Laura Callanan

Founding Partner, Upstart Co-Lab

Upstart Co-Lab connects artists, impact investors, and social entrepreneurs to create opportunities for artist innovators to deliver social impact at scale. Upstart is introducing a Creativity Lens to impact investing, and launching a campaign to promote Artists as Innovators.

Laura served as senior deputy chair of the National Endowment for the Arts before launching Upstart Co-Lab in 2015.

She edited the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s 2015 issue of the Community Development Review on creative placemaking, and explored the work of artists as social entrepreneurs as a Visiting Scholar to the American Academy in Rome, and as the recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowship.

As a consultant with McKinsey & Company’s Social Sector Office, Laura led work on social innovation, sustainable capitalism, and social impact assessment. She served as senior adviser at the United Nations Development Programme, executive director of the Prospect Hill Foundation, associate director at the Rockefeller Foundation, and associate treasurer for the Wallace Foundation. 

Laura is chair of the board of GlobalGiving, and a past member of the board of Signature Theatre and the Corporation of Yaddo. 

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