Kerry Madden-Lunsford

Author Kerry Madden-Lunsford reads to preschoolers and adults on Oct. 11 at Rhea Public Library. Her appearance was sponsored by the Paris-Henry County Arts Council.



Krider Idol returned to the Krider Performing Arts Center after a two-year hiatus, in a joint production on Oct. 5. The young performers were amazingly talented and entertaining, and the audience was impressed by their virtuosity.

There were three vocalists in the 9-12 age group, three duos in the group category and seven vocalists in the 13-18 age group. All of them qualified in auditions the week before.

The winner of the younger category was Keaton Roberson, winners in the duo category were Roberson and Owen Wade, and the winner of the older category was Katie Barnett.

Look for the next Krider Idol in the fall of 2020. 

On Oct. 10-11, Kerry Madden-Lunsford, author of the picture book Ernestine’s Milky Way, visited Rhea and Paris elementary schools for two days of readings, questions and writing workshops.

Students in kindergarten through fourth grades had a chance to interact with her after two weeks of studying and participating in activities from the book, such as making cornbread and butter from heavy cream.

Their excitement, interest and rapt attention were rewarding to see.

A Parent Engagement Night, emceed by Paris Special School District Supt. Norma Gerrell, on Thursday at KPAC, where Kerry spoke about her inspiration and journey to becoming a published author, was followed by a reception, where Kerry interacted with students and their parents.

The director’s, principals’ and teachers’ advance work and organization was exemplary, and the council thanks them for their diligence.

Kerry’s performance and school visitations were funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Tennessee Arts Commission.

To honor Tennessee Crafts Week, a statewide initiative to recognize Tennessee crafts, the Arts Council presented “Winners Revisited,” a retrospective display at Rhea Public Library of the ribbon winners from last spring’s 34th Artists Showcase and 27th Photo Showcase, along with visual displays of recent Arts Council activities. 

It’s not too early to plan your photo submissions for the 28th Photo Showcase opening on March 8, 2020, with a reception to announce the winners, and remaining in place until April 3.

Submissions are due March 6 and 7 and judging is on March 7. The event will be at Rhea Public Library. 

Our 2020 Broadway bus trips to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center have been announced.

These trips are an easy and convenient way to see live performances of well-known and well-loved shows, as the transportation and parking are handled for you.

The choices are “My Fair Lady” on Feb. 8, “Jesus Christ Superstar” on March 7 and “Escape to Margaritaville” on May 9. The buses are always sold out, so plan early.

For prices and more information, please call the Arts Council office at 642-3955 or send an email to

Our next trivia night is Oct. 28 at Perrylodgic Brewing. Food is available at 5:30 p.m., with trivia starting at 6:30. 

It’s Halloween, so show off your costumes. There may be a prize for the best one.

Last, and most important, because it’s our readers and community that make these events possible, is that the Arts Council is in the midst of our annual membership drive.

Your membership, at any amount, is the basis for our treasury. It’s the foundation on which we build our events.

It helps to support the long-standing ones, such as the Photo Showcase and the fifth-grade trips to live performances at TPAC (sometimes these trips expose Henry County students to Nashville for the very first time), and the basis for new ones, such as the dance instruction program at the REAL Hope Youth Center, and the Author in the Schools program we just completed.

Our mission is to promote, encourage and stimulate the practice and appreciation of the arts in Henry County, and we work very hard to honor our community support. Please consider joining us.


MEREDITH VAJDA is treasurer for the Paris-Henry County Arts Council. Artyfacts appears monthly on The Post- Intelligencer’s Weekend page. The Arts Council may be reached at 642-3955.

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