Barb Henry

Barb Henry has a few items on her plate.
It's mid-September and she is working as interim manager at the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, today means a debriefing from the season opener, pulling together sales figures from that concert, and submitting a grant proposal. The symphony office, where she's been for seven years working in fundraising, is undergoing a bit of a change since the executive director, operations manager, and sales and marketing manager all left within weeks of each other.
As if her workplace isn't keeping her busy, she is also serving as chairman of the Friends of the Snite Museum's Annual Christmas Benefit Dinner Dec. 3 at the Morris Inn.  "Working on the benefit is actually fun, and Mary (Rattenbury, program director for the Friends) is terrific; she keeps everybody on task," Barb says, downplaying her own role. It was months ago when Barb, Mary and the committee sat down to plan the direction of the benefit and discuss who the honoree would be the late Rev. Theodore Hesburgh. 
"It was a very interesting and fun discussion," she says.  "It will be a real celebration of Father Ted's contribution to the arts at Notre Dame. Several of us commented that when he died, a lot of wonderful things were said about his enormous contributions to the church, the world and the university, but little was shared about his significant contribution to the arts at Notre Dame.  Father Ted never missed one Christmas Benefit, ever."
A lifelong resident of South Bend, Barb has long had an interest in the arts, calling herself "an appreciater, not a practitioner." Barb graduated from Saint Mary's College and jokes that if anyone ever suggested she'd stay in South Bend after graduation, she'd call them crazy.  She and her husband Geoff, a Notre Dame graduate, ended up staying and raising their daughter, Jane, here.  Saint Mary's has been a fixture in Barb's life as she worked for nearly 17 years at Saint Mary's as director of alumnae relations.  Jane is a freshman this year. 
"I really do appreciate South Bend.  It's such a nice community," she says.  "And I have learned how important the arts are to a community, especially to the education of children."
Numerous Snite Museum functions focus on youth, just one of the reasons Barb finds the Museum so impressive. "I have really been involved (with the Snite Museum) for a short time, but I am very impressed with everything about it and I look forward to the time when the museum collection will be housed in a facility that is more accessible to the public and will really show off the collection."

Becky Emmons, Friends Board of Directors

October, 2015