TRACEY WERNER SHERRY, Ph.D.—Executive Director Emeritus

Co-founder and Executive Director Emeritus of the Birdfoot Festival, Dr. Sherry brought her nearly thirty years of non-profit management experience to the festival. She laid the groundwork for Birdfoot’s operational systems, governance, marketing, development, production, and many other aspects of Birdfoot’s strategic and day-to-day operations. Under Tracey’s leadership, Birdfoot Festival presented ten international festivals of growing ambition, hosted Artist Residencies, received the 2017 Big Easy Arts Education Award for its Young Artist Program, and grew into a greatly anticipated annual event. She retired from the Birdfoot Festival in summer 2022 to focus on climate change and continued to assist the festival’s transition to new leadership. In 1994, she additionally co-founded the state and national-award-winning Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra, retiring from GNOYO’s Board of Directors after serving twenty consecutive years, and also co-founded the New Orleans String project.

She earned a B.A. from Swarthmore College, an M.Sc. from Carleton University, and a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Massachusetts. She led a year-long National Geographic/Earthwatch research expedition to Cocos Island, Costa Rica, and has taught at the University of Massachusetts, the University of New Hampshire, Tulane University, and for ten years as a Certified Suzuki Method Instructor.

In addition to chamber music, she and her husband Tom enjoy dancing, hiking, camping, canoeing, gardening, gawking at nature, and spending time with their family.