Laura Odegaard (she/her) currently serves as the Cultural Investment Program Manager for the City of Austin's Economic Development Department where she manages funding, capacity building, international partnerships, district development, cultural tourism, and special projects. During the COVID 19 pandemic, she created, launched, and administered over $30 million of emergency relief grants to creative individuals and organizations. She serves as the Focal Point for Austin's UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts designation and is participating in a Leadership Exchange Program on Cultural Mapping with the World Cities Culture Forum. Laura has studied Public Policy with the London School of Economics and has Master's degrees from both Carnegie Mellon University (Arts Management/Public Policy) and the Università di Bologna (Cultural Economics and Innovation).
Laura believes in the power of an equitable, accessible, and sustainable cultural ecosystem and its role in transforming a City.