Pod and Market

A Newark Podcast

The “Pod & Market” podcast grew out of several conversations amongst Newarkers, lamenting the decline of traditional forms of media and journalism in Newark (like newspapers) and the lack of a central forum for discussion of issues facing the City of Newark. While not the first or only discussion podcast in Newark, the topics of the podcast can be as general as gentrification and as narrow as the construction of a single building. The only connection between episodes will be their connection to Newark. read less
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Tying the Institutions of This City to This City: An Interview and Conversation with Evan Weiss
03-06-2022
Tying the Institutions of This City to This City: An Interview and Conversation with Evan Weiss
In 1999, the Newark Alliance was founded to lead efforts around the ongoing economic revitalization of Newark, with the goal of “transform[ing Newark] into a better and safer place to work, live, learn, play, and do business.” Part of this vision includes turning Newark into a true “regional city” through efforts in four broad strategic areas. The Alliance is supported by several, major private sector institutions including Audible, Mars Wrigley, RWJBarnabas, Prudential, and PSEG, as well as several public sector institutions like NJIT, Rutgers, NJPAC, University Hospital, and the MCJ Amelior Foundations. The Alliance leads many marquee programs, including the Newark Anchor Collaborative, Hire Newark, Live Local, and Career Works. Evan Weiss became the President and CEO of the Newark Alliance in December 2021. He previously was the Senior Advisor for Finance and Major Projects to Governor Phil Murphy, where he led the state’s fiscal response to the COVID-19 pandemic and was the point person for key initiatives in Newark, Trenton, and Atlantic City. Evan joins the podcast to discuss his vision for the Alliance and what his plans for the organization are. Guest:Evan Weiss—Evan is the President and CEO of the Newark Alliance, assuming the role in December 2021. He was Senior Advisor for Finance for Major Projects to Governor Murphy. Before that, he was Director at the Pennsylvania Economy League and HJA Strategies. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago. Background & Articles:Website for the Newark Alliance: hereNews about the Greenway: hereThe Newark Gift Card: hereQuote:“It was clear now why Yahweh had not struck down the tower, had not punished men for wishing to reach beyond the bounds set for them: for the longest journey would merely return them to the place whence they’d come.”—Stories of Your Life by Ted Chiang
Candidate Interview: LaMonica McIver (Central Ward)
29-04-2022
Candidate Interview: LaMonica McIver (Central Ward)
Newark’s municipal elections are in full swing. Walking around the city, you will see political advertisements promoting the different candidates running for office. . According to the city clerk’s office, there are 25 candidates running for 10 offices, including mayor, councilperson at large, and councilperson for the respective wards across the city. You may see debates on local television, read profiles in newspapers, engage with campaign volunteers on the street, or even attend events with the candidates. Here, on the podcast, we are striving to do our part in highlighting the importance of this election with interviews of candidates who have accepted our invitation to come on. Today, we have Councilwoman LaMonica McIver on to talk about her bid for re-election, her campaign for office, and her platform. Councilwoman McIver represents the Central Ward—which encompasses areas traditionally considered downtown, the area around University Hospital, much of Springfield Avenue, and most of Lower Broadway.Guest:LaMonica McIver—Councilwoman McIver currently represents the Central Ward (which happens to be my district) on the Newark City Council, a seat she has held since 2018, when she was first elected to the position. She grew up in the Central Ward and is a graduate of Central High School, Bloomfield College, and Seton Hall University. Before holding elected office, she worked in Newark Public Schools, serving as a clerk, a system analyst, and eventually as a Human Resources Regional Partners. She founded Newark GALS, Inc. in 2021, a nonprofit that provides enrichment camps for young women in Newark. Councilwoman McIver is also running on the Team Baraka ticket, which includes candidates endorsed by Mayor Baraka.Background & Articles:McIver’s Candidate Website: hereNewark Election Registration: here
Newark's Beer Revival: An Interview and Conversation with Steve Hughes
08-04-2022
Newark's Beer Revival: An Interview and Conversation with Steve Hughes
