Knight Blog

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

Blending of opera and cabaret gives pop soup of ‘Andy’ its flavor

Dec. 16, 2014, 2:22 p.m., Posted by Fernando González

Andy - a Popera, photo by Kate Raines
Photo by Kate Raines.

The work of Andy Warhol set the art world on its head, blurring the lines between high and low and the notions of what defined artistic and commercial work. It is only fitting then that “Andy: A Popera,” a show exploring Warhol’s life, work and legacy, started with pop-up performances of singing soup cans in a supermarket aisle, evolved into a cabaret show and is now becoming an adventurous, irreverent pop art-cabaret-opera mash-up scheduled to premiere in Philadelphia in September 2015.

The piece is a collaboration between Opera Philadelphia and the experimental cabaret company the Bearded Ladies. The creative process and the intended result suggest a daring and ingenuity that truly celebrates the subject. Both organizations are previous Knight Arts Challenge winners, and “Andy: A Popera” is being developed with Knight Foundation support.

Classical composer Dan Visconti, who recently completed a multi-year residency with opera companies, including Seattle Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, New York City Opera, the Glimmerglass Festival and the Metropolitan Opera, recently joined the “Andy” creative team and is charged with creating the unprecedented musical hybrid.

New video series highlights best practices in local news

Dec. 16, 2014, 1:39 p.m., Posted by Lloyd Armbrust


Lloyd Armbrust is CEO of OwnLocal, which he founded in 2010 to help local media companies improve their digital advertising revenue. Below he writes about “Broadsheet,” a video podcast series sponsored by OwnLocal. Knight Foundation has invested in OwnLocal through the Knight Enterprise Fund.

“Broadsheet: The Business of News” launches this week as a video series to discuss the importance of local media and showcase the innovative ideas that newspaper publishers from across the country have developed.

In my 15 years in the newspaper industry, I have seen two types of leaders. There are thought leaders whose job it is to think about the big picture of media (and what the future of the newspaper industry holds), and then there are local media execs who are in the weeds and run the day-to-day operations of producing a newspaper.

eMerge Americas tech and innovation event returns to showcase Miami’s entrepreneurial spirit

Dec. 16, 2014, 9 a.m., Posted by Xavier Gonzalez

Xavier Gonzalez is executive director of eMerge Americas, the movement behind a technology event hosted by the Technology Foundation of the Americas, that is scheduled for May 1-5 across South Florida. Knight Foundation is a founding funder of the event. 

In 2012, Knight Foundation widened its work in Miami to focus on entrepreneurs. eMerge Americas, which was a budding idea from Manuel D. Medina, chairman and CEO of Medina Capital, had a similar hope: to make Miami a center for innovation and technology. In 2014 those overlapping visions assembled a thriving community of entrepreneurs and disruptors at the first eMerge Americas event in May.

Now, Knight and eMerge Americas are embarking on a three-year partnership to grow this vision into a movement that draws international attention to Miami. The 2014 gathering set the bar for what a movement could accomplish: 6,000 attendees, 400 participating companies, 150 speakers, and 115 startups showcased.