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Karen Ann Daniels

Karen Ann Daniels is the Director of Programming/Artistic Director of Folger Theatre. A native San Diegan, she is an accomplished actor, director, playwright, vocalist, musician, and community organizer. Prior to joining the Folger, she was director of the Mobile Unit at The Public Theater in NYC, producing tours around all five boroughs of NYC bringing the tools of theater to incarcerated community through Mobile Unit In Corrections (MUiC).

In her prior role as the associate director of The Old Globe’s Arts Engagement department, she managed community partnerships, and created, piloted, and implemented cornerstone programs such as Globe for All, Behind the Curtain, coLAB, Community Voices, and Reflecting Shakespeare. She is a thought-leader, facilitator, and contributing architect for creating tools to help cultural institutions integrate anti-racism, equity, accessibility, community and audience engagement, and shared leadership as a long-term mission-oriented strategy for organizational growth. She is a 2021 Fellow at the Atlantic Fellows on Racial Equity, a network of leaders from the US and South Africa working to build expansive new futures in which Black people, and all people of color, are seen, valued and respected. She served as chair of the City of Chula Vista’s Cultural Arts Commission, as well as the New California Arts Fund Leadership and Learning Committees, and is a co-producer and facilitator for the biannual Shakespeare in Prisons Conference and Network. In recent years, her creative work focused on co-creation as a composer/lyricist/playwright for musicals like gather ‘round and The Ruby in Us, centering the lives and stories of community.