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Meet Lauren: Bristol’s First Arts and Culture Supervisor

Bristol Department of Parks, Recreation, Youth and Community Services announced the selection of Lauren Bent, as the city’s first Arts and Culture Supervisor. Lauren has seven years of public and private sector experience managing contractors, developing hundreds of programs and community events, as well as operating large special revenue funds.

Lauren has an earned  Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from UConn and is completing her Master’s in Public  Administration from Clemson University this fall. Lauren is also a graduate of the prestigious National  Recreation and Parks Association Revenue Management and Development School. While currently  residing in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Lauren is a Connecticut native and looks forward to moving back to  her home state when she begins the Arts and Culture Supervisor role next month.

Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu stated, “Bringing Lauren on board is a positive reminder that the City is going  to have a beautiful downtown theater next summer, and we will have had a year of planning and  preparation behind it to ensure its success. I think she is going to be a great fit for Bristol, the theater,  and all the Arts & Culture Commission projects as well as general arts initiatives that are coming down  the road.” 

The Arts and Culture Supervisor was a new position approved by the Bristol City Council at their regular  meeting on March 9, 2021. The supervisor will be responsible for the development of a comprehensive  year round arts and culture program, supporting the work of the City’s volunteer Arts and Culture  Commission and management of the community theater program when the Memorial Boulevard  Intradistrict Arts Magnet School opens in 2022. 

Nearly two dozen applications were received with eight qualified candidates being invited to interview. Several rounds of interviews were held including a practical assignment requiring finalists to present a  conceptual business plan for the community theater operation.

Superintendent Medeiros remarked,  “This was a complex recruitment in the sense that we were not recruiting a drama teacher, or theater  stage manager, but rather a business manager for city wide arts and culture. We needed someone that  can understand the arts community while having a strong foundation and proven track record of special revenue fund operations. It was clear from the business plan presentations that Lauren Bent had the  right combination of education, experience, business acumen, and overall interpersonal skills needed to  build the partnerships required to make the theater and arts and culture program a success for the  City.”

The recruitment process concluded with a virtual meet and greet event on April 21, 2021 as part of the  regular Arts and Culture Commission where stakeholders had an opportunity to ask questions and  provide feedback on Lauren’s candidacy. Superintendent Medeiros said, “The Arts and Culture  Supervisor will interface with groups across the city and so it was very important to us that community  stakeholders had an opportunity to be a part of the process.” 

City Councilman, liaison to the Arts & Culture Commission, and Chair of the Rockwell Theater Task Force,  Greg Hahn noted, “With the growing opportunities for the Arts in Bristol, it was imperative that we find  the right level of education and talent to lead these efforts. Through the rigorous selection process, I  could not be happier in the selection of Lauren Bent as Arts and Culture Supervisor. I look forward to  working with her on the many projects that are in progress as well as planning for the city and Board of  Educations combined use of the theater.” 

Arts and Culture Commission Chairwoman Lindsay Vigue remarked, “I am thrilled to have Lauren  spearhead the new Arts and Culture Division. With her level of expertise and forward thinking mindset  combined with the current energy in the city, Bristol is going to be a top arts and culture destination for  Connecticut!” 

In anticipation of her new role, Lauren said, “I’m thrilled to be joining the City of Bristol as the Arts and  Culture Supervisor! I’m eager to hit the ground running, immerse myself in the community, and design  engaging, interactive and entertaining programming for all. See you soon!” 

Lauren Bent officially assumes the role of Arts and Culture Supervisor in the Department of Parks,  Recreation, Youth and Community Services Department on Monday June 1, 2021 with an annual starting salary of $67,555.

To learn more about what the Bristol Parks & Recreation Department has to offer; visit www.Bristolrec.com.

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