Karen Burton Horstman“If you lead people will follow” is a perfect description of Erie Art Museum board member, treasurer, and connector, Karen Burton Horstman. Although she is not artsy, she is extremely passionate about her role and believes in the museum’s mission of encouraging art in all of its forms.

Whether it’s hanging on the walls, listening to music or watching a performance, art is essential and offers an escape from every day life. Karen said, “Art is an important part of our community. I travel and art museums are a vibrant part of every community. Having an art as an outlet in communities is important for cities to thrive.”

Karen graduated from Penn State with a B.S. in accounting. She then spent four years in Washington, D.C. and received her CPA license. She subsequently earned her M.B.A. at the University of Pittsburgh before returning to Erie to run her family’s business. She is the Vice President of Burton Funeral Homes and Crematory, Inc.

The Erie Art Museum is grateful for Karen’s expertise and support. Not only does she support the museum financially, but in other ways as well. Karen turned 50 this year and celebrated her milestone birthday at the museum. In lieu of gifts, she asked her friends to support the museum. In addition, Karen has also invited her own friends to sponsor events and become immersed in the art community.

For Karen, the Erie Art Museum is not a just a museum. It’s a museum that engages its community. Karen said, “The museum is an eye-opening experience. Even if you aren’t artistic, you should try a class here or come to one of our events and see our unique programming and what we do.”

Karen admits, “Before I was a Board member, I had only been to the museum once. I think the Erie Art Museum has a lot to offer that people are unaware of. We do a lot to bring out different perceptions and different views of art in all of its forms.”

Outside of work, Karen serves on the Catholic Foundation Board, the Penn State Behrend Council of Fellows, and Rotary Club. She also enjoys spending time with her husband, Mark and their two children, Julia, 17 and Jon, 15. They love to travel, boat and waterski. With a busy schedule, Karen still finds time for running and tennis.

A wonderful ambassador of the Erie Art Museum,
we are thankful for all of the extra miles Karen has gone for us.

If you’d like to learn more about making a gift to the Erie Art Museum, please email Christine Eddy, Director of Development, or call ph 814.459.5477.