Karen Espenant works as a producer/director/writer but has performed musically before thousands worldwide — adding to her evolving entertainment career.
Espenant began working with Hummingbird Productions/Liberty Films in January, 2014, and works independently on projects with other local Production companies TownSquare Pictures and Music City Films. She serves as a producer on the It’s a Wonderful Life sequel now in development at Hummingbird Productions/Liberty Films. She has produced, directed and worked on music videos, short films, documentaries, and feature films locally.
In addition to serving as Producer at Hummingbird Productions/Liberty Films, Espenant recently established the Roseapple Entertainment, LLC, in 2015, with partner Cynthia Minor , Roseapple Entertainment is an independent, Nashville, TN-based film and media production company. Under the auspices of Espenant and Minor, the company’s mission is to make high quality, concept-driven films and entertainment for a worldwide marketplace. Their long-term goals are to develop and produce a number of projects simultaneously; to influence the markets for those productions; to balance the predictable returns of theatrical movies with the upside potential of cable, television and convergent technological markets; and to maintain intellectual property and copyright.
As a renaissance woman, Espenant follows her passion for the Arts in film and media production, as well as music and the performing arts. She first appeared on screen in minor roles in the Oscar-winning film The Last Castle (2001) starring Robert Redford, and Brute Force [retitled] (1996). Her first film performance was as a teen extra in another Oscar-winning production, the coming-of-age film Breaking Away (1979). She has also performed on the Nashville TV series in extra roles.
Espenant distinguished herself in a career at Vanderbilt University in Neuroscience/Neuro-psychopharmacology, and in media and administration for The International College of Neuro-psychopharmacology (CINP) where she worked with elite researchers and clinicians, including many Noble Prize winning scientists. The CINP holds basic, clinical and translational scientific congresses and meetings surrounding the central nervous spectrum across the globe. Following this, she worked in corporate media, organizational development and learning for several years.
As a writer, journalist and editor, she won numerous awards from The Society of Professional Journalists, national newspaper publication award, and co-authored Stories in the Lives of Learners. Espenant also garnered awards and recognition in oratory, as well as Performance Poetry and Recitation.
Espenant is currently pursuing an MFA/MBA dual degree in Film and Creative Media at Lipscomb University, but graduated from Tennessee State University (1997) after completion of an Honors Degree in Speech, Communications and Theater (BA), with a concentration in Radio and Television Production and Convergent Technologies. Espenant minored in both Music -Vocal Performance and French. She graduated summa cum laude as a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Delta Phi and Golden Key honor societies.
Born Karen Elaine Jeffries in rural Indiana, she moved to Nashville, TN, the Third City of Arts and Entertainment in the 80s. She later studied with renowned soprano Diana Poe, and performed with the Nashville Symphony Chorus and the Nashville Chorus for several years. She also had an opportunity to perform with the Fisk Jubilee Singers, a highlight in her performance opportunities. The 90s were a boom decade vocally, when she performed, also, as a solo artist. Espenant performed as a lead vocalist with the band "Two Rivers" that toured in France (2000), too. She sang in choirs, choruses and ensembles, performing and recording with Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, and most currently Brad Paisley.
Name: Karen Espenant
Lives in: Nashville, Tennessee
Company: Hummingbird Productions
Occupation: Director, Filmmaker and Producer