Knight Foundation Creates “Unique” Philadelphia Arts Program

Today’s Philadelphia Inquirer includes a story on the Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia, a newly launched contest that will bring $9 million in new funding to the city over three years. The Challenge will look for the most innovative ideas in the arts that both inspire and enrich Philadelphia’s communities. Applications will be accepted beginning Oct. 5 at

“We’re saying, ‘What’s your best idea?'” Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation’s vice president/arts, told the Inquirer. “We’re looking for the best ideas for the arts in Philadelphia. Come one, come all.”

From the Inquirer story: The Challenge “in effect provides risk capital to arts groups, helping them to move in new directions that they might otherwise be cautious about,” said Gary Steuer, the city’s cultural officer. ‘”By being structured as a matching program, it will also help leverage new local support for the arts.”

“We need to be open to supporting the best work and the best ideas, wherever they may come from,” Steuer said.

“It’s a unique invitation to Philadelphia,” said Tom Kaiden, president of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.

Sign up for updates on the Knight Arts Challenge at