Next LogoApplications for Emerging Professionals Open April 1, 2015

The newly re-launched Fund for the Arts NeXt Program seeks to engage with 40 emerging professionals throughout the region with the goal of “Inspiring Arts Ambassadors for Life”. Applications for the program open April 1, 2015. The previously titled NeXt! Leadership Development Program is nationally recognized as an innovative approach to collaboration between corporate and Arts sectors.

“Much has changed in the last decade,” said Christen Boone, President & CEO of the Fund for the Arts. “The NeXt Program is simply evolving to fit a growing demand among young professionals. These new emerging leaders want to be engaged in the community and make a significant impact. They want to discover why Louisville is a great place to work, live, and raise a family.”

The re-launch comes on the heels of Stock Yards Bank & Trust Company joining corner stone partner Stoll Keenon Ogden, PLLC as a sponsor of the program. Through the NeXt Program, Stockyards Bank sponsors a series of events aimed at immersing young professionals in Louisville’s vibrant Arts scene.

“Engaging in the Arts is one of the most important things young professionals can do to make our community grow and thrive. That is why we believe the investment Stoll Keenon Ogden makes in the NeXt Program is important,” said Emily Pagorski, member of Stoll Keenon Ogden, PLLC and former Kentucky Shakespeare board member and NeXt graduate.

Fund for the Arts embarked on a total overhaul of the 8 year old NeXt! Leadership Development Program this fall with the help of a team from the Yum! IGNITES Louisville Challenge. Team members James Strange, III, Shane Uttich, Jill Wilcox, Erica Gabbard, Kevin Zinser, David Bryant, Sytisha Claycomb, and Erika Williams were vital to the success of the re-launch.

The NeXt Program will now span one year – down from the previous two year commitment. Monthly meetings and special Arts events will be the mainstay of the program as well as a promised “full immersion” in the Arts community.

Additionally, Arts-based projects are incorporated as part of the new program curriculum. Arts organizations from around the community will be able to submit an RFP to the NeXt Program. The Fund hopes to help emerging professionals connect to Arts organizations in new ways. An alumni level, NeXt-Gen Board will serve as the recruitment and engagement arm of the new program.

“We are inspiring life-long ambassadors of the Arts,” said NeXt Program Director Elissa Francis. “Our hope is by the end of the program young professionals will have a better understanding for where their talents are needed and what this community has to offer.”

For more information on the NeXt Program or to apply visit:

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