Over a century ago, walking down the streets of Newark, constant reminders of Newark’s preeminent brewing and beermaking industry would have scattered the landscape. Massive factories like Ballantine’s and Kruger’s would have churned out hundreds of barrels of lager and ale each day. Ornate mansions built by the owners and executives of these brands dotted neighborhoods. That is to say nothing about the hundreds of bars, taverns, and taprooms throughout the different ethnic communities throughout the city. While many have ascribed Newark’s success with brewing to the water flowing from the Appalachian Highlands to the city, the story is really a demographic one. Newark was host to English, Scots-Irish, German, Polish, and Irish (Catholic) immigrants, all with proven beer cultures that they brought from the Old World. It was this great demand for beer along with the requisite know-how that launched the city into the pantheon of great American beer cities. Nevertheless, a combination of Prohibition, deindustrialization, and a mass exodus of many of these same immigrant groups all but hollowed out Newark’s brewing industry. The only remnant of that industry, for decades, was the Anheuser-Busch plant that straddles the Newark-Elizabeth border. Steve Hughes, co-owner and operator of Newark Local Beer, is looking to turn this narrative around. Launched in 2021, Newark Local Beer sits at the base of Walker House on Broad Street and offers over ten different beers on site. Steve came onto the podcast to discuss his vision, why he is brewing in Newark, and what the brewery has in store for the city. Guest:Steve Hughes—Steve and his wife, Miller, are the owners of Newark Local Beer. He was born and raised in Hanover, New Hampshire. Miller grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio. The couple now reside in Montclair, New Jersey with their two children. Background & Articles:Newark Local Beer website: hereNJ.com Article about the brewery: hereNorth Jersey Media Group’s 9 Fun Things to Do in North Jersey: hereMontclair Brewery: hereFour City Brewing Company: here Departed Soles Brewing Company: hereGhost Hawk Brewing Company: hereAlementary Brewing Company: hereHackensack Brewing Company: hereJack’s Abby: hereExhibit A Brewing: hereTrace Brewing (in Bloomfield): hereBrief History of the Beer Revival: hereQuote:“Beer is never a settled matter, and beer styles never live forever. As craft brewing has revived interest in taste and variety, we’re seeing preferences diverge from country to country. . . . Belgians are making hoppy beers, and Americans are making Belgian ales. The French are making cask ale, and the British are discovering craft lager. These trends get fed back into the cultural mill, shifting and mutating until they’ve created something yet again different and new. We can’t know how beer will taste in fifty years except to say this: It won't taste like it does now.”—The Beer Bible by Jeff Alworth
Newark's Election Landscape: A Conversation with Mark Bonamo on the 2022 Municipal Elections
11-03-2022
Newark's Election Landscape: A Conversation with Mark Bonamo on the 2022 Municipal Elections
2022 is an election year in Newark. Candidates for mayor and council have declared their intention to run, and votes will be cast on May 10. Newark has off-off cycle elections, in that our elections occur off-cycle from both the New Jersey and U.S. Presidential elections and the federally-recognized election day in November. Mark Bonamo has joined the podcast to discuss the lay of the election landscape and what to expect from this cycle. Pod & Market will invite all candidates for city-wide office onto the podcast for a short interview segment to provide the residents of Newark (and those interested) with information about these candidates. (The host of the podcast is actively supporting one of the candidates for the East Ward seat and will therefore be looking for guest hosts to conduct those interviews.) Note: This conversation was recorded a few days before the window for submitting candidate petitions closed. Much of what was discussed in the episode remains relevant and on-point. If you would like to keep up with the election, please check out local news outlets like TAPInto Newark for up-to-date information. Guest:Mark Bonamo—Mark is the Editor-in-Chief of TAPInto Newark and a Newark resident. He has long reported on local news and politics in Newark. For the last three years, TAPInto Newark has been recognized as the state’s best local news website by the Society of Professional Journalists. Background & Articles:Register to Vote: hereTAPInto Newark: hereNewark City Clerk’s Google Drive: hereU.S. Census Page for Newark: here Sharpe James Threatens Suit for Certification Denial: hereWikipedia on 2014 Newark Mayor Election: here Justice Department’s Announcement of Charges Against Joseph McCallum: hereAmador Announces Stepping Down from Council: hereQuote:“Democracy in an era of enormously complex global constellations and powers requires a people who are educated, thoughtful, and democratic in sensibility. This means a people modestly knowing about these constellations and powers; a people with capacities of discernment and judgment in relation to what it reads, watches, or hears about a range of developments in its world; and a people oriented toward common concerns and governing itself.”—Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution by Wendy Brown
