Karen Shaffer and her husband, artist Charles Vess,
co-curated the Mythic Journeys art exhibition,
Ancient Spirit, Modern Voice that showcased the art of 25 mythically influencial artists.
Karen Shaffer is an arts/education/cultural events advocate and promoter (ArtsHouse),
as well as partner in Green Man Press. She graduated with a BS in Communications from the University of
Tennessee, worked for a Madison Avenue ad agency in NYC, then left to become a freelance
proofreader/editor/secretary/personal assistant for a variety of publishers and authors. Before a serious
car accident in 1998 diverted her energies, Karen served in an editorial capacity for the local arts magazine,
and worked tirelessly to help restore and gain recognition for the conversion of an old school building into a
regional arts center, now an Affiliate of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. She has a goal to return to her
mandolin playing as medical research for Spinal Cord Injuries progresses (thank you Christopher Reeve).
For three years, Karen co-produced the Good Goddess Arts Exhibition, a month-long series
of poetry, music and arts events celebrating Women's History Month in Abingdon, Virginia; Johnson City,
Tennessee; and Asheville, North Carolina. Presently she is active on the Board of Directors (Secretary) for
the Appalachian Independence Center, an organization working for people with disabilities by raising awareness
and increasing accessibility in the community. Karen is also involved promoting the work of the Appalachian
Women's Alliance, an organization working on issues of economic justice, racism, heterosexism, and violence
against women in Appalachian communities.
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