The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

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    Artist Nick Cave invades Detroit for ‘biggest, baddest’ performance series

    April 22, 2015, 11:05 a.m., Posted by Laura Mott

    Now through the fall, Detroit will become the backdrop for artist Nick Cave’s most ambitious project to date, including seven months of events and his first solo exhibition at Cranbrook Art Museum, all funded by the Knight Arts Challenge. Here Cranbrook Curator Laura Mott writes about Cave’s first stop in the city, where he traveled around the city in his signature embellished costumes known as Soundsuits.

    Everywhere he goes, artist Nick Cave brings with him explosions of energy, color and creative force. Last week, we got our first taste of what the project “Nick Cave: Here Hear” is bringing to Detroit this year. Cranbrook Art Museum and Nick Cave staged the first round of Soundsuit Invasion Photo Shoots in locations around Detroit.

    The resulting photographs will create an extra-large postcard book titled “Nick Cave: Greetings From Detroit.” The book will feature Nick Cave in Soundsuits at each location, with photography by Detroiter Corine Vermeulen and designed by Bob Faust.

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    Boot camp for entrepreneurs boosts minority businesses in Detroit

    April 21, 2015, 4:40 p.m., Posted by Julie Edgar

    David Blaszkiewicz, president and CEO, Invest Detroit; Katy Locker, program director/Detroit, Knight Foundation; and Rodrick T. Miller president and CEO, Detroit Economic Growth Corp., present awards to winning contestants. Photos courtesy Detroit Economic Growth Corp.

    Ruth Bell was so nervous about pitching Chugga’s, her wholesale bread-baking company, she had to be shoved into the room where some of Detroit’s power brokers—people with the venture capital she needs to grow her business—waited to hear her presentation last week. Yet, moments later, she had the crowd chanting for her Monkey Bread, pull-apart, braided loaves that are free of artificial ingredients and come in flavors such as Rum Raisin and Zesty Lemon.

    “What time is it?” she repeatedly asked the audience of about 100 people, including a panel of judges that had come to award $20,000 in seed money. “It’s Monkey Bread time!” they responded. (Monkey Bread, for those not in the know, is a Southern delicacy named after the fruit of the African baobab tree.)

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    Government’s trust conundrum

    April 21, 2015, 10 a.m., Posted by Jonathan Sotsky

    Over the past several years, an increasing number of governments, businesses, social sector organizations and technologists have supported efforts to make government data more accessible and useful. Knight Foundation has actively supported this growing Open Government movement, funding organizations such as Sunlight Foundation and Code for America as well as hosting a Knight News Challenge focused specifically on Open Government.

    Yet, Open Government data is not something on the minds of most people according to a study released today by Pew Research Center. In the report “Americans’ Views on Open Government Data,” which was funded by Knight Foundation, only 31 percent of people said they could think of either a positive example of the government providing data or a negative example where the government did not provide enough useful data. Taken conversely, that means 69 percent of people are not thinking much about government data.

    Even when accounting for the public’s generally low consciousness of government data and initiatives underway to improve its accessibility and utility, the report clearly shows that Americans believe government at all levels could do a better job releasing data. Only 5 percent believe that the federal and state government does a “very effective” job sharing data, and 7 percent say the same for local government.

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