Volunteer Profile: Karen Ardery

ScnlQHSjKaren Ardery is thrilled to volunteer for the festival again for the 12th time! Outside the festival you’ll find Karen working as a sales associate for Century 21. In previous festivals you’ve probably seen her running around lending a hand to anyone that needed it, and working as the Driver Manager to take beyond excellent care of our guests at the festival! It’s the incredible hospitality of volunteers like Karen that has given our festival an unparalleled reputation in the filmmaking world. 


What’s your favorite movie snack?

Popcorn at the State Theater, of course!

What advice would you give to new volunteers?

Have fun, get to know the other volunteers and try to find a venue or job that is a good fit for you.  There is lots of opportunity, within the ranks of the festival, so try different things, and go outside your comfort zone.

What do you think makes the festival stand out from other film festivals?  

Year after year, our visiting filmmakers tell us, it is the personalized service they receive from my drivers, festival volunteers and our community, which is very unique, as they do not get the “red carpet treatment” at other festivals.  Our drivers make sure each of our filmmakers are well taken care of, and that they get to their film screenings on time.  If our filmmakers want to do some sightseeing, or have dinner at a certain restaurant, drivers will try to arrange that for them as well.  Our guests are amazed at the number of volunteers, and how well organized the festival is.  They also comment on how friendly everyone is and how beautiful Traverse City is, as most of them have never been here before.  

Volunteers are the true superstars and superheroes of the festival. When their powers and talents combine, we are able to put on a festival unrivaled for its friendliness and hospitality. Get to know more about these impressive incognitos, read their insider tips, and consider joining our volunteer family.