Knight Cities Challenge closes with more than 4,400 ideas

Photo by Mycatkins on Flickr.

This year’s Knight Cities Challenge is now closed. We received more than 4,400 applications for our call for the best ideas to make cities more successful, with a focus on talent, opportunity and engagement in the 26 Knight communities. Thanks to everyone who applied and who participated in one of the Q&A sessions around the country.

An initial scan of the applications reveals many great ideas from a committed and diverse group of civic innovators. Now our team of reviewers will get to work. Every application will be read by at least four people from the review board, which consists of about 50 people from Knight communities, along with experts on cities too. They offer a range of diverse and unique perspectives, and they will use their expertise to make recommendations to Knight staff on potential finalists.

If your project is selected as a finalist, you’ll hear from us around the end of the year and you’ll have the month of January to pull together the details for your final application. At that point you’ll need to submit a more detailed application that will include a budget, timeline and specific deliverables.

If you applied to the Knight Cities Challenge, again thank you. We appreciate your dedication to making the city you care about more successful. If our cities are to succeed we need civic innovators of all stripes to continue working every day on the projects that they’re passionate about. At Knight we’re lucky enough to meet extraordinary people every day, and sometimes we can even provide funding to support transformational work.

I encourage all of you to stay connected with Knight Foundation. We seek to make resources and learning widely available so that you’re able to do your work better. If you see something you’re interested in don’t hesitate to reach out and ask. Look for a follow-up email from us that let’s you know what’s happening in your city.

One way to stay up to date with what we’re thinking is to listen to the “Knight Cities” podcast. Every week Carol Coletta, our vice president of community and national initiatives, interviews a civic innovator on their work and how it may be relevant to communities everywhere.

We will stay in touch as the review process moves forward. For other updates, please follow @knightfdn and #knightcities on Twitter. We look forward to sharing the group of finalists in January. If you’d like more information, please reach out to me and ask.

George Abbott is special assistant to the vice president for community and national initiatives and interim program director for St. Paul at Knight Foundation. He can be reached via email at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @garthurabbott.

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