Articles by Valerie Nahmad Schimel

  • Article

    The power of poetry

    July 14, 2011 by Valerie Nahmad Schimel

    The Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement (PYPM) has been helping the youth of Philadelphia discover the power of their voices through spoken word & literary expression since 2006. This week CNN profiled the Knight Arts grantee, following the story of  19-year-old Alana Gooden, who credits PYPM with saving her life: “If PYPM didn’t exist, Gooden said she and her fellow members might not be where there are right now. ‘We wouldn’t be performing, we wouldn’t be promoting positive change, we would be out there with them downtown, flash mobbing, running around, fighting, cursing, getting arrested, shooting, dying,’ she said.”

  • Article

    A first look at the Charlotte Arts Journalism Alliance

    November 21, 2011 by Valerie Nahmad Schimel

    The following is crossposted from KnightArts' blog:

    Charlotte’s arts journalism takes a leap forward this month as the Charlotte Arts Journalism Alliance launches. Funded by a $100,000 Community Arts Journalism Challenge grant awarded by Knight Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Charlotte Arts Journalism Alliance is a partnership between the Charlotte Observer, public radio station WFAE, television station WCNCUNC CharlotteQcitymetro.com and CharlotteViewpoint.org.

     

     
  • Article

    Knight Foundation wins big at the regional Emmys – again!

    December 5, 2011 by Valerie Nahmad Schimel

    Knight Foundation wins big at the regional Emmys – again!

     

    Knight Foundation won its second regional Emmy Saturday, Dec 3 as Ideas in Motion won a 2011 Suncoast Emmy Arts/Entertainment-Program award. The 30-minute documentary follows five Knight Arts Challenge Miami winners on their journeys to realize their artistic visions. Highlighted artists include the Florida Grand Opera, Teatro Avante, Kathleen Hudspeth of Turn-Based Press, Lauren “Lolo” Reskin of Sweat Records and Free Gospel Sunday at the Adrienne Arsht Center. Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation vice president of arts, Kirmaya Cevallos and Marlon Johnson share the nomination.

  • Article

    150 performers celebrate 1,000+ Random Acts of Culture in Detroit

    August 13, 2012 by Valerie Nahmad Schimel

    Knight Foundation is celebrating its 1,000+ Random Acts of Culture™ with four big, blow-out performances in San Jose, Detroit, Miami and Philadelphia. The fun kicked off Sunday, Aug. 5 with a 250-person surprise performance in San Jose and continued Friday, Aug. 10 with a 150-person performance of “Ode to Joy” at Compuware World Headquarters. Child and adult choristers, musicians and dancers staged an unforgettable surprise performance – enjoy the video above.

    Looking for more Random Acts of Culture™ fun? Read an interview with Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation’s VP/Arts, about the program, see a TV interview about it with the Symphony Silicon Valley,  relive our past performances through video highlights and see a master list of our 1,000+ Random Acts of Culture™.

  • Article

    You decide who should win $20,000 for their Miami arts project

    September 24, 2012 by Valerie Nahmad Schimel

    You decide who should win $20,000 for their Miami arts project

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    The 2012 Knight Arts Challenge Miami is bigger and better than ever with the addition of its first People’s Choice Award.

    Knight Foundation has selected five local nominees from this year’s group of finalists – the rest is up to you. Vote for your favorite and the winner will receive $20,000 for their Miami art project. Click here to watch profiles of the five finalists, then text to vote for your favorite.

    Voting runs Sept. 24-Oct. 22, 2012. The nominees are:

    • 6th Street Dance Studio: A nonprofit studio in Little Havana
    • Arts Garage: A cultural hub in Palm Beach
    • FUNDarte: A multidisciplinary nonprofit producing multicultural exhibits and performances
    • LAB Miami: A co-working space at the intersection of art and business
    • Urgent, Inc.: A 501(c) 3 working in part with the arts to revitalize urban communities

    Vote today!

     

  • Article

    ArtPlace announces 104 finalists for creative placemaking grants

    January 16, 2013 by Valerie Nahmad Schimel

    ArtPlace announces 104 finalists for creative placemaking grants

     

    Congratulations to ArtPlace’s 104 finalists for 2012-13 creative placemaking grants.

