Women Your Should Know #2: Laura Dean


Laura Dean is the Director of Parks and Public Spaces Programs for the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP). In her role, she overseas more than 2,000 events and programs annually for Downtown Detroit’s internationally recognized and award-winning public spaces including: Campus Martius Park, Beacon Park, Capitol Park, Cadillac Square, Grand Circus Park and The Woodward Esplanade.

Dean works to create one-of-a-kind experiences for Downtown’s wide-ranging demographics, hosting over 6 million visitors annually. She leads a team with more than 250 community partners and 500 artists to present and produce programming free to the public. Dean helps shape large scale events such as Detroit’s Annual Tree Lighting, national headline talent concerts at Beacon Park, and vibrant winter lighting throughout downtown. As a spokesperson and vocal advocate of the broader objectives of the Downtown Detroit Partnership, her promotional efforts through public appearances, media interviews and thought leadership highlight her dedication to fostering urban community engagement and development.

Dean is most proud of bringing one-of-kind immersive art experiences and interactive exhibits such as Swinging Bells, Horizon and the Last Ocean to Beacon Park. Each piece was created by international and nationally renowned artists, which have not only enriched Detroit’s cultural landscape, but they also provided unique experiences of art and culture to thousands of attendees.

A Certified Meetings Professional since 2017, her passion for events is reflected in the depth and breadth of her professional experiences. In addition to her work with the Downtown Detroit Partnership, Dean has worked on national experiential marketing campaigns for major brands, including Chevy and Ford. During her tenure at The Henry Ford, she collaborated closely with clients to design and implement events within one of Michigan's leading cultural landmarks.

Dean is a devoted wife and mother to two daughters, finding joy in parenthood alongside her advocacy for individuals with Rare Diseases. Growing up in Dearborn, Michigan, she cherished frequent family outings to Detroit's cultural landmarks and sporting events with her parents and sister. She pursued her Bachelor of Arts degree at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, fostering a love for learning and community engagement. Following her college years, Dean briefly resided in Chicago before returning to Detroit, where she immersed herself in the city's vibrant atmosphere for a decade. These experiences have undoubtedly shaped her into the passionate and culturally aware individual she is today.