2015 Looking Bright for 47 Knight Arts Challenge Recipients

Written By Josie Gulliksen
December 9, 2014 at 1:47 PM

2015 Looking Bright for 47 Knight Arts Challenge Recipients

The John and James L. Knight Foundation made 47 arts-based groups and organizations very happy for their prospects in 2015 by doling out a total of $2.29 million to them.

With nearly 1,200 ideas submitted, the winning 47 had what it took when answering the question “What’s your best idea for the arts?” in the most compelling fashion, in just one paragraph. That was the only requirement. Well that, and some truly creative ideas.

Some of the projects strive to bring the arts out of the traditional performance space and into the community in public places while others are expanding on already existing projects.

Pioneer Winter’s Grass Stains project, awarded $20,000, will present site-specific works throughout Miami that are free and open to the public. With their $150,000, Bas Invitational plans to take their Weird Miami tours national to Los Angeles, New York, and Detroit among other cities.

Pop-ups are all the rage so Exile Books was granted $50,000 for the Pop-up Art Bookstore, showcasing self-published, limited edition books along with other small publications in an effort to create a debate and discussion about independent publishing.

Looking to expand the reach of last year’s event, the organizers of Buskerfest Miami, which brings musicians to unlikely locations like Metromover stations as well as underutilized parks and plazas, received $10,000.

“We are flattered to be in such good company and look forward to continuing to bridge partnerships with other like-minded organizations in town,” said Amy San Pedro, co-founder of Buskerfest. “The Knight Foundation support will help us produce a third annual festival and also expand our programming, bringing more local artists out into public spaces to be seen and heard by their hometown audience.”

The dance studio Inkub8, where workshops for dance groups auditioning for ScreenDance Fest were held, received $30,000 for creating a lab space for choreography, feedback forums, and workspace.

MDC Live Arts was awarded $50,000 for a new project expressed. “Thanks to this grant from the Knight Foundation, MDC Live Arts is thrilled to give voice to veterans through our project Basetrack, which includes a photo exhibition, creative writing workshops offered to local veterans, and a multi-disciplinary theater piece that uses photos and videos shot in Afghanistan and text based on a marine’s actual words,” said Executive Director Kathryn Garcia. “We hope to raise awareness and focus attention on the issues facing veterans post-deployment, as well as promote active dialogue between military and civilian populations.”

Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to the leaders of the Knight Arts Challenge for awarding $25 million in funding to arts groups in just seven years of the program’s existence.

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