, and entrepreneurship to the position of CEO. She served as Vice President of Public and Government Relations for City National Bank of N.J.—the state’s first Black-owned and operated bank. She later served as the Senior Project and Policy Manager for the late U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg. Talia is also the CEO of Space 2 Create Social Impact Community Development Corporation, which works to expand economic equity and sustainability for communities of color. A graduate of Hofstra University, she also holds a certificate in Creative Placemaking from New Jersey Institute of Technology.
NSH is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has hosted performances by a diverse array of musical legends, including Judy Garland, Count Basie, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Celia Cruz, Patti LaBelle, Johnny Cash, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and opera stars Roberta Peters and Robert Merrill.
Talia recently was interviewed by Aaron Dworkin for Arts Engines, where she discussed the importance of human capital and NSH’s commitment to supporting the Black creative economy. You can listen to the interview at this link.