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Newark Symphony Hall to Commence Next Phase of $75 Million Renovation: The Arts + Education Lab

originally published: 05/15/2024

Newark Symphony Hall to Commence Next Phase of $75 Million Renovation: The Arts + Education Lab

(NEWARK, NJ) -- Newark Symphony Hall (NSH), New Jersey's largest black-led arts and entertainment venue continues its legacy of innovation and community enrichment through its newest reactivation, The Arts + Education Lab – a 30,000-square-foot creative hub for community gathering, artistic expression, and cultural enrichment. Set to officially begin Phase 2 of its four-part $75 million capital improvement program in June 2024 and aiming for completion in January 2025 to coincide with NSH's 100 anniversary, this phase aims to expand its production capabilities and community outreach programs through these updated resources.

“When I first stepped into my role as interim CEO, I knew our work together would be magical, but with the second phase of our restoration plan underway, that is an understatement,” says Talia Young, CEO of Newark Symphony Hall. “As we continue to create a space for Black and Brown artists to showcase and produce original work, I am constantly inspired by the passion and talent of the individuals who grace our stage. Newark Symphony Hall is not just a venue; it is a beacon of artistic expression and cultural pride.”

As part of this transformative process, Newark Symphony Hall will embark on a comprehensive renovation of its exterior, including the renewal of the historic façade along Broad Street and essential repairs to the building’s envelope, encompassing masonry and metal restoration, window refurbishment, and replacement of non-historic doors. Additionally, new lighting, marquees, and signage will be installed to enhance the building's exterior aesthetics.

Newark Symphony Hall to Commence Next Phase of $75 Million Renovation: The Arts + Education Lab

Furthermore, the installation of new exterior canopies over the center and side entrances will provide a more welcoming and vibrant entry into the building, acting as wayfinding signage. The main marquee will serve as a grand statement, referencing earlier historic canopies and existing ornamentation on the Symphony Hall’s façade.

“Newark Symphony Hall has a long history as one of our greatest stages,” says Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “This program to continue restoring its structure, modernize its production facilities, and expand its community outreach shows that it continues its massive present commitment to our city and its residents and shares our exciting future. I congratulate the NSH team on this initiative, and look forward to seeing our city’s future stars shine on its stage.”



 
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Part of the Phase 2 work includes the installation of a new elevator to allow for a more cohesive and secure entry into the western portion of the building, providing direct access to the floors above. This enhancement, accompanied by an accessible entry lobby at Broad Street, will significantly improve the performance experience for visitors and staff alike.

The new Arts + Education Lab will encompass the 2nd to 4th floors of the front wing, offering a diverse array of interactive programs and classes for all ages. The fourth floor, as part of this project, will be activated for use, featuring practice rooms, dance studios, and a multi-purpose lounge and kitchenette space. Complete rehabilitation of the existing fourth-floor space will include new walls and ceilings, lighting, mechanical systems, fire alarm and sprinkler systems, accessible toilet facilities, and various deferred maintenance items, with new finishes installed throughout.

Newark Symphony Hall to Commence Next Phase of $75 Million Renovation: The Arts + Education Lab

The revitalization achieved by these projects will not only enhance the venue’s programming capabilities but also ensure that Newark Symphony Hall remains a sought-after destination for high-quality performances well into the future.

Anchoring the southern entrance to Newark’s Arts & Education District, the lab is designed to nurture and invest in the Newark community by educating new and aging artists, offering workforce development for film and television production, further investing in the black creative economy, and more.

Committed to creating a cross-cultural, multi-generational environment that fosters excellence and drives equity in the arts, Newark Symphony Hall aims to position the venue as a community development corporation, for-profit venue, and nonprofit arts institution.

Born in 1925, Newark Symphony Hall (NSH) has been home to almost a century of diverse arts and cultural performances in what is now New Jersey’s largest Black-led arts and entertainment institution and venue in the state. As art impacts the community, the Hall remains committed to providing artistically rich experiences for art lovers of all ages while creating career pathways for people of color and space for community programming, ensuring Newark’s first stage remains accessible.

Newark Symphony Hall to Commence Next Phase of $75 Million Renovation: The Arts + Education Lab

IMAGES BY Newark Symphony Hall/Think Wilder Architecture, PLLC



 
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