After leaving Saco, she went to Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. While at college, she became involved in the local coffeehouse circuit. At the same time, Curtis worked as a waitress and social worker while continuing to write and perform.
She moved to Boston, Massachusetts in the early 1990s, after deciding to make a career out of music. She and her partner are married and have two adopted daughters.
Curtis has toured extensively in North America in support of her albums, including playing at several festivals, such as the Newport Folk Festival. She has also supported, among others, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Dar Williams, Girlyman and Bonnie Raitt. She also played on the final Lilith Fair tour.
Her songs have featured in Alias, Dawson's Creek, Felicity and Chicago Hope, as well as in several independent films. She won the Best Album Award from the Gay and Lesbian American Music Awards for her self-titled 1997 album. In 2006, she and Mark Erelli won the Grand Prize in the International Songwriting Competition for their song People Look Around, a song written in response to the hurricane Katrina disaster.
Curtis has been with her partner Liz for 10 years. The two married in 2005. They adopted two girls together, Lucy and Celia. They family lives outside of Boston.