Taneshia Nash Laird
The Change Agent
Taneshia Nash Laird is a social change agent who centers cultural equity in her work. As the Inaugural President & CEO of the Greater Roxbury Arts & Cultural Center (GRACC), she is spearheading the development of a vibrant cultural center where the voices of Black and Latinx visual and performing artists are lifted up, and where social justice and economic development go hand in hand. This groundbreaking project is set to transform the landscape in Boston, Massachusetts, by showcasing Afrodiasporic theater, dance, cinema, and art. She came to Boston from her last role as President and CEO of Newark Symphony Hall in Newark, NJ where she revitalized the nearly insolvent historic performing arts center with new cultural programming and workforce development programs that targeted the city’s predominantly Black and Hispanic residents, while also raising $15 million for building’s historic preservation.
Taneshia previously co-founded the venue MIST Harlem, an entertainment center that aimed to foster economic development in Upper Manhattan. Despite facing challenges, the experience equipped her with invaluable insights into entrepreneurship, resilience, and adaptability that she applies to her leadership roles. She has also held prominent roles such as the Executive Director of the Arts Council of Princeton, where she led its Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, Regional Director of the US Women's Chamber of Commerce, and Director of Economic Development for Trenton, NJ.
Taneshia's strategic leadership extends to her service as board treasurer of the National Medal of Arts-Winning Billie Holiday Theatre in Brooklyn, NY, as a National Independent Venue Foundation (NIVF) board member and advisory board member of Diversity The Stage. Taneshia has served as a grants panelist for organizations like the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. She is also the co-author of "Still I Rise: A Graphic History of African Americans" and has co-produced two films, "Battle Sounds: A Hip Hop DJ Documentary" and "Black Terror". A member of the Recording Academy, she began her career as Director of Media Relations at the Hip Hop label Planet Rock Music and recently served on the advisory board for the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop Exhibit curated by the Grammy Museum.
Taneshia's contributions to community and culture have garnered significant recognition, including being named in NJBIZ's Power 100 and Top 50 Women in Business, ROI-NJ's Women in Business Influencers, and People of Color Influencer lists. The Network Journal magazine has featured her as one of the "25 Influential Black Women in Business'' in the U.S., while Wonder Women Tech recognized her as one of the "136 Black Innovators in STEM + Arts You Must Know and Support." In February 2023, New England Blacks in Philanthropy named her a Community Sentinel.
Taneshia Nash Laird offers two distinctive coaching programs designed to empower artists and arts leaders in achieving their visions and amplifying their impact. Both of Taneshia's coaching programs are built upon her deep knowledge of business development and strategic management. Her empathetic approach and dedication to nurturing ideas ensure that her clients receive the guidance, practical insights, and mentorship needed to take their careers and organizations to new heights of success and impact. Taneshia's coaching services are contracted through Legacy Business Advisors LLC.
Crescendo Coaching: Amplifying Your Vision is a specialized coaching service designed for recording artists ready to explore their entrepreneurial spirit. Crescendo Coaching provides personalized guidance to transform artistic visions into impactful business or nonprofit ventures. With Taneshia's wealth of knowledge in strategic management and her dedication to nurturing ideas, artists are empowered to take their careers beyond the studio, building sustainable ventures that create positive social change while amplifying their unique voice in the world.
EmpoweredArts: Executive Leadership Coaching is a transformative and personalized coaching program designed to bolster the success of arts organizations by nurturing the growth and development of their executive directors, with a special focus on individuals from underrepresented backgrounds. Under the expert guidance of Taneshia Nash Laird, executive directors will embark on a 6-12 month journey of self-discovery and organizational growth, delving into critical areas such as leadership development, financial sustainability, strategic planning, and community engagement. Through one-on-one coaching sessions, customized workshops, and tailored resources, the EmpoweredArts program will foster confident and resilient leaders, driving positive change and lasting success for arts organizations and the communities they serve.
Explore a broader range of professional services for organizations, including Nonprofit Board Training, Mentor Program Development, and Community Development Finance Consulting, at the website for Legacy Business Advisors LLC at
"Taneshia Nash Laird is an absolute rockstar. Her dynamic leadership and genuine passion for community impact are truly remarkable. I was paired with Taneshia as my mentor through a WomenInMusic mentorship program, and Taneshia was integral in my decision to take the leap and launch RAMPD, a global network of Recording Artists and Music Professionals with Disabilities. Now an award-winning, Ford Foundation-funded, U.N.-recognized organization, RAMPD has partnered and collaborated with everyone from the Grammys to Netflix to bring accessibility and disability awareness to the music industry.
Taneshia's ability to inspire is unparalleled, and I am a living example. She was and is a true game-changer."
~ Recording Artist Lachi
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Empowered Arts Exploration SessionVirtualSelect date and timeEvent time zone:America/New York GMT-05:00
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Arts for Economic Development Newsletter
Arts for Economic Development is a twice-a-month LinkedIn newsletter focused on exploring the intersection of the arts and community economic development. Each issue features an interview, links to articles, and additional insights on how communities can leverage the arts to drive economic growth, social progress, and community development.
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