Carly Smith – Interim Director

Carly C. Smith is the Interim Director at the International Bluegrass Music Museum.  Born in Hawaii, she grew up in Owensboro, Kentucky.  She received an Associate’s Degree in the Arts in 2012 and is finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Systems Management with Western Kentucky University.  During college, Carly was a lifeguard on the coast of North Myrtle Beach, SC for four years.  After that, she was the Aquatics Director for a health club in Little River, SC for nearly a decade.  Over the years, music has been a passion for Carly.  In 2011, the Smith family moved to Owensboro, Kentucky, and Carly joined the staff of the International Bluegrass Music Museum, a dream job.  In 2012, she was a class member of the IBMA’s Leadership Bluegrass.  During Carly's time with the museum, IBMM has received the Governor's Award for Community Arts and ROMP received the IBMA's Event of the Year award for ROMP.  The future of bluegrass is bright and this Owensboro native looks forward to preserving and growing the genre for many generations to come.

RaShae Jennings – Curator of Collections

RaShae Jennings was raised in the small town of Tompkinsville, Kentucky where she developed an early interest in “items from the past.” Working on a family farm, she developed a passion for items that were recovered originating from several Native American tribes in the Monroe County area.  In 2008, RaShae graduated from Western Kentucky University with two Bachelor of Arts degrees.  In 2011 she received her Master’s degree from WKU in Folk Studies with an emphasis on Historic Preservation. Beginning her career, she completed research and grants for The Shaker Museum of South Union under the guidance of Tommy Hines.  Her work also includes an 1850’s historical home on the Biological Preserve owned by Western Kentucky University where she and a team helped to restore the house under the guidance of Dr. Michael Ann Williams.  RaShae’s experience includes working with Marty Perry, The National Register Coordinator for the state of Kentucky where she nominated properties to the National Register of Historic Places. At the Kentucky Museum and Library, she enhanced her skills, learning various cataloging and conservation process from Sandy Staebell, Assistant Professor, Registrar/Collections Curator.  She gained knowledge of museum procedures by working with Jonathan Jeffrey Professor, Manuscripts/Folklife Archives Coordinator at Western Kentucky University.  RaShae continues to expand her love for the conservation of “old items from the past” by spending her free time documenting and preserving a civil war era cemetery on her family farm.

Chris Langdon – Promotions Director

Chris was born and raised in Owensboro and is a very proud native. Growing up in the area, he was always familiar with Bluegrass music, but it didn’t resonate at first. He remembers riding his skateboard to English Park during The World of Bluegrass, standing on the outside and wondering what was happening down on the river front. It wasn’t until 2005, when Chris attended ROMP for the first time, that he was really hooked.  After a few years as a festival attendee he came on board as a volunteer, and eventually became a full time museum employee. Since then, Chris has learned so much, made so many friends, and found a home in Bluegrass that he never could have imagined. He loves being a part of the team and takes pride in preserving Bluegrass heritage and celebrating our future.


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Katie Keller – Marketing Director

Katie Keller is the Marketing Director at the International Bluegrass Music Museum. Born and raised in Owensboro, Kentucky, she is a graduate of the University of Kentucky where she earned her Bachelors of Arts degree in Integrated Strategic Communication. After graduating, Katie returned to Owensboro to begin her career as the Promotions Director at Wax Works Video Works. After a few years she accepted a position with Don Moore Automotive as their Corporate Marketing Director. During this time she began volunteering for ROMP festival and the Bluegrass Museum, which eventually led to her move to the non-profit world. When she is not working at the Museum, Katie is involved in several volunteer organizations around Owensboro including a position as stage producer and host for Friday After 5, a 16-week summer concert series on Owensboro’s beautiful riverfront. She is also a sitting board member of the Junior League of Owensboro.

Melisa Anderson – Weekend Gift Shop Hostess

 

Project Staff

Gabrielle Gray, ROMP Director & Grants Writer

Joe Gray, Video Oral History Project Director

Randy Lanham, Education Director and Fiddle Instructor

Fred Bartenstein, Gary Reid, Joe Wilson:  Historians

Mike Compton, IBMM Mandolin Camp Director

Violet Stearsman, Bookkeeper

Mike Hobson, IT

Myriad CPA, Annual Independent Auditors