Lauren currently serves as the Managing Director of 2nd Story, Chicago's premier storytelling organization. Since joining the team in 2014, she has grown the organization's fundraising event income by tenfold and implemented a recurring donor campaign to increase individual giving.
Under Lauren's leadership, 2nd Story moved from its loft-office space in North Center to a storefront at the corner of Lawrence Ave. and Sacramento Ave. in Albany Park. In addition to overseeing fundraising and general administration, Lauren is responsible for development, community engagement, and branding and marketing. Lauren recently oversaw the implementation of a new website for the organization, given its online presence a much needed update.
A Commitment to nonprofit work
Lauren worked for six seasons at Steppenwolf Theatre Company as the Special Projects Coordinator at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, she worked closely with Steppenwolf's Managing Director David Schmitz and senior-level leadership. In this capacity, Lauren played an essential role on the opening task force team for Steppenwolf's Front Bar and was responsible for the coordination and execution of the self permit and licensing processes.
She first began working at Steppenwolf in 2010 as the Steppenwolf for Young Adults Apprentice. Lauren worked in the education department through July 2015, finishing as the Education and Community Programs Coordinator. Her work included the mentorship of the Young Adult Council, Steppenwolf's after-school program, the creation and facilitation of Behind the Scene, a community engagement program, and a re-envisioning and branding of the department's annual report.
Prior to accepting her position with 2nd Story, Lauren served as the Managing Director of Walkabout Theater Company. During her time with Walkabout she oversaw the rebranding of the company’s visual and online identity, co-produced The Wild as part of Steppenwolf's Garage Rep 2014 Festival, and co-produced the organization's first-ever Rent Party fundraiser.
MANAGING DIRECTORS ROUNDTABLE
Recognizing a need for resource and skill sharing among Chicago’s leading small to mid-size arts organizations, Lauren organized and founded the Managing Directors Roundtable. This group, which was founded in January 2018, is a space for women, non-binary folx, and trans Managing or Executive Directors of theaters with operating budgets <$1 million. The group now has over 20 members and meets quarterly throughout the year.
Community Involvement in Albany Park
NORTH RIVER COMMISSION
Committed to supporting education and community development in Albany Park, Lauren proudly sits on the North River Commission Board of Directors and serves as the Vice President of Education.
The NRC Education Committee have identified the following initiatives for the 2018 calendar year:
The Branding and Marketing of our Neighborhood Schools
Identifying Fundraising Opportunities
Arts Partner Programming and Networking
Local School Council Support
Lauren is the creator of the 'Five Fast Facts,' a social media campaign that seeks to increase student enrollment, promote vertical integration, and combat negative stereotypes. Check out the 'Five Fast Facts' about Northwest side schools here. In November 2018, the Five Fast Facts were turned into banners that could be hung outside each school and reach a wider audience.
THE FRIENDS OF ROOSEVELT HIGH SCHOOL & MORE
Lauren is a founding member and the Chair of the Friends of Roosevelt High School. Since its founding in May 2018, the Friends of Roosevelt High School has already raised over $5,500 to benefit the students, teachers, staff, and leadership at Roosevelt High School. Under Lauren’s leadership, they have hosted several community-wide cultivation events and the first-ever Roosevelt Rising fundraiser. Hosted in the library at Roosevelt High School, Roosevelt Rising celebrated the past, present, and future of Roosevelt High School.
Lauren represents Albany Park Multicultural Academy as a community member of their Local School Council, and is a member of Albany Park Neighbors and West River Park Neighbors.
Please view the Community section for a full scope of Lauren's activities.