Laura Zabel is the Executive Director of Springboard for the Arts. Based in Saint Paul, MN, Springboard for the Arts is a community and economic development organization for individual artists-serving artists in the Upper Midwest and beyond. One of Springboard's newest initiatives is a Community Supported Art (CSA) project based on the Community Supported Agriculture model which connects artists directly with patrons through a 3-month farm-share program. This program has been replicated in over 20 communities nationwide. This year, another Springboard-led initiative, Irrigate, was recognized as a national model of creative placemaking by the new funder collaborative, ArtPlace, and awarded one of 30 inaugural grants.
In 2010, Laura was named one of Twin Cities Business Journal's 40 Under Forty and Springboard won the Social Entrepreneur's Cup award which recognizes Minnesota's most innovative and effective social entrepreneur and the organization they lead. Laura was recently selected as one of 100 executive directors to participate in the National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program and Minnesota Monthly named her one of 12 Revolutionaries: Minnesotans who can see the future.
Laura serves on the Knight Foundation National Arts Advisory Committee and the Advisory Board of Twin Cities Local Initiatives Support Corporation. In addition to her work at Springboard, Laura is an actor in the Twin Cities and has worked with companies such as Theatre in the Round and the Brave New Workshop. Laura has her undergraduate degree in theatre from the University of Kansas, where she serves on the Professional Advisory Board for the Department of Theatre.