Dr. Karen Chandler

College of Charleston

Faculty, Arts Management Program
College of Charleston

66 George Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29424
United States

Since 1999, Karen Chandler has taught arts management in the College of Charleston’s undergraduate and graduate certificate programs, and in its concentration in the Masters of Public Administration and MFA in Creative Writing programs.  She is currently its Director and Associate Professor of Arts Management.  Prior to this appointment, she served as Assistant Professor of Arts Management at American University.

Chandler received her Ph.D. in Studies in Arts and Humanities (New York University), M.A. in Music Education (Columbia University-Teachers College), and B.S. in Music Education (Hampton University). 

Chandler has directed arts and cultural programs at the African American Cultural Center (University of Virginia), Avery Research Center (College of Charleston), and is the co-founder/principal of the Charleston Jazz Initiative. With a National Endowment for the Arts grant, she served as Executive Producer of LEGENDS (2010), a CD with a 22-piece big band of songs by musicians the initiative is studying.

Her other publications include articles in the Theatre Management Journal, The Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society and JAZZed Magazine. Her recent essays include “Prelude to Gershwin: Edmund Thornton Jenkins” in Porgy and Bess: A Charleston Story (2016), and “When Charity and Jazz Meet” (Spoleto Festival USA, 2016). She is author of Curtain Up on the Friends: A History of the Friends of the Kennedy Center Volunteer Program.

Chandler serves on a variety of boards including the Journal of Public Management and Social Policy, South Carolina Arts Alliance, and the Commission on the Arts, an appointment by the Mayor of Charleston. Among her awards, she has received a Testimonial Resolution by the City of Detroit (MI) City Council for her research on Motown bassist James Jamerson, Faculty of the Year ExCEL Award (College of Charleston), and the South Carolina Governor’s Award in the Humanities, the state’s highest award in the humanities given to an individual.  Chandler has also been recognized on the South Carolina Arts Commission’s “Forty Lists Project” as an Outstanding Arts Administrator.