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Dr. Jason Roseberry, Chief Innovation Officer, Five-Star Technology Solutions

It was NeXt Session #2 for the Class of 2018 on October 19.  This session brought us to the Commonwealth Theatre Center where we enjoyed the hospitality of Charlie Sexton (CTC Artistic Director), Alison Huff (CTC Managing Director), and Julane Havens (CTC Associate Artistic Director).  The day started with a Q & A with Todd P. Lowe – the Fund for the Arts Chairman of the Board.  Mr. Lowe shared one of his first arts experiences (playing the trombone at three years old) and set the stage for the day by explaining why he believes the arts should be central to every community.  He urged NeXt ambassadors to be advocates for the arts, and seek employees with arts backgrounds.  Mr. Lowe made it clear that businesses need more people who are creative problem-solvers so we can avoid more of “the same old thinking.”

Mr. Sexton was then joined by Julane Havens who helped lead the NeXt Ambassadors through some acting training exercises.  Betsy, Kevin, and Christine got in on the action first with an intense story-telling game, but everyone got a chance to participate in a physical acting game called “Three Irish Duels.”

Fund for the Arts President and CEO, Christen Boone, stopped in to say hello right before we all headed into a “Deep Dive” into the impact of arts with Kat Abner, Fund for the Arts Impact Officer.  Mrs. Abner explained to us that the world of philanthropy is changing.  Donors are becoming more restrictive with the donations, and wanting evidence that the money they have contributed is making an impact in some way.

This has led Fund for Arts to ask some big questions:

  • “How do we invest money in areas that will have the greatest change?”
  • “How do we help other groups do the same thing?
  • “How can the arts best serve the community?”

Mrs. Abner then led us through a presentation where she demonstrated how the Fund for Arts is attempting to “Connect the Dots” in partnership with the Greater Louisville Project and Imagine Greater Louisville 2020.  She explained that the “Imagine” plan identified five priorities, 15 strategies, and 56 actions for the community.  These priorities include access, cultivation, education, diversity, and promotion.  Mrs. Abner went through each of these priorities and explained how the Fund for the Arts is hoping to measure their impact for each one.  Finally, she explained that Fund for the Arts is currently piloting a measurement tool with 40 local non-profits with hopes to expand the tool next fall.  It was exciting to hear about this ambitious and important work – especially since we are the first city in the country to attempt such a task!

We ended the day meeting with our respective NeXtGen Mentors and digging into our group outreach projects.  No disrespect to others groups, but I am definitely in the best one.  Those kiddos at Maryville Elementary in Bullitt County better get ready for some awesome arts experiences!  Some lucky ambassadors got the chance to wander over to Ward 426 to unwind after the session, but this guy had offspring transportation duties.  Looking forward to getting back together with this amazing group of people on November 16!

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