After graduating college with a BFA in Fine Arts, I decided to hang out with my children and be a mom. Looking for free fun, I took my children to a passel of parks and a lot of libraries. One day when visiting the Monona Public Library I saw a HELP WANTED poster. The rest is history. I started working at the Monona Library in 1985 and as the Youth Services Coordinator since 1996. I love implementing and encouraging innovative services for children and their families. I enjoy reading teen and children’s adventure and survival books, realistic fiction, and nonfiction.

Over the years I have taken many classes, workshops, and attended conferences for storytelling. I’ve been a teller at many libraries and schools and have been invited to tell at the Riverbend Storytelling Festival, Wisconsin Storytellers Get Together, and Northlands Storytelling Conference. I also have Emcee experience at Northlands Conference, Wisconsin Storytellers Get-Together, and many public library shows. I coordinated and emceed a storytelling and musical entertainment venue for the 2012 Lake Monona Water Walk. I was nominated for the 2009 Wisconsin Lucy Beck Storytelling Award. I’ve told stories in Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, California, Minnesota, and Mexico. In addition to other venues, I’ve been invited to present workshops for South Central Library System, Winnefox Library System, the 4K Summer Institute, and Arrowhead Library System in MN.

I started facepainting for children at the Presque Isle Country Fair in the early 1980’s. I was still attending college and my sister-in-law was in charge of coordinating the family entertainment for the fair. I was hooked! I’ve done facepainting programs at libraries, schools, fairs, family reunions, corporate parties and more, ever since. I taught all three of my children how to facepaint and my daughter Janelle became the artist of the three of them. Janelle and I have even combined storytelling and facepainting for a Global Adventure themed show. One of the favorite comments I ever received was from a little boy who ran up to my booth at an event and exclaimed “Here you are! I have been looking all over the world for you!” Janelle not only paints for WendtWorks: Stories n Flight!, but she is also a painter for Tami Schroeder’s Funny Faces Family Entertainment, LLC.

With my family I canoe camp in Wilderness locations such as Canada and Upper Michigan. I travel with my husband to Disc Sports tournaments and I kayak Wisconsin rivers and lakes with my friends. I have two wonderful granddaughters and I am so excited about the storytelling and reading skills they have at such young ages (3 and 6 years old). I love spending every minute I can with my grandgirls; my husband says “If I can’t find Karen, I know where to find her.”