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Howdy y’all!


I'm Katherine (she/her), currently covering arts and culture for the Times Union features desk in upstate New York delivering news online and in print (!!!) all day, every day.


Once upon a time, I dreamed of performing on stage. Now, I dream of writing about it.


I'm a dedicated storyteller with years of performance, education and production experience; extensive theater and journalism training; and an insatiable curiosity.

I weave creativity, empathy and humor (when appropriate) into my work. Art is playful, and my writing reflects that. I specialize in features, critical essays and profiles focused on theater, film, television, community art scenes and pop culture with laser-focus at getting to the hearts of stories (shout-out to years of script analysis).

I'm also skilled at translating my storytelling skills to successful social media marketing strategies that connect to and engage with audiences - all with a little razzle dazzle (and a few puns, for good measure).

Want to connect? Send me an email at or find me on Twitter and Instagram @katkiessl.

Katherine in a light denim jumpsuit sits on a stool, chin resting on her hand as she looks at the camera.
Katherine in a light denim jumpsuit sits on a stool laughing and holding her forehead.


she/her/hers - Albany, NY - -



Arts and entertainment writer - Times Union - Albany, NY (Jul. 2022-present)

  • Report, pitch and write on arts and culture in the Capital Region through breaking news stories, features, profiles and obituaries

  • Package stories for digital publication through WCM with a focus on SEO optimization

  • Continually grow and maintain a network of sources within the Capital Region arts and culture scene

  • Stay in-the-know of arts and culture news and trends locally and nationally

  • Collaborate with the features and digital teams on larger editorial projects

  • Regularly confer with editors on story status, directions, deadlines and sourcing

  • Cover breaking news outside of the arts and entertainment beat through regular weekend news desk shifts

  • Shoot and edit coordinating photos as needed

  • Award(s): Second place in feature writing for "Meet the monsters roaming Capital Region haunted sites," New York Press Association

Freelance journalist - Central New York (Jul. 2021-Jul. 2022)

  • Pitch and report on arts and culture, specializing in theater, television, film and culture

  • Write critical reviews, essays, features and profiles

  • Shoot and edit coordinating photos as needed

  • Provided additional reporting and research support for the New York Times feature, "What Makes a Movie the Greatest of All Time?"

  • Bylines include Post-Standard, The NewsHouse, Rochester City Newspaper and CNY Magazine

  • Award(s): Best illustration for "'The Silence of the Lambs:' a most unexpected Valentine’s Day film," Society of Professional Journalists Merit fo Excellence Awards, Region 1


Social Media Director - The NewsHouse - Syracuse, NY (Dec. 2021-May 2022)

  • Promote published stories on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

  • Create supplemental graphics

  • Analyze metrics to improve audience engagement

  • Oversee digital social media producers, including proofing social copy for AP Style, accuracy and branding


Graduate Assistant - Office of Graduate Programs, Newhouse - Syracuse, NY (Sept. 2021-May 2022)

  • Coordinate team of student bloggers to produce content for Newhouse Insider

  • Manage @newhousemasters Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

  • Communicate with prospective students to answer admissions questions, coordinate tours and schedule program director meetings

  • Create supplemental office and marketing material using Adobe InDesign


Digital Producer - The NewsHouse - Syracuse, NY (Aug. 2021-May 2022)

  • Pitch and report stories on arts, culture and lifestyle news in and around Syracuse University

  • Package stories for digital publication in CMS

  • Analyze website traffic metrics

  • Assist with social media via  Facebook, Twitter and Instagram


Director of Education - The Levoy Theatre - Millville, NJ  (Nov. 2019-April 2021) 

  • Planned, budgeted and executed the dual county Cumberland & Cape May Counties Teen Arts Festival. Coordinate festival logistics including the hiring of teaching artists and adjudicators; communicating with schools; overseeing school registration; adjudication submissions; planning out workshop and adjudication schedule; coordinating local media coverage; maintaining the festival website; and communicating with the NJ State Festival. Doubled attendance in my first year and successfully executed a virtual festival my second

  • Planned and budgeted The Levoy's annual Summer Camps for students age 7-17. Tasks included hiring staff; choosing shows and applying for production rights; overseeing registration; communicating directly with parents; tracking tuition payment; coordinating camp resources between two buildings; and serving as the camps' administrator, monitoring the teaching standards of the lead instructors

  • Organized and executed The Levoy's Daytime Series of educational programming. Tasks include surveying teachers for show options; booking touring performances for the upcoming school year; advertising field trips to schools and overseeing registration; developing study guides as needed for shows; creating seating charts for performances; and overseeing a team of volunteers and theater staff 


Marketing Assistant & Social Media Manager - The Levoy Theatre - Millville, NJ (Oct. 2018-July 2020)

  • Created and executed marketing plans for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

  • Designed supplemental content including show-specific graphics, short video clips and rehearsal footage 

  • Wrote and submitted press releases for various programming

  • Managed the Facebook advertising campaign for The Levoy, including creating and executing ad campaign schedules, collaborating with the design team and artists' reps on content, researching target demographics, studying ad analytics to improve strategy and managing a social media marketing budget 

  • Developed a radio advertising schedule, scheduled spots with local stations and wrote scripts

  • Wrote and scheduled regular emails via Constant Contact to members, season subscribers and email subscribers 



Syracuse University, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications - May 2022

Award(s): Newhouse Graduate School Award

Master of Arts Goldring Arts Journalism & Communications 

Rowan University, College of Performing Arts - May 2016

Award(s): Summa Cum Laude, Joseph Robinette Excellence in Theatre and Dance Medallion Recipient 

Bachelor of Arts Theatre Arts

     Concentrations: Pre-Teaching; Acting & Directing

Bachelor of Arts Dance



  • AP Style

  • Copyediting

  • Critical, news and feature writing

  • Insight into non-profit arts business structures

  • WordPress, Wix, WCM

  • Airtable, Slack

  • Metrics for News

  • Mailchimp, Constant Contact

  • Event planning

  • Grant writing

  • HTML and CSS

  • Canva graphic design

  • Adobe XD, InDesign, Lightroom and Photoshop

  • Microsoft Office Suite; Google Drive Suite

  • DSLR Photography

  • Twitter, Instagram, Facebook

  • New York State Drivers License & US Passport

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