March 11, 2019—To celebrate AIR’s 30th birthday, we put out a call for nominations to bring in new and old AIRsters who would benefit from a membership but may not be able to afford one. Needless to say, we’re so grateful for the warm response and are pleased to introduce you to the 30 members through a series of lightning-short profiles. Read on to meet Katy Henriksen in this installment—and make sure to check out past spotlights!
1) Where are you based and what do you do?
I’m based in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and work full time as the classical host and arts director for NPR affiliate KUAF 91.3 FM. In addition to hosting two hours of daily classical music I also produce interviews and features. I’m in development to launch an interviews forward music podcast for the amazing podcasting network Critical Frequency. The focus is on music that falls through the cracks because it’s not easily classifiable and will be a place where art, music and literature collide.
2) A piece of yours (in any medium!) that you would like to share?
I write a lot of print features too. Here’s an essay I loved writing for a magazine called Arkansas Life. It really gets to the heart of my complicated relationship of being someone from the South.
3) What draws you to storytelling?
I’ve had my nose in a book ever since I can remember and love observing and listening. Storytelling helps us all understand what it is to be human. It’s a way to connect and revel in this messy splendor. The opportunity to share stories in the form of features on artists, writers, composers and thinkers is amazing. I love sharing those stories.
4) What’s playing on your radio/audio streaming service right now?
Hahaha, it would be easier to say what’s NOT playing. There’s a new music label called New Amsterdam that puts out remarkable albums that I keep returning to. The latest is the debut release from the Aizuri Quartet, featuring all contemporary compositions. I recently put together an epic mix of nearly three hours of music that features everything from a scorching Nina Simone to a hazy twinkly Cranberries song that takes me back to high school in the 1990s to the girl group and garage rock sounds of La Luz to a lesser known composer Johan Halvorsen’s remarkable passacaglia.
5) Hard-at-work-on-a-project snack of choice?
A cardamom oat milk latte is my go-to these days.