Karen Bystrom

Photo of Karen Bystrom

BA, Theatre Management

Director of Communications, Academic

Phone: 206-296-2814

Building/Room: HUNT 220

Prior to transferring to Director of Communications, Academic in the Marketing and Communications department at the end of 2022, Karen served as the Director of Marketing and Communications for the College of Arts and Sciences beginning in March 2017. From 2008 to 2017, she taught Marketing and the Arts for SU’s MFA in Arts Leadership program.

Prior to that, she served as Vice President of Marketing and Development for Sound Generations (formerly Senior Services), where she led the development and implementation of a new name and brand for the nonprofit. She has led marketing and communications teams for Cornish College of the Arts, ACT (A Contemporary Theatre), Seattle’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, Pacific Science Center, United Way of King County, Seattle Repertory Theatre, University of Washington’s Meany Hall for the Performing Arts and The Empty Space Theatre.

As a consultant and project manager, she has worked with Group Health Cooperative, Beyond the Threshold: Seattle International Dance Festival, Giant Magnet (formerly Seattle International Children’s Festival), Intiman Theatre, Camp Fire Boys & Girls, Washington State Department of Information Services, UW School of Drama, Seattle Symphony and Centrum Arts & Creative Education.

She earned her BA from Lewis & Clark College in Theatre Management, a self-designed major emphasizing marketing and communications. She also studied communications, theatre and business at Linfield College. She is and founding board member and immediate past board president TeenTix and was a founding member of the Market the Arts Task Force. She has also served on marketing committees with the Seattle/King County/Kitsap County American Red Cross and Seattle Center.