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 300% 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 newest venture, 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-created the organization's first ever fundraiser.
As a storyteller Lauren has performed with 2nd Story, Write Club, Story Club North Side, Story Club South Side, The BYOB Story Hour, Loose Chicks, Sidetrack’s OUTspoken!, Beauty Bar’s Salonathon series, and with Pride Films and Plays through their LezFest (now SheFest) and Simply Sensational fundraising events. Her story 'Beginnings' was developed with Story Club and was published in Story Club Magazine's first issue.
As an actor, Lauren was last seen in Men on Boats at American Theater Company under the direction of Artistic Director Will Davis, and was previously in About Face Theatre's The Secretaries directed by Bonnie Metzgar. Lauren has been onstage at Cor Theatre, Collaboraction, The New Colony, Abraham Werewolf, 3031 North Honore, and Walkabout Theater Company, among others.
Community Involvement in Albany Park
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 Interim Vice President of Education. As a member of the NRC's Education Committee, she 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.
The NRC Education Committee have identified the following initiatives for the 2017 calendar year:
- The Branding and Marketing of our Neighborhood Schools
- Identifying Fundraising Opportunities
- Arts Partner Programming and Networking
- Student Voice
- Local School Council Support
Lauren represents Albany Park Multicultural Academy as a community member of their Local School Council, and is a member of the Albany Park Neighbor's Association.