Laura Sievert

Laura Sievert

Laura Sievert engages Illinois audiences to consider how communities shape their stories–and identities–through our public spaces, and invites us to ask: whose story is missing? How can we expand the public narrative for equity and inclusion?

Laura is the Executive Director of Arts Quincy, America’s First Arts Council, located in Quincy, Illinois, and is on live television and radio every week on behalf of arts programs in her community. She’s an accomplished public speaker and has delivered conference sessions on art and creativity to places including TEDx, Leadership Illinois, World of Speakers, University of Iowa Speaker’s Series, American Association of University Women, and many smaller local and regional venues.


Storytelling for Civic Pride: There’s More Here

This presentation will center on storytelling through the lens of shared public spaces. It’s no secret that our public art, museum, and history records are largely missing the stories of women, people of color, and marginalized communities. Laura explores the real logistics of how we change the way we tell our community stories. Participants will learn that changing our collective storytelling isn’t just a moral imperative, but a sound investment for our Illinois economies.

With real-world examples, compelling economic data, and a framework that can apply as easily to your local arts council as it does inside local industries, Laura will energize attendees to take a critical look at the stories we’re telling and how expanding the public narrative makes our communities more attractive and competitive. Our communities’ quality of life, talent attraction and retention programs, and future economic vitality depend on our ability to create new cultural conversations.

Let’s find a place to begin new stories based in equity and inclusion for the betterment of us all.

Program Logistics

The presentation takes approximately 45 minutes, with extra time at the end for Q&A, making it approximately one hour. No equipment is required.


Laura Sievert, MPA, is the Executive Director of Arts Quincy: America’s First Arts Council. She was formerly the Director of Marketing for the largest Hallmark retailer in the country with locations in 10 states. In addition to degrees from University of Iowa and a Master’s in Public Affairs from Mizzou, Laura also has certificates in Leadership for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from Northwestern and two other university certificates in nonprofit topics.

Known for both her engaging speaking style and thought-provoking topics, Laura has given 2 TEDx talks, was featured at the National Mainstreet Conference, is a 2x Leadership Illinois speaker and regularly presents at industry events in both arts and marketing. She is the founder and director of TEDxQuincy and was recently recognized for exceptional community volunteerism both in Quincy and by the Illinois Senate.

Book this Road Scholar

Follow the steps below to book a presentation.
  1. Contact Laura to schedule a date and time via email at or phone at (217) 242-3697.
  2. Once you and Laura have agreed upon a date and time, complete the online Road Scholars Host Organization application.
Contact Us

Fairouz AbuGhazaleh
Director of Statewide Programs