April 29, 2013 by Dennis Scholl
Photo credit: Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra
Tonight, I’m at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, excited to announce the 43 winners of the Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia.RELATED LINK
This year, we were once again delightfully surprised by Philadelphia’s creative minds. I think you’ll see why.
In the winners, there are several interesting trends, including ideas that will:
And always important for a city of Philadelphia’s creative caliber, several projects will
The full list is below, along with information on the people and groups behind them.
As you may know, this is the final year of our three-year Challenge in Philadelphia. And over that time, we’ve seen more than 4,000 ideas come at us, with 187 challenge finalists and eventually 114 winners.
What you’ve given us is incredible, and in the coming months we’re going to take what we’ve seen and learned and figure out a way to take more Philadelphia ideas to the next level through our community-arts grant making program.
We continue to be deeply committed to the arts in Philadelphia, and we’ll have some great news on more investments in the fall. Stay tuned.
Here are today’s winners – can’t wait to see how they develop.
November 30, 2009 by Dennis Scholl
October 13, 2012 by Dennis Scholl
October 17, 2012 by Dennis Scholl
July 13, 2010 by Dennis Scholl
December 10, 2012 by Dennis Scholl
May 4, 2011 by Dennis Scholl
On Wednesday, April 13 I was invited to be a panelist at a Christie’s panel discussion titled “A Second Look at the Future of Arts Journalism.” The auction house convened a pretty august group, including Lindsey Pollack, editor in chief of Art in America, a 98-year-old magazine and one of the big three in contemporary art and Eric Gibson, editor of the Wall Street Journal’s Leisure & Arts page, which has been become a must-read with for all things cultural with the infusion of Rupert Murdock's money. The panel was led by Sree Sreenivasan, dean of student affairs & digital media professor at the Columbia Journalism School
The room was filled with some of the leading arts journalists in the world, including Blake Gopnik of Newsweek; Kelly Crow of the WSJ; freelancer Lee Rosenbaum, also know by her blog handle CultureGrrl; and Phoebe Hoban, author of the recently published and beautifully written biography Alice Neel: The Art of Not Sitting Pretty.
The discussion was far ranging, but landed quickly on the search for the elusive business model that would allow arts journalists to make a living wage. Doug McClennan's oft quoted statistic of the number of arts journalists in America dropping 50% from 5,000 to 2,500 in the last five years put the issue in perspective.
I whispered about a yet to be formally announced Knight initiative in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts called the Arts Journalism Challenge. The challenge will launch in July in the eight Knight resident cities of Akron, Charlotte, Detroit, Macon, Miami, Philadelphia, Saint Paul and San Jose. Together with the NEA, Knight Foundation will be seeking ideas for how to increase community arts coverage in those eight cities. Knight and the NEA will send out an RFP, select the best ideas and fund the development of an action plan for each of them. The best plans will receive up to two years of funding to be launched with the goal to create a series of sustainable models to increase the level of community arts coverage. The eight knight cities are acting as a beta, with the possibility of a national launch in 2012.
The crowd at Christie’s was quite interested and the Twitter traffic was significant. The panel was live streamed and you can take a look at the discussion here. I want to thank Mary Trudel of Trudel Macpherson for all her efforts in putting the panel together and including me. And additional thanks to Toby Usnik at Christie’s for sharing feedback on Knight initiatives like Random Acts of Culture and the Knight Arts Challenge.
April 24, 2013 by Dennis Scholl
November 5, 2013 by Dennis Scholl
March 17, 2014 by Dennis Scholl
September 14, 2012 by Dennis Scholl
It all started as an experiment. With audiences for traditional performances declining, at Knight Foundation we were looking for a way to remind people of how important the classical arts are to their lives.
About the same time, a friend sent me a video from a market in Seville, Spain, where a guy selling ham behind a counter bursts into an aria at the top of his lungs. The audience was captivated as six people came out of the crowd to join him. I must have played it a thousand times as I thought, we need to recreate moments like these across the U.S. by bringing classical performers into people’s everyday lives.
At first, we weren’t exactly sure how to go about it, to make sure it was more of a bold surprise than the pleasant background music you expect at the mall on a given Saturday.
With a little trepidation, we did our first one by putting a quartet in the middle of Miami’s County Hall. When we saw a man walking by, waving his hands as if playing the conductor, we knew we were on to something.