    The finalists represent 72 communities in 33 states, including the Knight resident communities of Charlotte, Detroit, Macon, Miami, St. Paul, Philadelphia and San Jose.

    The finalists were selected based on their potential to transform communities, art and culture. The 104 named today were chosen from 1,225 letters of inquiry from 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and American Samoa. Click here for a complete list of finalists.

    ArtPlace is a collaboration of 13 leading national and regional foundations and six of the nation’s largest banks.

     
  • Article

    Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia – now accepting applications

    October 3, 2011 by Valerie Nahmad Schimel

    Crossposted from Knight Arts blog

    Here we go!  The second year of the Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia launched today, and we’re ready to hear your best ideas for the city’s vibrant arts scene!  Applications are now being accepted right here through Oct. 31.

    We believe the arts can engage and enrich communities and that your ideas can make an impact.  That’s why the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is investing $9 million in innovative arts ideas. To date, 36 ideas have been awarded $2.7 million.

    What can these ideas look like?  The possibilities are endless.  No idea is too large or too small, as long as it follows three basic rules:

    1. Your idea is about the arts.
    2. Your project takes place in or benefits Philadelphia.
    3. You find other funding to match the Knight Foundation grant (within a year).

    Over the course of the next four weeks, we’ll be counting down to the deadline, posting a series of tips and answers to common questions, and showcasing some of last year’s amazing winners to get you inspired. We hope you'll take advantage and follow along right here.

    For more on this year’s contest, check out the press release here.  You can also connect with us on Facebook and Twitter and ask questions using #AskKightArts.

    We look forward to another year of great ideas!

  • Article

    Random Act of Culture proves pleasant surprise for museum-goers in Philadelphia

    April 6, 2011 by Valerie Nahmad Schimel

    On Saturday, April 2, 2011, 45 members of the Opera Company of Philadelphia’s official children’s choir, the Keystone State Boychoir, spontaneously performed “Avec la garde montante” from Georges Bizet’s Carmen for delighted children and parents at the Please Touch Museum, a favorite Philadelphia destination for children of all ages.

    Why Does Knight Foundation Fund Random Acts of Culture? Knight Foundation, like its founders Jack and Jim Knight, focuses on promoting informed and engaged communities. To that end, we strongly believe in the potential of the arts to engage residents, and bring a community together. Hearing Handel, or seeing the tango in an unexpected place provides a deeply felt reminder of how the classics can enrich our lives. As you’ll see in our videos, the performances make people smile, dance, grab their cameras – even cry with joy. For those brief moments, people going along in their everyday lives are part of a shared, communal experience that makes their community a more vibrant place to live. In these days of shrinking audiences, we also hope that these random acts will encourage people to attend traditional performances. We can’t promise it. But it’s hard to watch what unfolds during a Random Act of Culture, and not be inspired to see and hear more.

      Cross-posted from KnightArts.org.

  • Article

    Miami launches new fundraising platform for the arts

    December 13, 2011 by Valerie Nahmad Schimel

    Free Gospel Sundays at the Adrienne Arscht Center in Miami, just one of the cultural projects individuals can contribute to on power2give.org

    Wednesday, Dec. 14 marks a new beginning for Miami’s arts community, as power2give.org launches its new, online fundraising platform. Developed in partnership with the Charlotte-based Arts & Science Councilpower2give.org enables individuals to connect directly with arts organizations to help support individual projects.

    Cultural organizations list projects on the site (i.e. instruments for children in a youth orchestra, costumes for an upcoming theater production) and interested individuals can contribute to help meet fundraising goals. power2give.org debuted in Charlotte this August and has raised over $200,000 to date. 

  • Article

    Make this your year: The Knight Arts Challenge opens Sept. 17!

    August 27, 2012 by Valerie Nahmad Schimel

    Make this your year: The Knight Arts Challenge opens Sept. 17!

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    Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement at City Hall Presents; photo by Josh Pelta-Heller

    Now in its third year, the Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia will call for your best ideas for the arts in Philadelphia Sept. 17. - Oct. 15. The $9 million initiative seeks the most innovative cultural ideas to engage and enrich Philadelphia’s neighborhoods.

