Highland County Arts Council Hires Executive Director Karen Milnes

The Highland County Arts Council is thrilled to announce that Karen Milnes has been hired

for the new position of Executive Director.


Milnes graduated from the University of Virginia with degrees in biology and studio art, and a concentration in printmaking. She is a practicing artist, owns her own business (Cabin Critter Designs) and is an avid consumer of live music and the arts. Milnes and her family of three moved to the area in 2016. She ran the Pendleton County Farmers Market for four years and sat on the board until 2023, and was involved in a few other Pendleton County-based non-profits. They now live in Monterey, and her non-profit work continues as she remains very active on the boards of the West Virginia Mushroom Club, and The 3rd Space. 


I had the chance to sit down with her and chat about this brand new position:


“I’m an artist, and I’ve been heavily influenced by the arts all of my life. I’m excited to be a part of bringing the arts to Highland County. I think they are integral to community growth,” said Milnes.


Those who know Milnes know that her passions are music, gardening, foraging (mainly mushrooms), basket weaving, and just about any art form she can get her hands on.


“I’m thrilled to be representing the arts council and being the contact person for the arts community. I’m also looking forward to promoting the events the arts council has been doing for years now, and really raising the attendance at these events. We run a regular performance series the second Saturday of almost every month. They are very affordable and diverse and I’m excited to see everyone coming out to these events,” added Milnes.


Milnes can be contacted at highlandcoarts@gmail.com. For more information on the Highland County Arts Council, or to register for one of their many classes, workshops or events, visit highlandcountyartscouncil.org.

Story By


Brit Chambers

Brit Chambers is a resident of Highland County, Virginia and a news reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio. She loves living in a small town and relishes the outdoor adventures and community feeling that Highland has to offer. Brit has a background in journalism, marketing, and public relations and spends her free time reading good books, baking sourdough bread, and hiking with her family.

Current Weather