Former Rahway Mayor Lands Job Running Arts Center

RAHWAY – After 20 years as Mayor of Rahway, James Kennedy, has been named executive director of the Union County Performing Arts Center.

“The appointment of James Kennedy to the position of executive director is just one of the many forward-thinking changes happening at the UC PAC,” said Nancy Saliga, UC PAC Vice President and Rahway City Councilmember-at-large. “His visionary approach to running and propelling Rahway forward will be a great asset to the future of our historic organization.”


“I decided not to seek re-election for Mayor in 2011,” said Kennedy. “For several years I have been building the town through a focus on the arts and now I want to spend my time and energy taking the Rahway Arts District to the next level. The Union County PAC plays a vital role in the economic stimulus of Rahway and the Rahway Arts District. Directing the cornerstone of our Rahway Arts District is one way that I’ll continue my work to enhance and develop Rahway as a great city in New Jersey. It’s an exciting change and I look forward to seeing big results at the UC PAC.”

“These are challenging times for New Jersey arts. There is tremendous energy and excitement at the UC PAC to take this opportunity to make our Performing Arts Center a vibrant and vital part of New Jersey’s arts landscape. It’s important for the community and it’s critical to sustain economic growth,” Kennedy said.

The Union County Performing Arts Center is a vaudeville-era theatre built in 1928. In recent years, the historic landmark has undergone major changes, including a $6 million renovation sponsored by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

There are new shifts in the Board of Trustees leadership as well. After three years as president, Richard Stender will be passing the baton to Lorenzo Rizzi this month. Rizzi is the business manager for Covanta Energy in Rahway. Rizzi is a business management professional with an MBA from NYU and 15 years experience.

“Kennedy comes to us with vision, passion and very specific new ideas. These characteristics certainly have the potential to raise the bar for our organization in ways that will be beneficial to the entire community,” said Stender. “I look forward to seeing what will come next for the UC PAC!”

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