2nd Story Today
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 operating budget from $87K to nearly $300K,
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 finance administration for the organization, Lauren is responsible for development, community engagement, and branding and marketing. Lauren recently oversaw the transition from freelance contractors to salaried employees and the adding of health insurance benefits.
Through her work with 2nd Story, Lauren served on the steering committee for a community wide conversation on trauma-informed care. The event, We’re All In This Together, brought together leaders and experts who represented the following organizations: Cook County Health and Hospitals, The Kedzie Center, Lawrence Hall, North Park University, and the North River Commission. I represented 2nd Story on the committee. Through months of work and planning, the event used evidence-based research and personal narratives to create a dialogue with 175 neighbors.
A Commitment to working with nonprofits
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.
tHE 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.