Beyond Story: An Interview and Conversation with Maisy Card
25-02-2022
Beyond Story: An Interview and Conversation with Maisy Card
“Harlem. 2005. Let’s say that you are a sixty-nine-year-old Jamaican man called Stanford, or Stan for short, who once faked your own death.” Thus begins These Ghosts Are Family, the debut novel of Maisy Card. Published in 2020, These Ghosts Are Family is the intergenerational story of the Paisley Family, one that harbors many secrets, including the faked death of Abel Paisely, which starts the book, and how the family grapples with history, trauma, slavery, White guilt, abandonment, poverty, and the Jamaican diaspora, among many other issues. Mia Alvar of the New York Times Book Review described the book as “a rich, ambitious debut novel, [where the] the ghosts bracingly remind [the reader] that no family history is comprehensive, that some riddles of ancestry and heritage persist beyond this lifetime.” Hannah Giorgis of the Atlantic wrote that the novel “moves across time and space as it deftly weaves the families’ paths . . . a tale of the most monstrous acts: intimate betrayals with unthinkable consequences.” Bookpage, in my favorite single line of any review of this book, said “There is magic in these pages.”Maisy joins to podcast to discuss releasing her debut novel, the inspirations for her book, the themes present in her book, and her future plans as a writer. Guest:Maisy Card—Maisy is an author, librarian, and Newark resident. She was born in Portmore, Jamaica and was raised in Queens. She is also a graduate of Wesleyan University and of Brooklyn College’s MFA in Fiction program. Aside from being an adjunct in writing at Columbia, she was also a librarian at Newark Public Library and is a librarian with Donald Payne Tech. Background & Articles:Maisy Card’s author page: hereThese Ghosts Are Family Book Page: hereBookmarks Collection of Reviews of the Book: hereQuote:“Underneath the eloquence, the glamour, the scholarly associations, however stirring or seductive, the heat of such language is languishing, or perhaps not beating at all–if the bird is already dead.” Toni Morrison, Lecture for the Nobel Prize in Literature [source: The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations]
A Colorful Blur: An Interview and Conversation with Larry Lyons
18-06-2021
A Colorful Blur: An Interview and Conversation with Larry Lyons
If you find yourself walking down Halsey Street lately, you may have noticed that several of the previously empty storefronts are now filled with interesting concepts and brand new retail experiences. Most (if not all) of these new experiences are being spearheaded by Newarkers: from Boss Blend to Halsey Co. to 19B to Brown Mill. As COVID restrictions have begun to subside and people begin to feel safe hanging out in groups, the bustle usually associated with Halsey Street is slowly returning, due in no small part to these startups. One of these new retail spots is part of Brick City Varsity, a Newark-obsessed brand offering immersive pop-up shopping experiences and photography. The pop-up is the brainchild of Larry Lyons and offers cintage clothing (and, on some special nights, karaoke in the back). Larry comes on the podcast this week to discuss his business, his identity, and other musings about life, art, and the world at large. Guest:Larry Lyons—Larry is the principal and founder of Brick City Varsity. He has lectured and taught courses in 20th Century American literature, sociology, and composition at Rutgers and Princeton Universities. He is also an independent consultant, who provides marketing, communications strategy, and creative services for clients in the fields of education, public relations, nonprofits, and the arts. He is also an activist, centering on antiviolence, queer safe space, and black maternal health. Background & Articles:Larry Lyons’ Profile on Queer Newark: hereBrick City Varsity website: here Revolution ‘67 page: here Being Again by Eddie Glaude: here Murder of Sakia Gunn article: here Murder of Rashawn Brazell article: hereNewark Pride site: herePOSE TV Show: hereQuote: “We go out to be gay. We crave this when once again growing bored with the straight world. I will announce to [my date]: I want to be gay this weekend. This carries an ineffable but precise connotation along the lines of white girl wasted. It means we don’t want to, for example, attend a recital of minimalist composition. That’s something we might otherwise do. But when we decide to be gay, we want to dance to ‘Startships’ by Nicki Minaj, and go downhill from there.” Gay Bar, by Jeremy Atherton Lin
