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MSLCE Student Seeks Innovation in Storytelling + Solutions for Arts Organizations

By Priyanshi Katare

Laura Rensing has an eclectic professional background. She’s held a wide range of jobs; from writing to publishing to theaterand while she can’t pinpoint exactly what turned her toward the creative industries, the through line for all her work has been her love for storytelling. 

“I like being able to tell stories through whatever medium I have,” she explained, “as I grew in my career, I learned to tell stories through data and use that to present the course of action I considered best.” 

After college, Rensing worked for a publishing organization and it was there that she realized the work she was doing wasn’t as fulfilling as she thought it would be. 

I thought why not pursue something I actually interested in and made the transition to a more cohesive arts focused job…while doing non-profit work it’s about the mission and how many people have been reached. To me, that is more satisfying than having the end goal be to simply bring in money.” she explained.  

Her work with non-profits eventually led her to the Los Angeles Ballet where she worked as the Development Coordinator and Operations Manager, an experience that served as a ‘bootcamp’ and exposed her to the world of fundraising. While the experience was valuable to her, it also highlighted for her the need for continued innovation in the industry.   

“As I was working in this position, I realized that all these organizations that had creative elements to them were running into the same problem. I essentially wanted to find solutions,” she says, “In industries like theater, we tend to play it safe on the business side. Some of the things these organizations are following are from the 1980s and they need to be made relevant.” 

It was her drive to find these solutions that led Rensing to the MSLCE program,  “To me, I had always seen the tension between the board of directors, which consisted of more businessoriented people, and the artistsI’ve only been here one quarter and I already have so many ideas on how to help artists and small organizations,” she elaborated. 

According to Rensing, going forward the industry is going to see a multi-genre approach with constant innovation. She feels that artistic ventures lose out when they do not leverage digital platforms in an attempt to protect the sacredness of the physical space. “With the current situation the arts are going to see an explosion. It is going to be put in the hands of people who are going to want to explore and really see what’s out there.” 

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