From NeXt Member and Frost Brown Todd Attorney Liam Felsen:
I am proud to be a current member of the 2015-2016 NeXt class and grateful for the opportunity to feed the lifelong passion I have had for the Arts. Several years ago I started a new career as an attorney at Frost Brown Todd, giving up tenure and leaving my position as Associate Professor of Medieval English Literature at Indiana University Southeast. Music. Poetry. Art. Theatre (Shakespeare!!); all a central part of what I had taught for so long, and when I changed careers I was afraid that they would begin to drift away. As I began my legal career, I knew that I had to take active steps to continue cultivating a part of myself that had always been central to who I was and what I did.
NeXt gives me the opportunity to dive deeper into the Louisville Arts scene and to discover the wealth of visual and performing arts that the city has to offer. In just the first two months of the program I have begun to wallow in the Arts scene: I have met several Fund for the Arts board members, learned about many of the local Arts organizations, and even met Teddy Abrams at a private reception following the Louisville Orchestra season preview concert. Also, I have attended world-class events: the Louisville Orchestra’s powerful production of Bernstein’s Mass and the Louisville Ballet’s breathtaking performance of Coppéllia. I look forward to other experiences such as Peter and the Wolf and the Festival of American Music at the Louisville Orchestra; Balanchine at the Louisville Ballet; Peter and the Starcatcher and H.M.S. Pinafore at Actors Theatre; Kentucky Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, just to name a few.
Being in NeXt is already providing me with an opportunity to give back. Several of my NeXt colleagues and I are engaging in a year-long project to help the Louisville Youth Orchestra create an alumni database and a sustainable program for alumni relations and fundraising. As a father of five children between the ages of 10 and 17, I am keenly aware of the power that the Arts can have on children. And as a member of NeXt, I am learning that our local youth programs sorely need help to provide those experiential and educational services.
I sincerely thank the NeXt sponsors—Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC and Stock Yards Bank —whose contributions have made the NeXt program and its associated events possible. Like them, I am glad to be in a position to help and see this as the first step in a long process of doing so.