Brutal and Beautiful: An Interview and Conversation with Roger Tucker
21-05-2021
Brutal and Beautiful: An Interview and Conversation with Roger Tucker
Being the host of a podcast in Newark means constantly keeping your ear to the ground to see who else is part of or joining the conversation. It is always interesting to see what other podcasts are sharing the Newark story to a broader audience. Which is why it’s so exciting to have Roger C. Tucker III come onto the podcast to discuss his own journey and his show. Roger is the host of “What’s Newark Got to do With It?,” a biweekly podcast that features interviews with artists, historians, authors, curators, and other cultural though leaders through the city. The conversations on the show delve into the cultural impact and lifelong influences the city has, and continues to have, on their lives and careers. Each episode is truly a deep dive into the history of Newark. Guest:Roger C. Tucker III—Roger is the host and producer of the “What’s Newark Got to Do With It?” podcast. He was also the CEO of Tucker Hilliard Marketing Communications and the Founder/Director of Tucker Contemporary Art, as well as an academically trained artist with art featured in museums and galleries across the metro area. He has a BFA from Cooper Union, an MS from the Pratt Institute, and an Art Business Professional Certificate from New York University. He has also served on the board of Cooper Union and the Education Advisory Committee of Montclair Art Museum and is the Board President of Glassroots. Background & Articles:What’s Newark Got to Do With It? Website: hereTucker Contemporary Art Website: hereNewark Arts High Website: hereWikipedia Page on Anthony Imperiale: hereArticle on Whitney Mural: hereQuote: “And we’ll pretend the people cannot see you. That is, the citizens. And that you are free of your own history. And I am free of my history. We’ll pretend that we are both anonymous beauties smashing along through the city’s entrails.” LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka), Dutchman
Right On That Brink: An Interview and Conversation with Alex Hodgkinson at ODR
07-05-2021
Right On That Brink: An Interview and Conversation with Alex Hodgkinson at ODR
This is a very special episode. After more than a year of recording remotely, we had the opportunity to record onsite and in-person. And what a place to launch our first in-person recording in such a long time. ODR Studios sits in the heart of the Ironbound and is a gorgeous place. It is a curated 4,500 square foot industrial loft about a five minute walk from Penn Station that offers a wide array of studio services for filming, photography, and audio production. It also has a 5,000 square foot workshop below the studio space. ODR has been the setting for music videos, documentaries, fashion shorts, and a whole host of other productions. Alex Hodgkinson is the founder of ODR Studios and joins the podcast to talk about what he loves about the space, how he manages it, and his story. Guest:Alex Hodgkinson—Alex is the founder of ODR Studios. He has also played rugby professionally for the Sacramento Express. He is a graduate of Syracuse University. Background & Articles: ODR Studios Webpage: hereKulture Klub Article on Alex: hereDua Lipa/Mark Ronson Music Video filmed on site: here So Far Sounds Webpage: here“Framing Britney Spears” Documentary: hereQuote:“Toward the end of his life, Roth would walk (very slowly) from his Upper West Side apartment to the Museum of Natural History and back, stopping on almost every bench along the way—including the bench on the museum grounds near a pink pillar listing American winners of the Nobel Prize. ‘It’s actually quite ugly, isn’t it?’ a friend observed one day. ‘Yes.',’ Roth replied, ‘and it’s getting uglier by the year.’ ‘Why did they put it there anyway?’ Roth laughed: ‘To aggravate me.’“ Blake Bailey, Philip Roth: A Biography
First Fridays: An Interview and Conversation with Zay Little
23-04-2021
First Fridays: An Interview and Conversation with Zay Little
