Louisville, KY (July 27, 2022) – Today, Fund for the Arts announced the NeXt! Ambassador leadership development program class of 2022 – 2023. NeXt! Ambassadors will complete the program prepared to serve as effective, transformative board members and volunteer leaders for arts organizations. The program will begin on September 8, 2022, and will culminate in a graduation ceremony on May 25, 2023.

Stock Yards Bank returns in 2022-23 as the Presenting Sponsor of the NeXt! Ambassador program with a commitment to building transformative arts leaders of the future. The NeXt! Ambassador program is dedicated to preparing a new generation of emerging professionals for volunteer leadership roles within the Greater Louisville and Southern Indiana arts community. The program leads ambassadors through an immersive experience in which they develop necessary skills, build diverse relationships, apply lessons learned, and volunteer with local arts organizations. The program will conclude with a board matching event to support arts organizations and new leaders making immediate connections. Alumni of the program will be invited to participate as well.

The 2022-23 NeXt! Ambassadors are:

  • Maggie Carnes; The Trevor Project
  • Nicholas Dunigan; Fifth Third Bank
  • Melissa Francisco; Brown-Forman
  • Michael Maloff; Frost Brown Todd
  • Ben Nohalty; Stock Yards Bank & Trust
  • Breana Owens; KY Select Properties
  • Joanna Peyron; Humana Inc.
  • Emily Rombach; Humana Inc.
  • Jane Rudnick; Spalding University
  • Brittany Ruehling; KFC US/Yum! Brands
  • Erin Shaughnessy; Dressman Benzinger LaVelle
  • Kaitlin Smith; Beam Suntory
  • Natalie Smith; University of Louisville College of Business
  • Trent Taylor; Dinsmore & Shohl LLP
  • Lacey Trautwein; Belle of Louisville Riverboats
  • Krista Wilhite; Brown-Forman
  • Whitney Wood; Louisville MSD
  • Xinyi Yan; Brown-Forman

“One of the best ways to help shape the arts world is to join a board and raise your voice! NeXt! is so important to me because it helped me develop those skills and work towards making a difference,” said Kiana Del, NeXt! Class of 2020.

The 2022-23 NeXt! Ambassadors represent a variety of professional industries and experiences and their inclusion as volunteer and board leaders will significantly benefit Greater Louisville’s arts and culture sector.

Andre Kimo Stone Guess, President and CEO of Fund for the Arts adds, “The NeXt! Ambassador Leadership Development program builds a clear path for interested young adults to learn about the arts ecosystem, understand what organizations look to from board leadership, and see themselves directly in the arts. Fund for the Arts is proud to invest in future volunteer arts leaders and we can’t wait to see all that this year’s class will do.”

In addition to the new class of NeXt! Ambassadors, Fund for the Arts is also celebrating three newly elected NeXtGen Board officers. NeXtGen is made up of former NeXt! Ambassadors who work to cultivate resources and opportunities that inspire the next generation of arts leaders. They play an integral role in planning for and facilitating the NeXt! program each year and support the broader arts community through volunteer and networking events. The newly elected board officers are Will Hollis, President; Kiana Del, President-Elect; and Carolyn Purcell Michener, Secretary.

Will Hollis, NeXtGen President, said, “I am a supporter of the Fund and NeXtGen because of the broad reach of programs throughout the community. As a Louisville transplant, the Fund has introduced me to places and faces throughout town I would have never discovered on my own. This year’s class of Ambassadors is a terrific reflection of the community and we are so excited to get started serving arts nonprofits across the area.”

To learn more about the NeXt! Ambassador program, visit www.fundforthearts.org/Next/

About Fund for the Arts

Fund for the Arts is a regional nonprofit with the mission to contribute to the overall health and well-being of our community by generating resources for, investing in, and supporting our local arts, artists, and arts organizations. The Fund envisions a healthy and vibrant community where everyone embraces the art that exists in our lives every day, everyone contributes to the well-being of our arts community, and it is understood that everyone belongs to the arts community. The organization facilitates the largest arts grant program in Kentucky and it conducts one of the two oldest united arts campaigns in the country. For more information, visit www.fundforthearts.org

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