About CEO and founder, Kelly CarneS
CEO and founder, Kelly Carnes, has more than 13 years of experience in Public Relations.
She spent the majority of her early career at the Smithsonian Institution, serving first at the Smithsonian Castle, then the National Museum of Natural History where she spent a decade elbow-deep in the coolest science on Earth, before transitioning to head Communications at the Smithsonian’s Contemporary Art arm, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. In her time at the Smithsonian, she had the opportunity to film all over the Institution’s 19 facilities, research centers and the national zoo for the Smithsonian Channel, appeared on camera herself as the host of Smithsonian SmartNews, posed memorably as the living Hope Diamond Barbie, FedExed the Nation’s T. Rex from Montana to Washington, and ushered in the 40th anniversary of the Hirshhorn with 40 of the world’s most renowned contemporary artists from the top of One World Trade Center.
That experience in the visual arts built a foundation for a transition to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. As Director of Public Relations for all non-classical programming she repped hip hop, comedy, jazz, international programming, theater, dance, ballet, the expansion project, and the JFK Centennial. Also responsible for the Center’s signature annual events, the Spring Gala, Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, and Kennedy Center Honors, she managed red carpets walked by cultural luminaries like Bill Murray, Al Pacino, Emma Stone, Jimmy Kimmel, Jeff Goldblum, Aziz Ansari, Sigourney Weaver, Bill Hader, Jane Curtin, Paul Shaffer, Mavis Staples and James Taylor.
The only adventure that scared her more than whether Miley Cyrus was going to stick to script...was to strike out on her own and open her own shop, bringing her wealth of diverse experience at two of America’s biggest brand names to the people and places she feels passionate about. Savvy to both her strengths as well as her weaknesses, she’s constantly exercising her vast network to connect with other talented professionals who can complement her creative communications services. So, if you want a side of marketing to go with that, graphics, photography or video, we've got you covered. Carnes&Co. will always keep you in good company.