In 2017, Newark First Fridays launched as an inclusive community event to showcase emerging artists, makers, artisan food vendors, musicians, and street performers. The event was meant to address the death of open air markets in the city’s downtown while also attempting to connect disparate shows and events in the area. On the first Friday of each month, the program would host a downtown artwalk, as well as dozens of artisanal food and crafts vendors, augmented by street performances and workshops, specially highlighting local businesses, galleries, and creative spaces who would open their doors during these evenings. Over the last five years, Newark First Fridays has grown to include photo launch parties, wine tastings, a monthly comedy show, and countless after-parties. Several guests of the podcast have been featured as a part of Newark First Fridays, whether it was Gabe Ribeiro or Samantha Katehis selling their products at vendor booths in Military Park or Marcy DePina DJing a party during one of the Fridays or John Ward hosting a wine tasting. Despite the COVID-19 crisis, Newark First Fridays continued online with cocktail class livestreams, Zoom interviews, and other virtual events. In time for its 5th year, Newark First Fridays will come back for a mix of virtual, in-person, and hybrid events later this spring.Guest:Isaiah “Zay” Little—Zay is the creative director and founder of GalleryRetail and Newark First Fridays. He is a creative entrepreneur, technologist, urbanist, and public servant who brings his passion for design and for community-building into all this projects. Background & Articles: Official Website: hereNewark First Fridays Monthly Installation at Halsey Co. Eventbrite: here Gallery Retail website: hereZay’s Twitter: hereQuote: “Because I could not stop for Death/He kindly stopped for me/The Carriage held but just Ourselves/And Immortality.” Emily Dickinson, Because I Could Not Stop For Death (479)
Pivotable: An Interview and Conversation with Marcy DePina
02-04-2021
Pivotable: An Interview and Conversation with Marcy DePina
Marcy is a force in the Newark community. Aside from leading several major nonprofits in the city, she is also a noted content producer, best exemplified by her weekly show FORSA!. FORSA! explores the music of African and the Diaspora and “raises the frequency of our world through the arts and provides a platform for voices and conversations that promote cultural awareness and understanding.” The show has been a mainstay in the music community and operates as a forum for discussing important issues in Newark and the broader world through the lens of music. Marcy came on to discuss her own story, how she came to make her show, and what it and her story mean to her.Guest:Marcy DePina—Marcy is the founder of FORSA! Media Group LLC, executive director for Newark Riverfront Revival, and president of the Board of Newark Arts. She also produces podcasts for iHeartRadio, is an expert in public relations, marketing, and social media, and actively involved in several community based nonprofits including the Newark Chess Club. She was featured in PSEG’s “100 People of Newark” for her work in the arts and environmental justice sector. She is originally from New Bedford, MA and has been a resident of Newark for the last 25 years where she lives with her son. Background & Articles: FORSA! Episodes: hereFORSA Media Group Website: hereNewark Museum of Art: here PSEG 100 People Page: hereNewark Arts: hereContrapoints: hereQuote: “TO A CRITIC: My dear critic, Some pages ago, upon saying that I was fifty years old, I added: ‘You’ll already have noticed that my style is no longer so nimble as in its first days.’ You may find this incomprehensible, given my present state; but I would call your attention to the subtlety of my remark. I do not mean that I am older now than when I began the book. Death does not age one. What I do mean is that at every stage of the narration of my life, I experience the corresponding sensations. So help me God, I have to explain everything!” Machado de Assis, Memorias posthumas de Braz Cubas (trans. Flora Thomson-DeVeaux)
Fighting Against Environmental Racism: The Ironbound Community Corporation and the Biochar Facility
12-03-2021
Fighting Against Environmental Racism: The Ironbound Community Corporation and the Biochar Facility
Aries Clean Technologies has proposed the construction of the Newark Biochar Production Facility near an existing site on Doremus Avenue in the Ironbound Section of Newark. If it becomes operational, it will be able to process up to 430 wet tons of domestic wastewater treated biosolids a day from New Jersey and New York. The resulting product will be sold as a concrete thickener to construction companies. The announcement has ignited a fierce backlash from members of the Ironbound and Newark community, including several nonprofits in the city. In response to the push back, city leadership has held virtual meetings to discuss the issue, and the city planning board adjourned its meeting in February where Aries was scheduled to present its proposal for approval. At the center of this resistance is the Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC). The ICC, aside from providing direct services to residents of the East Ward, has had a rich history in environmental activism and social justice work. Among the many accomplishments of the organization are the