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 at the forefront of a groundbreaking project set to transform the performing arts landscape in Boston, Massachusetts, by showcasing Black theater, dance, cinema, and art. Taneshia's strategic leadership extends to her service as board treasurer of the National Medal of Arts-Winning Billie Holiday Theatre in Brooklyn, NY, board member of the National Independent Venue Foundation (NIVF), and advisory board member of Diversity The Stage.
Taneshia 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 held prominent appointments, such as CEO of Newark Symphony Hall, Executive Director of the Arts Council of Princeton, Regional Director of the US Women's Chamber of Commerce, and Director of Economic Development for Trenton, NJ.
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 included an advisory role 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.
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.
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.
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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