Commissioners and Staff

Dr. Shawn Pitts

Term: 2016-2021, Congressional District 7

Dr. Shawn Pitts is a founder and current member of the Arts in McNairy board of directors.  As an active community volunteer, Shawn has served on numerous charitable, economic and community development, cultural and tourism boards in his native Southwest Tennessee.

Prior to his 2016 appointment as a commissioner, Shawn had a relationship with the TN Arts Commission as a frequent grant review panelist, presenter at statewide and regional conferences, and as a consultant in the TN Arts Commission peer advisor network.  He is currently serving his second term on the board of Humanities Tennessee, and his second term as President of the Tennessee Folklore Society.

In 2012 Shawn was recognized with an award from the Henry Reed Fund, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress to complete documentation and preservation of an archive of culturally significant Tennessee sound recordings from the mid twentieth century. He is a musician, and an avid community scholar, researcher and writer on subjects related to music heritage and Tennessee folk traditions.

Shawn is a Doctor of Chiropractic in private practice in Selmer, Tennessee where he resides with his wife, Joanna who is also a passionate community arts advocate and volunteer. They have two grown daughters, Emily Pitts-Donahoe of South Bend, Indiana and Allie Pitts of Memphis, Tennessee.