Shelly Leavens earned a B.A. in anthropology and international studies with a minor in German from Penn State University, and a M.A. in museology from the University of Washington. She has worked in public history, museums and the arts for the last 12 years, including the Burke Museum, the Microsoft Art Collection, the Drachen Foundation and the Center for Wooden Boats. She joined Gage Academy of Art as Curator and Manager of Public Events in January 2012. Leavens has also curated independently, including the Kirkland Arts Center and Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival in Seattle. Leavens has taught at the University of Washington in the Museum Studies Certificate Program, and numerous Oral History workshops in the Puget Sound region.