    Launched in 2010, the challenge has awarded $5.4 million to 71 ideas to date. Winners, selected from more than 3,000 applications, represent a broad spectrum of the community — from individual artists and artist-driven organizations to some of the city’s premier cultural institutions.

    “We’ve received an overwhelming response from the city’s creative community over the past two years,” says Donna Frisby-Greenwood, Philadelphia program director for Knight Foundation. “We’re looking for arts ideas that inspire the community to build a better future together and make Philadelphia a more vibrant place to live.”

    Make this your year. No idea is too large or too small, as long as it follows three basic rules:

    1.  Your idea is about the arts. 2.  Your project takes place in or benefits Philadelphia. 3.  You find other funding to match Knight Foundation’s grant (within a year).

    Applications will be accepted from Sept. 17 – Oct. 15.  All is takes is 150 words.

  • Article

    Knight Foundation and partners named as powerful leaders in the arts

    August 29, 2012 by Valerie Nahmad Schimel

    Knight Foundation and partners named as powerful leaders in the arts

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    Barry’s Blog, a leading arts blog published as a “service of the Western States Arts Federation,” has honored several Knight Arts leaders in its fifth annual listing of the 50 most powerful and influential people in the nonprofit arts. Each year, national leaders anonymously submit nominations for influential and powerful leaders in arts administration and organizational leadership. This year four Knight Arts leaders were named to the list: Knight Foundation VP/Arts Dennis Scholl and Knight Arts national advisory council members Aaron Dworkin, Scott Provancher and Gary Steuer.

    Click here to read the entire list and read below for excerpts highlighting Knight Arts leaders…

    Dennis Scholl, Vice President/Arts at Knight Foundation

    Collector, Philanthropist, Emmy winning documentarian, Harvard fellow, Scholl is responsible for some of the funding world’s best known and loved out-of-the-box projects including Random Acts of Culture.  He is comfortable with risk taking to a degree most are not and he understands the importance of moving towards new ways of addressing old problems.   His eight city core funding community gives him local clout and national perspective, and his close working ties with Rocco at the Endowment have increased his visibility beyond the arts.

    Scott Provancher, President, Arts & Science Council “Scott Provancher is a path maker and front-runner.  In 2009 when Scott arrived in Charlotte, arts giving patterns had already started to shift away from united appeals.  Then came the economic downturn… Undaunted, Scott focused energy on creating innovative giving systems that would lure back previous donors and attract new ones.  He has challenged the cultural sector to think differently about sustainability while also ensuring offerings remain accessible to the community.  Power2Give (an online giving platform already adopted by other cities and states) and a new 100+million recapitalization fund are just two examples – among many – of Provancher/ASC  ingenuity that are making Charlotte one of the growing arts and culture cities in America.  Scott thrives on finding the innovative, long-term solution, AND he is a wonderful combination of brilliant, hard-driving, and kind.” 

  • Article

    Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia: Now accepting applications

    September 17, 2012 by Valerie Nahmad Schimel

    Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia: Now accepting applications

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    Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, street crowd. Photo by George Feder.

    Today marks the year-three launch of the Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia, and we’re ready to hear your best ideas to engage and enrich the city’s vibrant arts scene. Applications are now being accepted right here  through Oct. 15. We believe the arts can engage and enrich communities and that your ideas can make an impact. That’s why the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is investing $9 million in innovative arts ideas. To date, 71 ideas have been awarded $5.4 million.What can these ideas look like? The possibilities are endless, and no idea is too large or too small. There are only three rules for the challenge:

    1.    Your idea must be about the arts.

    2.   Your project must take place in or benefit Philadelphia.

    3.   You must find funding to match Knight’s commitment, within a year.

    Over the course of the next four weeks, we’ll be counting down to the deadline, answering your questions through a town hall meeting and live web chat, and sharing the stories of previous Knight Arts Challenge winners to get you inspired. We hope you’ll take advantage and follow along right here.

    Mark these on your calendar:

  • Article

    Knight Arts earns a regional Emmy nod

    October 18, 2011 by Valerie Nahmad Schimel

    Knight Foundation is celebrating a Suncoast Emmy nomination for its “Ideas in Motion” short program. The 30-minute documentary follows five Knight Arts Challenge winners on their journeys to realize their artistic visions.