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Laura Chadwell

  • Boston, MA
  •   c.978 790 8313

                                            Culturally Competent                                                     Arts Programming Director & Community Builder


 A community development and arts administrator who has been working in the arts and education fields in the Greater Boston area since 2007,  I have a B.S. in Theater Arts Management from Ithaca College and a M.Ed. in Community, Arts & Education from Lesley University. I have experience across multiple sectors including higher education, for-profit and non-profit performing arts institutions,  and community based organizations. I am specifically interested in creating engaging, meaningful programming for diverse audiences with a particular focus on arts programming with a focus on cultural diversity and equity.  

I am a culturally competent leader, with experience in supervision, and have excellent communication skills.  I am capable of collaborating across diverse constituencies, from city government, to high-tech corporate settings, to college students or high needs youth. Most of all, I am passionate about the arts and what it can do for and with communities. 

Work History

Nov 2014Present

Director of Community Programs

Community Art Center, Cambridge, MA
  • Generate program ideas, set goals, manage program budget, hire & contract guest artists, and supervise staff, interns, & volunteers for all community programming areas.
  • Project lead for multiple large scale, collaborative public art projects in partnership with local government, corporations and institutions like City of Cambridge, Alexandria Real Estate, Novartis, Boston Properties and MIT including two 150ft+ digital murals.
  • Plan and execute several large special events including nationally-recognized and award winning annual youth film festival.
  • Create family engagement initiatives including cultural outings to local arts institutions, workshops, and Parent Council.Keep apprised of family needs and connect them to local opportunities and resources in the neighborhood or city.
  • Build and strengthen relationships with local politicians, corporations and institutions, as well as serve on City of Cambridge committees related to neighborhood violence and safety, STEAM engagement, and youth-focused initiatives as requested. Collaborate and partnered with external partners to implement city/ neighborhood wide initiatives.
  • Responsible for the intake of volunteer applications, group volunteering requests, community space rental inquiries, and requests for collaborations. Attend meetings related to all potential and current community collaborations.
  • Responsible for creation of original content for organizational communications such as press releases, online marketing and blog posts, direct email creation, and management of multiple social media presences to strengthen online community.
  • Participate in the creation and execution of an organizational strategic plan including brainstorming, goal setting, creating action items, evaluation, and more as well as presenting progress to Board of Directors.
Jul 2013Nov 2014

Director of Community Programs

The Center for Arts in Natick, Natick, MA
  • Responsible for the direction, supervision, management, and planning for all community based- programming for a thriving performing arts center including local artist exhibits, community theater troupe, teen rock program, open mics and cabaret nights, after-school and summer musical theater classes for children, & teen performing arts workshops.
  • Booked artists and managed contracts for family themed performance series totaling 15 family-friendly live shows per year.
  • Responsible for the management and contracting process for community rentals.
  • Assisted in the creation of digital and print marketing and social media content in partnership with Marketing Coordinator.
  • Coordinated ticket donation program, which funds ticket donations to local nonprofits, scholarships and ticket giveaways to low-income patrons and families, and discounted facility rentals to nonprofits.
Jun 2013Oct 2013

Interim Marketing & Development Coordinator

Community Art Center, Cambridge, MA 
  • Responsibilities related to corporate, government, and foundation giving include management of deadlines, application and report writing and submission, and appropriate follow-up. FY14 budgeted amount for contributed funds exceeded $500K. Also responsible for research related to new foundation or corporate prospects.
  • Also responsible for all print and digital marketing, public relations, social media engagement, and special events planning.
  • Coordinate community events and projects in partnership with local organizations and companies.
Jan 2013Jun 2013

Interim Director of Youth & Family Services

Community Art Center, Cambridge, MA
  • Supervise staff of 6 employees, 5 graduate and undergraduate level interns, and several volunteers as director of an arts-focused state-licensed after-school program for low-income youth ages 5-12.
  • Responsible for establishing program goals, assessing progress related to strategic planning, and meeting state guidelines for licensed center-based after school and summer care. Ensure outcomes of quality are met related to child safety, family engagement, quality of activities, and more.
  • Coordinate special events and community based programs such as a community mural, film festival screening, and more.
  • Assisted in the creation of new evaluation tool for teen media program as related to strategic goals and outcomes.
Jun 2012Jan 2013

