MIAMI – An unprecedented cluster of funding initiatives for South Florida - highlighted by a set of neighborhood-building partnerships investing more than $12 million in Overtown, East Little Havana, downtown Miami and West Coconut Grove - were announced Monday evening (June 11) at a dinner concluding the 50th anniversary of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
The foundation and its nonprofit partners have crafted major collaborative efforts in Miami-Dade and Broward counties including a slate of neighborhood transformation projects; a downtown Miami cultural development initiative; projects aimed at early childhood success for the community's youngest residents; and planning grants to organizations working to bridge ethnic and cultural divides.
Altogether, 54 diverse organizations serving South Florida received nearly $24 million - the largest amount approved at one time for a single region by Knight trustees. Since its founding Dec. 29, 1950, the private, independent foundation has approved grants approaching $100 million benefiting South Florida.
Foundation officials also described a new community-driven approach to improving the quality of life in South Florida and the 25 other Knight communities as part of a large-scale restructuring under way at the Miami-based national foundation. Details are available at www.knightfdn.org.
The grants are framed around the six priority outcomes the foundation's trustees have selected (listed below) to help the 26 Knight communities - U.S. cities and towns where the Knight brothers owned newspapers - meet their own definitions of community vitality. Some highlights of the slate of grants follow:
NEIGHBORHOOD REDEVELOPMENT/COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Two underserved communities on opposite banks of the Miami River - Overtown and East Little Havana - are the primary beneficiaries of interrelated grants in the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative.
The Collaborative Overtown Transformation Project is a three-way partnership of the Collins Center for Public Policy, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and The Trust for Public Land. They received a total of $7.5 million to undertake a comprehensive effort to help the neighborhood's residents participate in and benefit from redevelopment efforts now under way or on the horizon. Major aspects of their work include a civic partnership and design center; the creation of a Community Land Trust to help insure that Overtown's residents aren't forced out as redevelopment occurs (Collins Center, $3 million); and an Overtown Neighborhood Revitalization Program under a LISC umbrella including partnerships with the Black Archives/Lyric Theater, the Bethel AME CDC and the St. John's CDC ($2 million).
The Trust for Public Land - the third leg of the collaborative's umbrella leadership - will receive $2.5 million for its Miami River Greenway Project, an ambitious effort to create safe and attractive spaces along the river's banks as it courses through Overtown, East Little Havana and other neighborhoods. Habitat for Humanity and Miami Inner City Angels received grants contributing to Overtown's revitalization, while The Latin Quarter Cultural Center, Abriendo Puertas, and Tigertail Productions received grants directed to East Little Havana.
A similar community-building approach will also benefit West Coconut Grove and give its residents input into redevelopment and access to parks, community centers and recreational facilities. Main partners in the West Grove/Coconut Grove effort are University of Miami, the City of Miami, the YMCA of Greater Miami and Shake-a-Leg.
In all, 15 organizations received Community Development grants.
THE VITALITY OF CULTURAL LIFE
Knight Foundation's trustees have a long history of supporting arts and culture in South Florida and our other communities nationwide. A Downtown Cultural Initiative links the prospects and promise of several projects taking shape north of the central Miami business district.
The Performing Arts Center Trust, which will manage the two-building complex spanning Biscayne Boulevard upon completion, received a unique $1.5 million Knight grant. With it, the PAC and its five resident companies - the Concert Association of Florida, the Florida Philharmonic, the Florida Grand Opera, the Miami City Ballet and New World Symphony - will undertake a comprehensive assessment of their readiness for the move, develop transitional stabilization strategies and take clearly defined steps to ensure they'll be able to take center stage in the dramatic new center.
Meanwhile, the Museum of Science received $1 million to serve as the catalyst for its community capital campaign to establish the Science Center of the Americas; and the Miami Children's Museum received the same amount for its capital and endowment campaign for a new 53,000-square-foot facility on Watson Island. Finally, the Miami Art Museum got $100,000 to implement a strategic plan for its future expansion.
A total of 11 arts and culture organizations ranging from Davie to Homestead received grants.
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND POSITIVE HUMAN RELATIONS
Knight Foundation invited a number of organizations, each with the potential to move the community beyond talking about ethnic divisiveness into action, to share their ideas. From an extensive list of suggestions, trustees and staff selected four to receive grants in an initiative called Building Bridges. The organizations - Miami-Dade Community College, ASPIRA of Florida, Young at Art Broward and Communities In Schools of Miami - will use planning grants ranging from $40,000 to $160,000 to forge cross-cultural partnerships promoting greater awareness and understanding in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
These relatively small planning grants are likely to lead to significant programs of lasting impact, which the foundation hopes to help support in collaboration with others. Grants in this category went to 10 organizations.
WELL-BEING OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
The foundation has a history of seeking better lives for children and families.
