Lauren Frankel is Research Lead and Special Projects Manager at AMS. She has a deep commitment to using data and analytics to better understand and support arts ecosystems and a passion for new music. Prior to joining AMS, she was Senior Manager of Evaluation and Impact at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, designing and implementing data collection methods, metrics, and research strategies across departments to aid in program development and evaluation. Before that, she worked in development for the Kronos Quartet/Kronos Performing Arts Association.
Lauren holds a BMus from Rice University and a PhD in music history from Yale University, where she completed a dissertation on institutional support for contemporary composition in Finland. She is currently based in San Francisco and her instruments include piano, voice, and chromatic button accordion.
What drew you to the arts?
I believe that art is an essential component of what it means to be human. The creativity, imagination, and empathy involved in producing and experiencing art are the same qualities that allow us to envision a more just and equitable future and inspire each other to make it a reality.
What is most significant about the work that you do?
The performing arts are a unique industry, and it can often be challenging for individual organizations to find and analyze data that helps them position themselves within the field. Our benchmarking work provides access to longitudinal data and comparative insights that allow arts institutions to learn from each other, make better-informed strategic decisions, and provide their stakeholders evidence of progress toward their goals.
Where is the greatest opportunity for the sector today?
After the beginning of the pandemic disrupted the normal operations of the arts sector, arts and cultural institutions now have the opportunity to reimagine their work and the ways they do it while they rebuild. As important voices in their communities, they are in a position to lead those communities by example in creating new, equity-centered models for organizations.
What do you do in your spare time?
I love reading novels, playing music at home, going to concerts and other performances, throwing dinner parties, walking in Golden Gate Park, and enjoying the wide variety of amazing food that San Francisco has to offer.