Meghan Mando

As the Relationship Development Manager, one of the best parts of my job is working with the NeXt! class. For those of you who don’t know, NeXt! is a leadership development program created by the Fund for the Arts with the hopes of preparing the next generation of leaders. Being young myself, I really love working with other young professionals that share my passion for community involvement. And since I’m new to the Fund for the Arts, we are learning all about the arts together!

I am so excited about this year’s incoming class – with participants from Brown-Forman to Greater Louisville Inc., this year’s class is invigorated and ready to get started! I’ve had dozens of e-mails from incoming class members asking about when orientation starts and what they can be doing now to prepare. This type of go-getter attitude inspires everyone at the Fund for the Arts, and we are reminded again about what a huge difference volunteers make. After all, the NeXt! class are some of our best ambassadors in the community.

Last year's Next! class visits Brown-Forman

Here at the Fund for the Arts, we have been putting together a diverse and fun schedule for the incoming class. NeXt! Participants will be learning about arts education in schools, sit in on a Fund for the Arts Board of Directors meeting, participate in a fundraising workshop, and attend panel discussions featuring top Louisville business leaders and individual donors. Throughout the year, NeXt! participants will also learn all about our allocations process before presenting an objective view to our Board of Directors during the allocation hearings. Not to mention NeXt! will also be attending performances by many of our cultural partners, including the Kentucky Opera, the Louisville Orchestra, the Louisville Ballet and Actors Theatre of Louisville.

First item on the agenda? A meet-and-greet party at the beautiful offices of program sponsor, Stoll Keenon Ogden. At this party, we will also announce the NeXt! class leadership for the 2012-2013 year. NeXt! was founded upon four pillars of leadership – leadership, relationship building, education and allocations. One senior is chosen to represent and chair each of these four pillars, and they do a great job of leading the class in these initiatives.

I am excited to embark on this adventure with you and look forward to helping inspire the Next! generation of Louisville leadership.

Look for future blog posts as our NeXt! participants tell us about their journey learning all about the arts!

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