The Early Childhood Initiative Foundation received a $1 million grant to launch a communitywide child readiness media campaign addressing the needs of children ages 5 and younger. And United Way of Miami-Dade received $1 million for the proposed Center of Excellence, a national state-of-the-art community learning laboratory for the early care and education of children. In all, nine organizations serving children and families received grants.
Education has been a historic thread in Knight grant making for more than 50 years. Miami-Dade Community College will use a $750,000 grant to endow the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at the college's Wolfson campus in downtown Miami. MDCC will promote and advance the literary arts in all forms; funding will help the college with its popular Miami Book Fair International. A total of seven education grants were announced.
Economic Development is a newly defined grant-making priority for Knight Foundation. The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce received $400,000 to establish the South Florida Consortium of Higher Education, which will seek to make higher education an essential economic engine and a major contributor to quality of life in the region. Two other Economic Development grants were announced Monday.
The John S.. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes excellence in journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of 26 U.S. communities.
Grants Awarded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
June 11, 2001
NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION INITIATIVE
- THE COLLINS CENTER FOR PUBLIC POLICY – $3,000,000
For the Civic Partnership and Design Center, which will involve residents in a range of sustainable development exercises; and for a community land trust, which will acquire and hold land for the benefit of the Overtown community.
- LOCAL INITIATIVES SUPPORT CORPORATION – $2,000,000
To strengthen Overtown's community development system and support the work of local community development corporations and other community-based organizations.
- HABITAT FOR HUMANITY – $600,000
To build 10 houses in Overtown.
- MIAMI INNER CITY ANGELS – $500,000
For a challenge grant to construct a community center to serve the Overtown community.
(OVERTOWN AND EAST LITTLE HAVANA)
- THE TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND – $2,500,000
For the construction of the pedestrian-friendly Overtown and East Little Havana greenways.
EAST LITTLE HAVANA
- THE LATIN QUARTER CULTURAL CENTER OF MIAMI – $300,000
To help buy a facility to provide centralized arts education programs to underprivileged children and their families in the East Little Havana area.
- ABRIENDO PUERTAS – $225,000
For general operating support for diverse services to strengthen families in East Little Havana.
- TIGERTAIL PRODUCTIONS – $50,000
For arts-related activities at Jose Marti Park and other public spaces in Little Havana.
- UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI – $250,000
For a planning grant to craft a community development plan and establish a community resource center that will serve as the cornerstone of West Coconut Grove's revitalization efforts.
- CITY OF MIAMI PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT – $395,000
To complete Phase I construction of the Elizabeth Virrick Park community center and related park improvements.
- YMCA OF GREATER MIAMI – $1,000,000
To construct the Family YMCA of Coconut Grove and for a permanent endowment fund to support program participation by West Grove residents unable to pay membership fees.
- SHAKE-A-LEG – $600,000
For start-up operation costs for a new water sports recreational center offering programs for youth with disabilities, at-risk youth and able-bodied youngsters.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT OTHER GRANTS
- COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP FOR HOMELESS – $600,000
For capital expansion of the downtown Homeless Assistance Center.
- MIAMI RESCUE MISSION – $300,000
To expand a residential facility in Hollywood for homeless women and their children.
- BROWARD COALITION FOR THE HOMELESS – $60,000
To employ two former homeless individuals as part-time telephone counselors.
WELL-BEING OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
- THE EARLY CHILDHOOD INITIATIVE FOUNDATION – $1,000,000
To launch a communitywide child readiness media campaign addressing the needs of children ages 5 and younger.
- UNITED WAY OF MIAMI-DADE – $1,000,000
For the proposed Center of Excellence, a national state-of-the-art community learning laboratory for the early care and education of children.
- REACH OUT AND READ – $281,500
For continued expansion of a pediatric literacy program in South Florida.
- THE SALVATION ARMY – $250,000
For capital support to refurbish the Edison facility, which houses diverse activities including an after-school program for 45 youths in Liberty City.
- INFORMED FAMILIES OF MIAMI-DADE – $160,000
To remodel two floors of the agency's existing facility to house a distance learning center.
- THE MIAMI COALITION FOR A SAFE
AND DRUG-FREE COMMUNITY – $150,000
For a communitywide education program on "club drugs."
- MIAMI LIGHTHOUSE FOR THE BLIND – $150,000
For a challenge grant for the Blind Children's Endowment.
- JEWISH COMMUNITY SERVICES OF SOUTH FLORIDA – $100,000
For a communications system with links to more than 85 programs operated through the merger of three social services agencies.
- THE ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF FLORIDA – $75,000
To develop the Miami Metrozoo Community-Based Science for Youth Project to target high school students.
THE VITALITY OF CULTURAL LIFE DOWNTOWN CULTURAL INITIATIVE
- PERFORMING ARTS CENTER TRUST – $1,500,000
For a comprehensive assessment of the readiness of the Performing Arts Center and its five resident companies to move into the new center, the development of transition stabilization strategies and the creation of an implementation fund.
- MUSEUM OF SCIENCE – $1,000,000
For a partial challenge grant to serve as the catalyst to solidify site procurement, secure public funding and anchor a community capital campaign to establish the Science Center of the Americas.
