Art Works Blog

Art Works Podcast: Kerry Henderson

Map of the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice. Image by Nancy Howell

This week’s podcast: What does an opera singer living in a small New York town do when he learns the local playground needs new equipment? Well, if he’s Kerry Henderson, he proposes putting on a concert with his friends and fellow opera singers, Maria Todaro and Louis Otey. So, in the best Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney tradition, they put on a show and raised the money needed. In fact, it was such a good show that the townspeople asked them to make it a yearly event. The singers obliged, and that single concert morphed into the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice. Now in its second year, the festival has grown into a four-day, 20-event celebration of the human voice in all its glory. The Phoenicia International Festival of the Arts presents singing performances, baroque and choral music, the vocal arts of traditional cultures, and a full-length opera (this year, it was Mozart’s Don Giovanni). So, how do these three administrative neophytes---if highly talented singers---put together a four-day festival? According to Kerry Henderson, it takes a village. [3:20]



Attention festival fans! Next week, the new issue of NEA Arts hits the web with an issue devoted to festivals. Features include an interview with the director of the Telluride Film Festival, a story about Chicago's Printer's Row Lit Fest, audio from the Words and Music Festival, and a photographic slideshow from Make Music New York. NEA Arts will be posted on Friday, October 28---check it out at!

For more opera, join us on October 27 when the 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors award ceremony takes place at 7:30 p.m. at the Sidney Harman Hall, in downtown Washington, DC. If you can’t make it to Washington for the event, don’t despair! We are webcasting it live. Click here for more information about this free event and the live webcast.


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