Since then, we’ve learned a lot through trial – and a few errors. As we celebrate our benchmark 1,000th performance, we wanted to share the best and worst moments of Knight Foundation’s Random Acts of Culture™ program.
Best: The Messiah goes viral: The biggest hit was pulling off a surprise performance in Philadelphia at a Macy’s. Each Saturday, people gather there to hear the world’s largest pipe organ. But they didn’t expect more than 600 choristers to start singing Handel’s Messiah. There were goosebumps and tears. The video went viral, with now close to 8 million views on YouTube, and thousands of comments like this one: “Sheer delight, I wanted to forget my broken hip and dance.”
Worst: Copy cat creates havoc: After that Philadelphia performance was viewed around the world, we were inundated with calls from people wanting to do Random Acts in their communities. Copy cats sprung up everywhere. In Sacramento, Calif., a group tried to pull off a rendition of Handel’s Messiah at the mall food court. When throngs of people showed up, and concerns grew that the floor would collapse, someone called the fire marshal and the mall was evacuated.
Best: Afro-Cuban meets Beethoven: To celebrate the 1,000th Random Act, we’ve been putting on large-scale performances in four cities, including Miami. There, we knew we wanted an iconic venue, so we chose the palm treed pedestrian mall of Lincoln Road. Conductor Sam Hyken, in partnership with the Arsht Center, adapted Beethoven’s Ode to Joy into several formats, starting with jazz, then gospel. When the drums heated up into an Afro-Cuban version, the crowd ate it up. Heyken made this 19th century piece music feel like a hometown favorite.
September 28, 2012 by Dennis Scholl
Knight Foundation believes the arts help build community by binding people to place and to each other. Done with excellence, the arts inspire and connect people.
Our grantmaking strategy in the arts has four initiatives:
The strategy is carried across Knight’s eight resident communities but is implemented in varying landscapes. Here’s a snapshot of the arts sector in each:
December 2, 2012 by Dennis Scholl
We’re excited to share big news for the South Florida arts community: Knight Foundation is committing $23 million in new funding for arts and culture.
Part of a two-pronged strategy, the funding will go to some of the region’s leading arts institutions, and to fund more grassroots projects by continuing the Knight Arts Challenge through 2015.Related Link
"34 ideas win Knight Arts Challenge Miami" by Dennis Scholl KnightArts.org
Everywhere you go in South Florida, we want you to have an encounter with art. As Knight Foundation President Alberto Ibargüen told the Miami Herald: "The point of all of this, as I never tire of saying, is we want to make art general in Miami. To do that, you want to support arts institutions that day in and day out offer opportunities for people in Miami to see and feel and participate and engage art... and then at the same time engaging anybody in Miami who has an idea.”
The institutions receiving funding are:
We began to invest deeply in the arts in 2008, just as the arts scene was beginning to take shape. We’re increasing funding now to help take the cultural community to the next level.
December 3, 2012 by Dennis Scholl
After months of poring through more than 1,100 applications, we’re excited to finally share the 34 winners of the Knight Arts Challenge Miami.
This year, we’ve seen some interesting trends. First, the winners will help spread the art deep into South Florida’s communities, whether through Miami Dade College’s new art center in Hialeah, an Opa-locka festival, or a collaborative in Delray Beach. Also, several are bringing art to unexpected places, with theater in shipping containers and music at the airport and more.RELATED LINKS
"Knight Foundation announces 34 winners of Knight Arts Challenge" in The Miami Herald
"Knight Arts Challenge Winners 2012 Winners: Sweat Records to Hip-Hop Symphony" in the Huffington Post
We’re also excited that close to half are from small organizations or individuals - the kind of grassroots, entrepreneurial projects that are very Miami. (Hip Hop Symphony, anyone?) Together, they’re helping to make art ubiquitous in Miami.
Earlier this week, we also announced $23 million in new Knight funding - including to continue the Knight Arts Challenge through 2015 and fund projects at some of the region’s leading institutions. The support is part of our two-pronged approach to fund the organizations that provide artistic excellence everyday and the smaller projects that make our arts scene unique. We decided to increase local support after a study found that challenge funding was fueling the local arts scene.
June 8, 2010 by Dennis Scholl