Michelle Pendoley | Founder of Pen Communications
Veteran arts administrator and communications professional Michelle Pendoley founded Pen Communications in 2020 with the belief that cultural organizations need smart communications strategy and expert PR services.
Most recently, Michelle proudly served as the PR Director at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts—the nation’s largest, busiest, and most prestigious cultural center—where she oversaw PR for institutional initiatives as well as non-classical programming (Ballet/Dance, Hip Hop, Jazz, Comedy). Major accomplishments include leading PR for the opening of the REACH, the Center’s historic campus expansion, and executing PR for high-profile events such as the Kennedy Center Honors.
Additional career highlights include serving as the Communications Director for the Wolf Trap Foundation, where she built an outstanding team responsible for earned media, owned and paid social media, and multimedia, in addition to institutional messaging. She's also held positions with Washington National Opera, where she oversaw PR for its historic merger with the Kennedy Center, and the Baltimore Symphony, where she cut her teeth as part of a small team that launched the music directorship of Marin Alsop, the first woman to lead a major American orchestra.
Michelle holds a Bachelor’s degree in Politics with a Music minor from Pomona College (Claremont, California); a Master’s in Arts Management from American University (Washington, D.C.); and a Master’s level certificate in Corporate Communications from Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.).
Few things excite Michelle more than a well-sung musical or a live orchestra performance. Outside of work, her creative pursuits include writing, baking and gardening, and she is an occasional volunteer for animal rescue organizations and other causes. Michelle, her husband and their small menagerie of pets live in Arlington, Virginia, just one stop stoplight from downtown Washington, D.C.