Karen Ann Daniels
Director Of Programming and Artistic Director, Folger Theatre
Before joining the Folger as the Director of Programming/Artistic Director of Folger Theatre in 2021, Karen Ann Daniels was director of the Mobile Unit at The Public Theater in NYC, touring Mobile Unit productions across all five boroughs of NY and launching new programs such as Mobile Unit In Corrections which brings the tools of theater into the lives of incarcerated communities.
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, coLAB (devising plays with and for community), Community Voices (community as playwright) and Reflecting Shakespeare (Shakespeare in corrections). She served as composer/lyricist/collaborating playwright for gather ‘round, which premiered online at St Mary’s College in April 2021. In 2019, her new musical The Ruby in Us premiered as part of The Old Globe coLAB project, which she co-created with the Fourth District Seniors Resource Center in San Diego.
She is a 2021 Fellow at the Atlantic Fellows on Racial Equity, a network of leaders from the US and South Africa working to deepen their personal leadership and build expansive new futures in which Black people, and all people of colour, are seen, valued and respected. She served as chair of the City of Chula Vista’s Cultural Arts Commission, held a seat on the Leadership of the New California Arts Fund Leadership committee and was co-chair of the Learning Committee, representing the future of arts engagement for a cross-section of California arts organizations, through The James Irvine Foundation. She is also a co-producer and facilitator for the Biannual Shakespeare in Prisons Conference and Network.
She holds a BA in Art History from UCLA, an MFA in Musical Theater from San Diego State University and a certificate in Shakespeare from the British American Drama Academy.