Barnett, a native of Massachusetts, has been in her post at the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council, where she leads a vibrant arts community, for 24 years. The Council offers performances, educational programs, and arts funding opportunities for the West Texas city of 110,000 residents. As executive director, Barnett has established the Center for Contemporary Arts, a children's theater series, an outdoor sculpture exhibit, and numerous other programs. She was recently honored for her contributions to the arts by the city of Abilene.
She previously worked for the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) as a grants program associate, and has also served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and the TCA.
Barnett received her B.A. from Smith College and a Master's in management and human relations from Abilene Christian University.