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12 APRIL 2022
Newark cultural institutions eye high-profile projects, creating new downtown arts hub
Linda Harrison recalls the construction cranes that filled Newark’s skyline when she
joined the Newark Museum in 2018. “Something is
happening in this city,” she told herself, seeing firsthand the activity that she had only read about from
Linda Harrison her previous post in San
That made it all the more important to move quickly on a plan that
would see the cultural institution not only participate in that momentum, but secure its long- term future.
“The Newark Museum is 112 years old and a little bit set in its ways,” said Harrison, the CEO and director of what’s now known as the Newark Museum of Art. “So we had to really open the door ... and look outward, look externally.”
She added: “If we’re going to be a financially stable and sustainable cultural organization, then we had to look at new models, different multiples of revenue.”
The belief has given way to a recently announced, $85 million plan to expand and revamp the museum, one that will also bring 250 apartments and retail and dining space to the campus at Washington Street and Central Avenue. And it’s among several projects in which new development or investment is poised to
infuse one of Newark’s cultural anchors, while helping to advance economic growth in and around the downtown.
The proposals, each unveiled within the past year, call for a combined investment of around $285 million.
“This is purely a case of ‘more is more,’ ” said Tim Lizura, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s senior vice president for real estate and capital projects, during a March 2 program hosted by the Newark Regional Business Partnership. “And I think, as we dedicate this arts district and we publicize it to make sure everybody knows what
it is, it’s just going to be the crown jewel.”
Harrison and Lizura spoke alongside Taneshia Nash Laird, CEO and president of Newark Symphony Hall, in a panel discussion moderated by Sam
By Joshua Burd
  Museum Parc, a mixed-use project to create a campus around The Newark Museum of Art, as depicted in this rendering, will include 250 new apartments and commercial space, a 4,000-square-foot art and program gallery, new outdoor amenities, a more visible sculpture garden and renovations for the education wing.
Courtesy: Newark Museum/L+M Development Partners

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