Meet Birdfoot’s new Executive Director

Birdfoot is pleased to introduce Rebecca Crenshaw as the Festival’s Executive Director.

Rebecca’s appointment marks the end of a rigorous search that attracted an international pool of applicants, and the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the festival, in which Rebecca says she will “continue the transformational work Birdfoot has done to put chamber music at the forefront in New Orleans.”

Rebecca’s track record of leadership, arts advocacy, and music education work in New Orleans, is complemented by a commitment to community voice and impact that runs through everything she does. Birdfoot’s Board also noted Rebecca’s background uniquely equips her, in her own words, to “understand the intricacies of the New Orleans music experience as well as the expansiveness of the international arts community.”

Rebecca comes to Birdfoot from her current role as the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra’s Community and Engagement Manager where she directed and managed the orchestra’s Music for Life program. She is an alum of the Global Leaders Program, an executive graduate degree focused on social entrepreneurship and impact innovation, and previously worked within the New Orleans public schools, founding two string orchestra programs at Crocker Arts and Technology and then Homer Plessy Community School. She has additionally spent time performing, touring and recording as a musician herself (with Ever More Nest, Samantha Fish and Arcade Fire among others).

Reflecting on her appointment, Rebecca said, “I am thrilled to step into the role of Executive Director for the Birdfoot Festival. Building on the momentum of the past 10 years, Birdfoot is perfectly positioned to build on its unique spirit and innovative programming…With accessibility and engagement at the forefront, I look forward to continuing Birdfoot’s transformational mission to facilitate inspiration and creativity in artists and audiences from New Orleans and beyond. I am honored to follow in the footsteps of founding Executive Director Tracey Sherry and inspired to work alongside founding Artistic Director Jenna Sherry.”

Birdfoot Festival Board member and incoming Board President Kurt Weigle said, “Birdfoot is truly excited to welcome Rebecca to this position. Her expertise in community-based arts programming & education is a perfect fit for the Birdfoot ethos. She brings tremendous commitment, creativity and energy to the kind of work we do, and she is a musician on top of all of this. Rebecca understands the Birdfoot mission as if she had been here from our founding. I know she will lead Birdfoot to new heights.”

Artistic Director Jenna Sherry reacted by saying, “I greatly look forward to working together with Rebecca Crenshaw…The search process generated interest far beyond New Orleans but Rebecca clearly and immediately stood out for her perceptive ability to identify the questions that will animate Birdfoot’s next chapter, and her inclusive and process-driven approach to answering them. It is very exciting to welcome Rebecca to the Birdfoot team because she brings her own rich background and a fresh perspective and yet she is driven by the same questions and values that inspired Birdfoot’s founding.”

Board member Geoffrey Hamlyn commented that, “…As a proven, energetic leader with deep connections to our region, Rebecca is uniquely qualified to meet this moment for Birdfoot. I am so excited to see how she helps take the organization to new and exciting places!”

Founding Executive Director Tracey Sherry said, “I greatly look forward to helping Rebecca transition into taking the helm, and to seeing the festival’s next steps. I think she has exactly the energy, vision and abilities that Birdfoot needs going forward.”

Read the full press release and more about Rebecca here.