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From NeXt Member and Humana Production Design Consultant Tara Shelton:

I felt like a little girl again…bringing out the passion I have for the Arts by standing on the Whitney Hall stage of the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts; the same stage that has been used by many wonderful artists. That night, the same stage where the Brown Forman Nutcracker would take place, a big smile came upon my face; the little ballerina in me wanted to do leaps across the stage in the sparkling lights, but I had to refrain myself and focus. Focus Tara!

“Art is power” I heard, as I drew my focus back to Lisa Leet, Louisville Ballet Board President, as she was providing us information about the Louisville Ballet.

Art is Power. Art has played a very important role in my life! When I was a child, I was a shy kid but had a very creative mind. Art was able to change my life and give me POWER by making me the person I am today: confident, loving, passionate, caring and a leader.

Being a part of NeXt has opened my eyes to what Louisville has to offer and how critical and important the Arts are in the community. While being in NeXt, I have the opportunity to meet many great leaders in our community and work with the West Louisville Performing Arts Academy (WLPAA). By working with WLPAA, I learned Art can saves lives and Art gives us POWER. The fact that our community offers one of the most richest and vibrant Arts scene, makes me proud to be a Louisvillian. I would have never known before joining NeXt that we offer 1,500 events per year, which averages 3 events per day. Additionally, all are offered at an affordable price and are even FREE sometimes! I hope to never hear my friends or colleagues complain of nothing to do here in Louisville!

I have gained so much by participating in NeXt. It has helped me develop professionally and grow as a leader. Now, my conversations have changed among my friends about Art events offered in our community and attending those events. I look forward to what the future has in store for me as I continue to be a part of the 2016 NeXt class.

I want to thank our sponsor, Stoll Keenon Ogden, for personally giving me and others the opportunity to be a part of such a rich program.

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