Lauren Trombino-Walleser
Communications & Development Manager, Brookline Arts Center

How did you get involved with the Brookline Arts Center?
I was looking to make a career shift and return to my roots in the arts. I have a degree in theater and creative writing, so when the opportunity to bring my marketing, design and fundraising skills to a community arts center opened up, I jumped at the chance! I really love nonprofits and getting to tell the story of the impact they make in people’s lives. I’ve worked with youth in academic settings and was excited to learn more about how arts education works outside of the traditional classroom setting. The BAC is an incredible hub for artists of all ages in Brookline. I also have a background in social justice, so I was honored to join an organization with a long history of arts outreach. The BAC has quickly become my home away from home, and I’m very lucky that I get to work in such a dynamic and colorful atmosphere surrounded by creatives who want to do good in the world.

Tell us about your background. How did you become interested in art? What inspires you?
Growing up in South Florida, I’d spend many weekends visiting local art shows and galleries with my family, including the Norton Museum of Art, Las Olas Boulevard, Coconut Grove Arts Festival and the Wynwood Arts District. I am particularly inspired by public art, graffiti and murals. I love the ever-changing landscape of these scenes and the ways that they make art more inclusive and reflective of local cultures. In college, I took a feminist art class that introduced me to Judy Chicago and others who have created radical work that challenges patriarchal histories and structures. I’m very inspired by art that moves people politically and socially, work that reclaims ancient and not-so-ancient goddess and witch archetypes, and by nature and humor.

What passions do you bring to the BAC community?
I definitely bring my passion for creating communities where everyone feels safe, welcome and included. Earlier this year, I helped organize an anti-bias training for our faculty, staff and board members. Our students and visitors come from a wide range of intersectional identities, and we are very committed to making sure everyone in our community feels supported. I also bring my passion for photography and social media to the BAC. Getting to document what we do and share our students’ creations is such a fun part of my job! I also love planning events like our Artist Marketplace and ART Off the Wall. Bringing people together to celebrate the arts and show how their support makes a difference in very rewarding.

What do you enjoy most about the BAC?
I love that every day is a new adventure here! The BAC can transform from a classroom where toddlers and parents get their first taste of creating art together in the morning to a gallery where professional and emerging artists from around the world show their work at night. I enjoy watching students try new things and take pride in their progress from session to session. I also love listening to our faculty and students encourage and learn from each other. Kids are hilarious and their imaginations are wild, so it makes for a very entertaining and inspiring environment.

What was your favorite childhood art project?
It’s hard to choose just one! My father is a very talented artist and taught me how to draw Mickey Mouse at a young age (so Florida of us!). I also spent most of my summers drawing paper dolls with my sister and designing clothes for them. But my absolute favorite would have to be the book project I did in sixth grade. We were asked to write a short story about any subject and illustrate it ourselves, and then our teacher had them bound for us. Mine was a horror novel about a Halloween dance. Based on the drawings, I think I was inspired by the movie “The Shining.” A little macabre for a sixth grader, but I did get an A+ and I’ve held onto the book to this day.

Who are some of your art heroes?
Tons of graffiti and street artists, Judy Chicago, Hilma af Klint, and Corita Kent, just to name a few.

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