Have you ever heard the saying “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.”? I heard sometime in my early 20’s and for one reason or another it has stuck with me and comes into thoughts when I’m going through a stagnant phase; personally and / or professionally. It’s my intentional gut check and I believe it’s rather easy to follow. When / if I feel anything is off or something no longer promotes growth I have to stop, address the issue, and reset accordingly.
A part of growth is to learn new things that challenge your mind to further grow your knowledge and understanding of various topics. All things are relative to you as you are the person living your life. Your chance to grow and change your life is all up to you. No one else. Just YOU.
If you’re up for a challenge that will grow your professional and personal outlook and understanding, I have a program just for you. It’s the NeXt program with Fund for the Arts.
ABOUT – Throughout the program, NeXt Ambassadors will network with high profile community leaders, take on rewarding arts-focused projects that have a real impact on arts organizations, enjoy world-class art events, learn where their talents are most needed, and become a defining voice in the future of the arts. NeXt projects will span an array of areas, but will most often fall into the categories of: collaborative initiatives, audience development, event management, program implementation, business operations, marketing and communications, and philanthropy.
The 2018 NeXt Class will meet every third Thursday of each month beginning in September 2017 until graduation in June 2018.
Tuition for the program is $500; scholarships are available but limited and granted based on need. Applications will open Monday, May 8 and close June 30. Applicants will be informed of their application status in July.
If you have questions, please reach out to Sibel Solagan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out my lovely grad photo:
I’m not selling this to you as I do not gain anything for your application, this is not an endorsement from Fund for the Arts, this is my personal experience with exit interview questions that I hope you’ll take a moment to read.
Without further ado …
How would you describe your Next experience in one word? One sentence?
In one word: Impactful
In once sentence: Being a NeXt Ambassador for the Cultural Pass and a Liaison for Louisville Visual Art opened my mind to the importance of the connectivity of the arts community because of the impact that it has on everyone regardless of sex, race, age, geographical location, or income; the arts in our city has the power to evoke a shared bond that is like none other.
How did the NeXt program successfully help you to reach your goals?
My main objective in my career and life is to be of service to the people and things I love most. As a writer I’m naturally drawn to the arts and the NeXt program has introduced me to so many people that want to help inspire themselves and those around them, just as much as I do. Knowing that there is a community that believes life is more than the money we make but instead about how we live the life we have and do it with a creative outlet made me feel connected to something bigger than myself. Life is about how we live the hand we’re given and everything we do is a coping mechanism of some sort. Every program I’ve been exposed to through NeXt solidifies that belief. From Cultural Pass to Arts Match, FFTA helps so many demographics across the board and throughout the city. Goals are a checklist of items on our road to success. My definition of success is to know that I live a life where I help others breathe a little easier or help them feel connected to others. Knowing that I’ve done this through NeXt fulfills my success goals and for that I’m eternally grateful.
What is your favorite memory from your time as a NeXt Ambassador?
One favorite will be quite difficult to select but if I had to pick one it would be the liaison process. Meeting with LVA and learning about their organizations from a “behind the scenes” view and learning about the FFTA and their role with LVA and other organizations that apply for allocations opened my eyes to bigger processes within the funding for the arts. The monetary donations are on the surface and the support to the nonprofits is never ending.
Who was your favorite speaker at a NeXt session? What did they say that resonated with you?
My favorite speaker was Christen Boone. Interesting selection, I know, but it’s the truth. I knew of FFTA for years but wasn’t aware of the reach, impact, nor involvement from so many companies for all of the nonprofits that FFTA allocates fund towards. I had never heard Christen speak and as we learned so much on the TARC tour and my ability to work with her on the Cultural Pass team. I respect and admire her gumption for fundraising as well as her knowledge and insights that she gave the NeXt ambassadors.
What did you learn that you did not know?
I learned about the various programs that are available to benefit the community and grow the humanities of our city to enrich us with a knowledge and better understanding of the cultures that surround us in which we exist.
What did you learn as a NeXt Ambassador that you hope to carry on throughout future leadership opportunities in our community?
From the NeXt program I hope to take with me the importance of art in our region that benefits every age, race, color, creed, and sex. The quality of life for any society comes from nutrition and education. Nutrition is fed to us in the form of what we feed our bodies; food and culture. Education that we feed our bodies with ignites a new flame that teaches us how art is not just something we see, it’s something that we feel. I hope to take those lessons with me.
If you could volunteer with/serve on the board of one arts and/or cultural group which would it be and why?
If I had the opportunity to select a board to join I’d select Fund for the Arts. I thrive when I’m able to work with multiple contracts, clients, and causes. As a planning committee board member for Unbridled Eve Derby Gala and former Junior League of Louisville member, I’ve developed my skills through those groups and learned that the level of input that I receive from learning about different organizations, businesses, and people is best when fully activated in the form of variety. This variety also fuels the creative part of my work as a writer.