cleaning up of the Passaic River, the creation of Riverfront Park, and the continued resistance of pollution and environmental degradation in Newark. Maria Lopez-Nunez and Christian Rodriguez are deeply enmeshed in this fight and came onto the podcast to share their thoughts on why this proposal should not be allowed, how they have organized around this issue, and their hopes for a just and equitable Newark. Guests:Maria Lopez-Nunez—Maria is a Bushwick native and Deputy Director of Advocacy and Organizing at the Ironbound Community Corporation, where she fights the bad and builds the new while challenging the current political system, holding power brokers and polluters accountable while fighting for environmental, housing, immigrant, and racial justice. She has organized and helped the passage of historic and landmark city and state legislation, including the Right to Counsel, the Civilian Complaint Review Board, and the Environmental Justice Cumulative Impacts Bill. She was also featured in the documentary, The Sacrifice Zone and is a member of Right to City, Grassroots Global Justice, JUST Transition, Down Bottom Farms, and a whole host of other community-centered nonprofits. Christian Rodriguez—Christian is a Newark native, raised in the Ironbound, and a Community Organizer with the Ironbound Community Corporation, where they advocate for the right to breathe clean air, have access to clean water, to healthy food, safer housing, as well as advocating to stop racism and capitalism under the White supremacist system. They are also a youth organizer/mentor, working with young adults throughout the neighborhood, and an Urban Farmer at Down Bottom Farms, where they teach the community how to to appreciate the land and soil for healthy agriculture. Background & Articles:Ironbound Community Corporation Main Site: hereAries Clean Technologies Main Site: hereTAPinto Article on Proposed Site (February 4, 2021): hereCity Zoom Meeting on Proposed Site (March 4, 2021): here “Stop The Sludge” (ICC): hereThe Sacrifice Zone (Documentary): hereWomen’s Herstory Month Virtual Celebration: hereQuote: “Cities are an immense laboratory of trial and error, failure and success, in city building and city design. This is the laboratory in which city planning should have been learning and forming and testing its theories. Instead the practitioners and teachers of this discipline (if such it can be called) have ignored the study of success and failure in real life, have been incurious about the reasons for unexpected success, and are guided instead by principles derived from the behavior and appearance of towns, suburbs, tuberculosis sanatoria, fairs, and imaginary dream cities—from anything but cities themselves.” Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities
Design Challenge, Challenging Times: An Interview and Conversation with Erin Sweeney and Schools That Can
01-01-2021
Design Challenge, Challenging Times: An Interview and Conversation with Erin Sweeney and Schools That Can
The COVID-19 crisis has upended many annual events and programs; many have been canceled, a few have postponed until the next year. However, there are still many that are adapting to the times and moving their events to virtual venues. The process has not been easy, but the results can break new ground in how we approach the crisis. Schools That Can is an example of how organizations have changed how they approach their core events.Schools That Can partners with schools to deliver engaging Education to Employment content that connects teachers and students to the world of work. Their programs provide schools with historically marginalized students with the capacity to prepare them for careers or college, and all of their programming builds direct connections between students and volunteers from a variety of professional fields. Every year for the past four years, Schools That Can has held its Design Challenge which brings together middle schoolers, teachers, corporate executives, and community leaders to engage in a real-world design experience, that is, transforming urban public school buildings into smart, green, and efficient structures. The project is a collaboration with the Panasonic Foundation and allows students to research the current functionalities of their school buildings and create a concept and design plan for a smart, green school using renewable energy. This year, the Design Challenge has been moved online. The program’s Executive Director for Newark, Erin Sweeney, will explain how Schools That Can has met this change and what it means for the event.Guest:Erin Sweeney—Erin Sweeney is the Executive Director of Schools That Can for Newark. She has worked as Director of Strategic Initiatives for STC Newark school, St. Benedict’s Prep, and is an alumna of Leadership Newark and Emerge NJ. She earned her Masters