Kayla Castille, Public Affairs Coordinator


Narrate Conferences, Inc., announces Phoenix Rising, a 2007 academic conference on the famed boy wizard

NEW ORLEANS – The spirited city of New Orleans will be the setting for Phoenix Rising, an academic and educational conference on all things Harry Potter, to be held May 17-21, 2007.

This city of pageantry and revelry, herself being reborn in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, will welcome fans and academics from all over the globe to celebrate the best-selling book series by J.K. Rowling.

Phoenix Rising seeks to explore the Harry Potter phenomenon through academic programming – intellectual discussion and debate on the most famous boy wizard of his time. On top of these formal panels, presentations and roundtables, the conference adds exploratory education in a variety of forms, including games, fan fiction readings and an art gallery.

Phoenix Rising will step off on the evening of Thursday, May 17, 2007, with the Overture Dinner and Gallery Opening. Throughout the weekend, attendees will venture beyond the Sheraton New Orleans into the city’s famed French Quarter for keynote presentations and evening events, including a Masquerade Ball, at unique and historic locations.

At night, attendees are invited to curl up with a purple, squashy sleeping bag – available for purchase with their registration – to watch the Harry Potter films with a presentation by Vicky Dann, film instructor at New York University’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts.

And the Bayou Quidditch League is proud to present the Riverside Quidditch Classic, a fierce double-elimination tournament of professional teams.

Amy Tenbrink, lead event organizer for Phoenix Rising, said the conference is thrilled to bring tourism dollars to New Orleans as it rebuilds.

“New Orleans was always on our short list of places to host a conference, but we were worried that after the hurricane, the city wouldn’t be ready,” said Tenbrink, a lawyer from Denver, Colo. “But when we went down there and visited, we were so warmly welcomed, and people were so excited about our event, that it became our only choice.”

The theme of rebirth, of Harry Potter emerging from the devastating times that marked the two most recent novels, will infuse Phoenix Rising’s programming. As fans await the seventh and final book in this epic series, they will explore the hero’s journey to rise from the ashes into greatness through this conference.

Tenbrink and the entire conference staff bring vast event planning experience to Phoenix Rising. Most notably, they organized The Witching Hour, a 2005 Harry Potter conference in Salem, Mass., for a different non-profit organization.

Phoenix Rising is the first offering from Narrate Conferences, Inc., an educational non-profit corporation with the mission of putting on innovative and dynamic events for readers and scholars.

For more information on Phoenix Rising, visit, or contact Kayla Castille, public affairs coordinator, at