Mrs. Karen Pence
As Second Lady of the United States, Karen Pence works to bring attention to issues facing children and families by shining the spotlight on the mental health profession of art therapy. Art therapy is facilitated by art therapists who use art media as a method of treatment for people experiencing developmental, medical, educational, and social or psychological impairment. Those who benefit from art therapy include individuals who have survived trauma resulting from combat, abuse, and natural disaster; people with adverse physical health conditions such as cancer, traumatic brain injury, and other health disability; and individuals with autism, dementia, depression, and other disorders.
Karen Pence, wife of Vice President Mike Pence, devoted 25 years in the classroom as an elementary school teacher before becoming the First Lady of Indiana on January 14, 2013 when her husband was sworn in as the 50th Governor. As Second Lady, Mrs. Pence will continue to bring attention to children and art therapy programs.
Mrs. Pence is an artist and her specialty is watercolors of homes and historical buildings.
She was the honorary chair of the Art Therapy Initiative at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health in Indianapolis and is a member of Riley Children’s Foundation. She also serves as a board member for Tracy’s Kids, an art therapy program for several children’s hospitals in the Washington, D.C. area. She has observed art therapy programs in Israel, Canada, Japan, and Germany.
Mrs. Pence also traveled throughout Indiana as the state’s official Bicentennial Ambassador. In this position, she played a key role in celebrating Indiana’s 200th birthday in 2016.
In her role as First Lady of Indiana, Mrs. Pence created the Indiana First Lady’s Charitable Foundation. The Foundation was a 501 (c) 3, established with the purpose to encourage and support youth and families of Indiana. The beneficiaries include individuals, schools, communities, and families, along with arts organizations. The Foundation’s board awarded over $600,000 in grants to charities serving Hoosiers in all 92 counties.
Mrs. Pence brought awareness to many causes by supporting and participating in over 40 initiatives as First Lady of Indiana.
Mrs. Pence earned a B.S. and M.S. in Elementary Education from Butler University in Indianapolis. She is a Blue Star mom with a son in the United States Marine Corps. Mrs. Pence and Vice President Mike Pence have been married since 1985 and are proud parents of their adult children, Michael and his wife Sarah, and daughters Charlotte and Audrey.
Follow Mrs. Pence on Twitter at @SecondLady.