in American Studies focused on Newark and migration at Rutgers-Newark, Masters in Public Policy & Urban Planning from Harvard Kennedy School, and Bachelors in Public Policy from University of Chicago. She can’t seem to get enough school, so Erin is studying part-time for her J.D. at Rutgers Law, where she wants to dig into legal issues plaguing families in her community.Background & Articles: Schools That Can official website: hereArticle on the Design Challenge: hereGretchen McCulloch website (on language and generational differences): hereQuote: “At that moment, Karl seemed to hear some sound, sense danger; he glanced over his shoulder, began to pedal furiously, bending low over the handlebars. There was still the lonely sentry on the bridge, and he had turned and was watching Karl. Then, totally unexpected, the searchlights went on, white and brilliant, catching Karl and holding him in their beam like a rabbit in the headlights of a car. There came the see-saw wail of a siren, the sound of orders wildly shouted. In front of Leamas the two policemen dropped to their knees, peering through the sandbagged slits, deftly flicking the rapid load on their automatic rifles.---The East German sentry fired, quite carefully, away from them, into his own sector. The first shot seemed to thrust Karl forward, the second to pull him back. Somehow he was still moving, still on the bicycle, passing the sentry, and the sentry was still shooting at him. Then he sagged, rolled to the ground, and they heard quite clearly the clatter of the bike as it fell. Leamas hoped to God he was dead.”—The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, John Le Carre.
Symphony Works: An Interview and Conversation with Taneshia Nash Laird on Newark Symphony Hall
17-12-2020
Symphony Works: An Interview and Conversation with Taneshia Nash Laird on Newark Symphony Hall
Newark Symphony Hall remains one of the most iconic performance venues in Newark, as well as in New Jersey. Constructed in 1925 at a cost of $2M, the space has been the home of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the New Jersey State Opera, McDonald’s Gospelfest, the New Jersey Ballet, the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, and the Newark Boys Choir School. Performers over the years have included Judy Garland, Bob Dylan, Patti Labelle, Richard Pryor, Amalia Rodrigues, Gladys Knight, the Rolling Stones, Parliament Funkadelic, Tony Bennet, and Eric Clapton. It has even been used for state funerals of prominent Newarkers (including Amiri Baraka and Jerry Gant) and weddings that have been featured in the New York Times. However, Symphony Hall is also a reflection of the city itself. The space hit a sustained period of disinvestment and funding shortages over the last few decades (the space was definitely not neglected). Though the space is in dire need of renovation and capital investment, it is still an active performance and community space.Taneshia Nash Laird, CEO and President of the venue since 2018, has undertaken an ambitious campaign to bring renewed attention to Symphony Hall and to restore and update the building. She is unique, as she is the only Black woman leading a performing arts center in the state. She is a self-professed entrepreneur, social change agent, and community developer, with a background in economic development and the arts, having led the Arts Council of Princeton and served as a director of economic development in Trenton. She is also an adjunct professor at Drexel University (in their entertainment and arts management program).Guest:Taneshia Nash Laird—Taneshia Nash Laird is a social change agent and community developer who centers cultural equity in her work. She is the President and CEO of Newark Symphony Hall, a historic performing arts center located within the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Newark, NJ. Since her appointment in November 2018, she has expanded programming to respond to community needs and announced plans to restore the 1925 vintage concert hall in a $40 million renovation and leverage it for neighborhood revitalization in a process she calls Symphony Works.Background & Articles: Newark Symphony Hall’s Official Page: hereNonprofit Finance Fund Interview with Taneshia: hereCBS Piece on NSH: here“The Soul of Newark Symphony Hall”: hereNew York Times Profile of Wedding Held in NSH: hereAmalia Rodrigues’ Performance at Symphony Hall [believed]: here Quote: “Science, knowledge, logic and brilliance might be useful tools but they didn’t build highways or civil service systems. Power built highways and civil service systems. Power was what dreams needed, not power in the hand of the dreamer himself necessarily but power put behind the dreamer’s dream by the man who it to put there, power that he termed “executive support”.”—Robert Caro, The Power Broker