- MIAMI CHILDREN'S MUSEUM – $1,000,000
For a capital and endowment campaign for a new 53,000-square-foot facility on Watson Island.
- MIAMI ART MUSEUM OF DADE COUNTY ASSOCIATION – $100,000
For implementation of a strategic plan and institutional capacity building initiatives for future expansion.
THE VITALITY OF CULTURAL LIFE
- ARTSOUTH – $200,000
To renovate one of ArtSouth's buildings in Homestead to meet fire code and the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
- METROPOLITAN DADE COUNTY – $150,000
To implement High Five Miami, a program that encourages young people to go to performing and visual arts shows.
- FLORIDA GRAND OPERA – $75,000
To develop and produce Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov as a collaborative effort with other opera companies.
- NEW THEATER – $75,000
For marketing and institutional development.
- JUBILATE – $50,000
For the Jubilate Arts Preparatory Academy.
- GABLESTAGE – $45,000
For bridge funding and for the production of The Origins of Happiness in Latin, which deals with cultural divides in Miami-Dade County.
- HOLOCAUST DOCUMENTATION AND EDUCATION CENTER – $43,500
For "Visas for Life: The Righteous and Honorable Diplomats," an exhibit highlighting diplomats from 26 countries who rescued individuals during the Holocaust.
- MIAMI-DADE COMMUNITY COLLEGE – $750,000
To endow the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at the college's Wolfson campus in downtown Miami, to promote and advance the literary arts in all forms.
- UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA FOUNDATION – $300,000
To endow scholarships for college students at the New World School of the Arts in Miami.
- NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY – $250,000
For an information literacy training program in Broward County, giving residents full advantage of the university's new Library, Research and Technology Center.
- THE COLLEGE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM OF DADE COUNTY – $200,000
For operating support and an endowment fund to provide financial support for Miami-Dade students in higher education.
- THE EDUCATION FUND – $155,000
To continue the AmeriCorps program, Florida Reads!
- ADOPT-A-CLASSROOM – $50,000
For a public awareness campaign about Adopt-A-Classroom, which funnels private funds into public school classrooms to buy instructional materials, equipment and resources.
- RANSOM EVERGLADES SCHOOL – $40,000
For the College Bound initiative through Summerbridge Miami, a program addressing the educational needs of at-risk students.
- GREATER MIAMI PROGRESS FOUNDATION – $400,000
(GREATER MIAMI CHAMBER OF COMMERCE)
To establish the South Florida Consortium of Higher Education, which will seek to make higher education an essential economic engine and a major contributor to quality of life in the region.
- GOODWILL INDUSTRIES OF SOUTH FLORIDA – $200,000
To enhance the organization's capacity by improving classroom computers, telephone and data systems.
- ONE COMMUNITY ONE GOAL – $125,000
For a web site to promote information technology and e-business industries in the region, match skilled applicants to industry needs and promote South Florida as a competitive high technology center.
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND POSITIVE HUMAN RELATIONS
BUILDING BRIDGES INITIATIVE
- MIAMI-DADE COMMUNITY COLLEGE – $160,000
For the planning phase of a partnership between Miami-Dade Community College, the Artime Theater, the Black Archives/Lyric Theater and the Dr. Rafael A. Peñalver Clinic that would serve to build cultural bridges between Miami's Little Havana and Overtown.
- ASPIRA OF FLORIDA – $100,000
To plan and test a youth leadership development program that will increase civic engagement and cultural sensitivity among teenagers and pre-teenagers in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
- YOUNG AT ART BROWARD – $45,000
For a planning grant to bring together diverse South Florida ethnic groups to envision and plan the museum's Global Village signature exhibition and public program gallery in its new permanent facility.
- COMMUNITIES IN SCHOOLS OF MIAMI – $40,000
For the planning and pilot phase of Hello Neighbor, a project to engage at-risk youth in leadership and community service activities to promote cultural and community understanding among residents of a housing project.
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND POSITIVE HUMAN RELATIONS
- FLORIDA IMMIGRANT ADVOCACY CENTER – $600,000
For operating support for the Impact Advocacy Program, which seeks to protect and promote civic and human rights of immigrants in Florida.
- DADE HERITAGE TRUST – $250,000
For The New American Crucible, a documentary highlighting South Florida's ethnic and cultural diversity.
- HUMAN SERVICES COALITION OF DADE COUNTY – $120,000
For a community leadership institute and collaborative neighborhood planning efforts.
- DONORS FORUM OF MIAMI – $60,000
To strengthen regional philanthropic capacity.
- FLORIDA SPECIAL OLYMPICS – $50,000
For a planning grant to develop strategies to involve people from different cultures and backgrounds in Special Olympics.
- UNIDAD OF MIAMI BEACH – $50,000
To prepare immigrant youth to become leaders through the Miami Beach Hispanic Community Center Immigrant Youth Project.
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.