When I was five I attended my first performance of the Nutcracker. I remember that day vividly. My sisters and I dressed in our nicest outfits, bows in our hair. We arrived at the Kentucky Center just in time to pick up some Mentos from the gift shop before heading to our seats. I remember thinking how big the hall was, how fancy the seats seemed and how excited I was when the curtain finally opened and the show began. Throughout the whole performance, I was wide-eyed and mesmerized by the dancers, set design and story. The Nutcracker created an experience, and a family tradition, that I would always remember.
Throughout the years I attended numerous arts events both as an observer and a participant. I looked forward to school field trips to Stage One, and jumped at the opportunity to take art classes and piano lessons. Throughout each of these activities, what I loved most was the experience the arts created. And although I knew something had to go on behind the scenes to make these experiences possible, I gave little thought about it until I started NeXt! last summer.
Being part of NeXt! has allowed me to experience the arts from a new perspective. I’ve talked with the Executive and Artistic Directors from several of the Fund’s cultural partners and heard from Fund for the Arts’ board members and corporate donors. I’ve learned about the fundraising goals of both the Fund and cultural partners, and along the way, I’ve shared these experiences with a fantastic network of NeXt! classmates. These experiences have given me a greater appreciation for the Louisville arts community, the Fund for the Arts and the organizations, leaders and community members who make the arts possible.
Together through the arts, we really do create a great American city!