Born in Co. Galway, Karen Dervan is a graduate of NUI Cork and the University of Limerick, where she studied Music, English and Irish.
Her career to date has seen her working as a professional viola player and music/events producer throughout Ireland and abroad.
Primarily a classical music performer with orchestras and ensembles, Karen has also enjoyed forays into rock and pop music, most notably the 80s music string quartet Retrospect, which she founded in 2013, and with the post-rock collective 3epkano.
She curated and produced the celebrated Kaleidoscope salon music series from 2014 until 2020. In 2019, Karen became the first Development Officer for a new Music Generation department in Galway City.
To more deeply pursue her quest for social justice and equality, Karen joined the Gaisce team in April 2021 to work as their Youth Justice Project Officer.
On working with Gaisce, Karen says “I’m delighted to have joined the Gaisce team. To say every staff member here has shared values of equality, inclusion and social justice is a clichéd understatement but Gaisce staff genuinely live and breathe those values. Their work in the Irish Prison System is particularly inspiring and clearly shows how Gaisce commits itself to a long-term vision of a more progressive and equitable society”.