A Mississippi native, Kristen Brandt returned to her home state after completing a master’s degree in Folk Studies from Western Kentucky University. Kristen holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Mississippi College and has published in the Mississippi Arts Commission’s digital publication Mississippi Folklife. Prior to coming to the Mississippi Arts Commission full time, Kristen served as a teaching and research assistant at Western Kentucky University, surveyed and interviewed individuals from Hart and Barren counties for Mammoth Cave National Park’s 2017 Ethnographic Survey, and organized, cataloged, and digitized the Mississippi Folk Arts Archive.

Her daily responsibilities include managing the Artist Roster Program and the Mississippi Writers Trail, overseeing special projects and the Literary Arts program, and serving as liaison to the Board of Commissioners.