Program Assistant

Community Art Center, Cambridge, MA
  • Responsible for all administrative aspects of the organization. Duties range from state billing and accounts management, to classroom assistance and volunteer program coordination. Supervise part-time staff, interns, and volunteers.
  • Provide front-line support for staff, parents, volunteers, and vendors. Coordinate human resources needs, recruitment, budget management, and A/P and A/R duties.
  • Coordinate facilities needs and supplies, including curation of gallery space. Manage weekend and evening facility rentals including maintaining relationships with renters and executing contracts and staff coverage
  • Also responsible for programming related duties, including semester planning and scheduling, assisting teachers with curriculum development, evaluation and assessment, and more.
Dec 2009Jun 2012

Human Resources/ Recruitment Specialist

Lesley University, Cambridge, MA 
  • Promoted twice while at this institution.  In collaboration, implemented employee benefit and time management programs such as the transition to a new online timecard system, employee information portal, employee discounts and benefits like move tickets. Also created training materials for various HR and Payroll systems.
  • As Recruitment Specialist, responsible for the recruitment and hiring process for a 600+ employee university; managed on-boarding process for new hires, data entry and reporting in HRIS system, student worker and volunteer hiring and management, recruitment strategy and research, and more.
Aug 2009Dec 2009

Contract Administrator

International Music Network, Gloucester, MA
  • Responsible for the creation and full execution of artist contacts for live performance at East Coast and Canadian venues for a world and jazz musician booking agency.
  • Also created digital and print artist media and copy like one sheets, websites, and press releases. 
Sep 2007Aug 2009

Development Associate

The Boston Conservatory, Boston, MA
  • Maintained data and correspondence related to donations, assisted with special events, coordinated capital campaign projects, student scholarship program, budget management for department, grant writing assistance, and more responsibilities as needed.
  • Also provided executive assistance to VP when needed, including travel arrangements, prospect research, correspondence, and other duties as assigned.
AprilAugust 2007

Assistant to the Managing Director (Seasonal)

Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield, MA
  • Completed all paperwork for Actor's Equity Association and served as script assistant on several productions
  • Acted as House Manager across multiple venues
  • Assisted with filing and correspondence for Managing Director, as well as reated donor thank you letters for Development department. 
  • Assisted with proofreading of marketing materials, policy documents, and employee contracts





Master of Education in Art, Community, & Education, 4.0 GPA

Research Fellowship Recipient, Creativity Commons/ ArtsEdSearch

Master's Thesis Topic: Assessment & Evaluation for Small Arts Based Institutions

Master's Level Internship: Boston Youth Art Evaluation Project/ RAW Art Works, Lynn, MA




Bachelor of Science, Theater Arts Management, 3.6 GPA (Dean’s List and Dean’s Scholar)

Skills & Competencies

  • Youth Development in the Arts Training, Lesley University
  • Youth Work Supervisor Training, Best Training Institute
  • Mental Health First Aid Certified
  • MA Driver's License        
  • MAC and PC fluent                                                                
  • Trained in Storytelling, Art Therapy, Trauma Informed Care, Conflict Resolution & Mediation
  • Social Media, Web Design, Content Creation, and Online Marketing fluent across multiple platforms
  • Employed as Part Time House Manager at Cutler Majestic Theater (2007-2008) and New Repertory Theater (2014-2015)

