We are excited to announce a funding opportunity for the arts in four cities: Charlotte, Macon, Georgia, Philadelphia and San Jose, California.
The arts team has spent the last year listening to grantees through workshops and at site visits to determine the most exciting opportunities for the arts are in each of these communities. This research, in combination with our own strategy development, has resulted in a more focused investment approach. We hope it will result in quality cultural experiences that bring people together and connect them to the cities they call home.
Today through June 16, we are soliciting ideas that fall into at least one of the following three areas:
- Artistic Excellence: At Knight, we aren’t prescriptive about the kind of art a community needs. Instead, we fund partners who create or present art that has the capacity to transform and inspire. The support is open to any genre. Individual artists, arts organizations and organizations that will regrant that funding are eligible. We will support new work that will be available to the public within a year of it being completed. Some examples of recent grants that would qualify in this category are The Fabric Workshop and Museum’s exhibition of Anne Hamilton’s Habitus in Philadelphia, a new dance piece set to premiere in Charlotte this fall by Caroline Calouche and a new, bilingual play by Teatro Vision in San Jose that is being developed with the community.
- Authenticity and Inclusion: We are looking for ideas that reflect the voices and values of the community, and for artistic partners that promote diversity in arts leadership and who make arts experiences more accessible, participatory and engaging. For example, In San Jose, we recently funded the Multicultural Arts Leadership Institute hosted by The School of Arts and Culture, which is a leadership program for artists of color. In Charlotte, we funded the Arts and Science Council to provide capacity building and leadership development for a group of small and mid-size arts organizations. Meanwhile, many of our other grantees focus on engaging audiences. We’re excited to see what Corner Concerts will produce in downtown Macon with its pop-up concerts in the city, how XOXO’s interactive play #CAKE unfolds in neighborhoods around Charlotte, exploring what it means to have the 21st century American dream, and how The Exhibition District will bring 100 murals to life in San Jose.
- Technological Innovation: To help push the boundaries of artistic experiences, we will fund projects that use technology to help people create, exhibit and understand art. The applications are wide-ranging. Recently, for example, we supported City Lights Theater Company in San Jose to experiment with projection mapping and first-person video tools to visually surround the audience with Frankenstein’s creature’s point of view.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that Knight Foundation funds the arts because of their powerful ability to connect people to their cities and to each other. We are most interested in ideas that are tailored to your community and allow for a variety of audiences to experience the work. You can read more about our strategy here.
Grant recipients will share $1 million. There are two rounds of grant review. The first is to submit your project through our grant application by June 16, 2017. An internal team at Knight will review all submissions and then solicit more detailed proposals from a smaller group of applicants. We anticipate making final decisions by the fall of 2017.
All artistic disciplines are encouraged to apply. I will be available to answer your questions and discuss your ideas during my virtual office hours, and you can reserve a slot below.
If you have any other questions, please email me at [email protected]. I look forward to reading about your ideas for the arts.
Amanda Thompson is an arts program officer at Knight Foundation, leading Knight’s Community Arts Grantmaking.