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Arts Council of Princeton Names Taneshia Nash Laird As New Executive Director

Trenton and Harlem arts and economic development executive to take the helm of Princeton’s leading community arts and arts education organization in January.

Arts Council of Princeton Press Release

Princeton, NJ – November 22, 2016 - The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) announced today that after a national search, the organization has selected Taneshia Nash Laird as its new executive director. A regionally and nationally recognized leader in arts and economic development, Nash Laird will serve as the Arts Council’s third executive director since the organization’s founding in 1967.

Nash Laird is currently the owner of Legacy Business Advisors, a community development consultancy that provides strategic communications, business development and finance strategies to social entrepreneurs and government agencies. Previously, she was cofounder and chief marketing officer of MIST Harlem, a multimillion-dollar cultural and entertainment center focused on the African and Latino diaspora.


Nash Laird, was recently tapped by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to be a
grants panelist, providing recommendations on funding place-based projects throughout
the country in the Art Works: Design category. She currently serves on the board of the Art
Pride NJ Foundation.


“Taneshia Nash Laird is an exciting new leader for the Arts Council of Princeton as it
moves into its next half-century,” said Ted Deutsch, Board President of the Arts Council of
Princeton. “She brings a unique blend of arts, economic development and marketing
expertise that will help us deliver on our mission in creative ways and deepen our outreach
to the greater Princeton community.”


"As an area resident for nearly two decades, I’ve watched the Arts Council of Princeton
grow significantly, and I have experienced first-hand the many ways in which it invites area
residents to engage in the arts through its diverse programming," added Nash Laird. "I’m
thrilled to have the opportunity to lead this deeply respected organization with such a rich
legacy of community building. For me, the appointment fulfills a lifelong dream to lead a
regional arts organization and make a significant community impact."


Nash Laird will succeed Jeff Nathanson, who announced in June that he would step down
at the end of 2016. She will begin to transition into her new role in December and be in
place full-time immediately after the new year.


Added Deutsch: “On behalf of the board and the community, I salute Jeff Nathanson for 11
years of passionate leadership of the ACP during a time of tremendous organizational
growth. His tenure has left an invaluable imprint on the Greater Princeton community.”
Deutsch also thanked the Arts Council’s search committee, chaired by Board Secretary
Jim Levine, for its five months of dedicated work.


More about Taneshia Nash Laird
Nash Laird is the co-author of the critically acclaimed Still I Rise: A Graphic History of
African Americans, which depicts Black history in a 210-page comic book format. In
October she was the recipient of an award of recognition from the Princeton Committee of
the United Negro College Fund.


Nash Laird earned her BBA in Marketing Management from Bernard Baruch College, City
University of New York, and a certificate in Nonprofit Executive Leadership from the
Institute for Ethical Leadership Rutgers University School of Business.


About the Arts Council of Princeton
The Arts Council of Princeton, founded in 1967, is a non-profit organization with a mission
of Building Community through the Arts. Housed in the landmark Paul Robeson Center for
the Arts, the ACP fulfills its mission by presenting a wide range of programs including
exhibitions, performances, free community cultural events, and studio-based classes and
workshops in the visual, performing and literary arts. Arts Council of Princeton programs
are designed to be high-quality, engaging, affordable and accessible for the diverse
population in the greater Princeton region.


For more information, visit www.artscouncilofprinceton.org or call 609.924.8777.

From 2006-2011, Nash Laird served as executive director of the Trenton Downtown Association (TDA), where she led a reorganization that focused on business development, place making, and tourism. With the belief that the arts are essential to the revitalization of an urban community, Nash Laird launched a new community art gallery and the Destination Trenton cultural tourism initiative. Under her leadership, TDA won an Award of Recognition from the New Jersey Historical Commission and a Diamond Award from the New Jersey Tourism Association. Before TDA, Nash Laird held executive positions in both public and private sectors.

Nash Laird was recently tapped by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to be a grants panelist, providing recommendations on funding place-based projects throughout the country in the Art Works: Design category. She currently serves on the board of the Art Pride NJ Foundation.

 

“Taneshia Nash Laird is an exciting new leader for the Arts Council of Princeton as it moves into its next half-century,” said Ted Deutsch, Board President of the Arts Council of Princeton. “She brings a unique blend of arts, economic development and marketing expertise that will help us deliver on our mission in creative ways and deepen our outreach to the greater Princeton community.”

 


"As an area resident for nearly two decades, I’ve watched the Arts Council of Princeton grow significantly, and I have experienced first-hand the many ways in which it invites area residents to engage in the arts through its diverse programming," added Nash Laird. "I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to lead this deeply respected organization with such a rich legacy of community building. For me, the appointment fulfills a lifelong dream to lead a regional arts organization and make a significant community impact."


Nash Laird will succeed Jeff Nathanson, who announced in June that he would step down at the end of 2016. She will begin to transition into her new role in December and be in place full-time immediately after the new year.


Added Deutsch: “On behalf of the board and the community, I salute Jeff Nathanson for 11 years of passionate leadership of the ACP during a time of tremendous organizational growth. His tenure has left an invaluable imprint on the Greater Princeton community.” Deutsch also thanked the Arts Council’s search committee, chaired by Board Secretary Jim Levine, for its five months of dedicated work.


More about Taneshia Nash Laird
Nash Laird is the co-author of the critically acclaimed Still I Rise: A Graphic History of African Americans, which depicts Black history in a 210-page comic book format. In October she was the recipient of an award of recognition from the Princeton Committee of the United Negro College Fund.


Nash Laird earned her BBA in Marketing Management from Bernard Baruch College, City University of New York, and a certificate in Nonprofit Executive Leadership from the Institute for Ethical Leadership Rutgers University School of Business.


About the Arts Council of Princeton
The Arts Council of Princeton, founded in 1967, is a non-profit organization with a mission of Building Community through the Arts. Housed in the landmark Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, the ACP fulfills its mission by presenting a wide range of programs including exhibitions, performances, free community cultural events, and studio-based classes and workshops in the visual, performing and literary arts. Arts Council of Princeton programs are designed to be high-quality, engaging, affordable and accessible for the diverse population in the greater Princeton region.


For more information, visit www.artscouncilofprinceton.org or call 609.924.8777.

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