Volunteering, Speaking, & Other Experience

  • Member, MassCreative Leadership Council, 2016 
  • Guest Lecturer, 2016 Endicott College Arts Administration Program
  • Invited Speaker, Coalition for Arts, Culture, and a Healthy Economy (Medford, MA) 2016 Annual Meeting
  • Alumni Panel Guest Speaker: 2015 Lesley Creativity Forum
  • Adult Ally/ Planning Committee for 2015 Cambridge Youth Leaders Luncheon
  • Volunteer/ Planning Committee: Port STEAM Nights, February & October 2015
  • Volunteer, 2015 Door to Door Family Outreach w/ Police Department in Cambridge Public Housing
  • Volunteer, 2012, 2013, 2015, & 2016 Port/Area IV Pride Day
  • Attendee: 2015 National Guild for Community Arts Conference, Philadelphia, PA
  • Attendee: 2016 Americans for the Arts Conference, Boston, MA

Project Portfolio

Project Leader, Portraits of the Port Graphic Design Mural, Cambridge, MA

Portraits of the Port is a 160' graphic design mural printed on dibond aluminum panels featuring digitally altered portraits of neighborhood residents and the MIT community. It was created in 2015 by students in the Teen Media Program with guidance from a professional graphic designer, and was comissioned by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cambridge Mayor David Maher attend the opening celebration. In 2016, it was donated back to the Community Art Center and can now be viewed permanently in the parking lot at 119 Windsor Street. 

Program Director/ Festival Coordinator, Do It Your Damn Self!! National Youth Film Festival (18th, 19th, & 20th), Cambridge & Boston, MA

Now in its 20th year, “Do It Your Damn Self!!” (DIYDS!!) National Youth Film Festival is the longest running youth-produced festival in the country, drawing over 800 youth and adults to public screenings every year. Founded in 1996 by six Cambridge teens who felt misrepresented in the media and wanted to do something about it, the festival is a champion of social-justice and issue- focused youth filmmakers who want to see change and make it happen. The Community Art Center’s Teen Media Program youth understood that, “if you want something done, you gotta do it your damn self.” This audacious motto became the mission of the festival where youth producers from all over the world are given a venue to be heard and appreciated by a wide audience.

Project Leader, Change for Peace Public Art & Music Series (2015 & 2016), Cambridge, MA

Change for Peace consisted of 8 total community arts events hosted in various public spaces in Cambridge. In 2015, the art installation was designed based on the East Indian Rangoli tradition, a folk art form thought to bring good luck and create sacred welcoming spaces. The Change for Peace Art and Music Series installed a semi-permanent ground tattoo that was gradually be filled with colors, words, and ideas using chalk paint and rice. Teens asked passers-by to assist with this process and engage in conversation around the weekly theme inspired by the teens’ research about the neighborhood and their own stories.  In 2016, students conducted a Humans of New York-style photo & video journalism project around similar themes, called The Port;Uncovered. The results can be seen at

Program Director, Family Performance Series, The Center for Arts in Natick, Natick, MA

Responsible for the conception, planning, hiring, scheduling, and execution of a series if family-friendly live performances for young children and families in Natick and surrounding communities. After examining past ticket sales figures, I was able to build a series that ran from fall to spring featuring nationally recognized children's performers as well as local favorites featuring The Tanglewood Marionettes, Alistair Moock, Stacey Peasley, and more. I facilitated the appropriate backline as needed for particular artists and the full execution of contract and artist payment.  I also was responsible for coordinating the marketing, PR, and social media efforts for the series in partnership with the Box Office. 

Project Leader, Unnamed Mosaic Mural on 119 Windsor Street with David Fichter, Cambridge, MA

David Fichter is an internationally recognized muralist based in the Port neighborhood of Cambridge who has been working for over 30 years making community focused murals and mosaics across the globe. In 2015, he partnered with the Community Art Center to create a 8'x8' mosaic mural in collaboration with CAC staff, students, and community members to be installed on the outside of the CAC facility. Starting in Fall of 2015, community members, students, and staff gathered together to discuss potential elements and themes for the mural. David worked with staff to review photographic archives dating back to the 1960's as well as collect new images from teen photographers. Community members, staff, and students are currently in workshops alongside David to learn the process and create the mural together.  The mural was completed in June of 2016.