Articles by

Dennis Scholl

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    Above: [email protected] 1/18 - Host: Shira Lazar via YouTube I’m at Sundance this week in Park City, joined by four filmmakers from Miami and Philadelphia who have been named the festival’s first Knight Fellows. Each of these filmmakers are here to experience the event, meet with industry players, learn from the seminars and get to know each other better. It’s part of Knight Foundation’s new partnership with the Sundance Institute to strengthen the film scenes in communities around the U.S. where Knight Foundation invests. The first group is soaking up all there is to learn here and includes: Jos Duncan, founder and director of the nonprofit Philadelphia-based GriotWorks, which uses storytelling to bridge the gaps between communities; Monica Pena, a Miami filmmaker who just completed her first feature; Julian Yuri Rodriguez, another Miamian whose shorts have been screened in internationally and is developing his first feature film; and Heidi Saman, an associate producer for National Public Radio in Philly whose film masters thesis at Temple University debuted at the Cannes Festival and was later shown around the world.
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    Above: The 2013 Miami Knight Arts Challenge Winners. Music credit: Knight Arts Challenge Winner Joey Bargsten of meme experi mental ensemble. Tonight, on the New World Center stage, we’re celebrating 49 local artists, the impact they are having on our cultural community and our city, and their big ideas for the South Florida arts. Each is a winner of the Miami Knight Arts Challenge, receiving combined $2.72 million. We expect you will be seeing and experiencing their projects soon. Some are using technology in ways that will reshape how we view art. Others are using art as a lens to celebrate everything that is uniquely South Florida – from our history as a swampland to our historic landmarks like the Miami Marine Stadium and Venetian Pool. Together, they – and the Knight Arts Challenge winners before them – are helping to create an ecosystem that allows artists to stay here in Miami, to build a career and a name for themselves while creating a sense of community that benefits everybody. As a result, they are pushing the arts beyond Wynwood and Downtown, deeper into our neighborhoods and communities, from South Dade to Opa-locka and Miramar. Everywhere you go in South Florida, we want you to have an encounter with art. The opening of the Perez Art Museum later this week is testament that Miami is on that path. The challenge winners are fueling the art scene by ensuring art surrounds us all.
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    Irrigate: Black Dog Cafe and Puppet via YouTube Up and down a six-mile stretch in St. Paul, traffic engineers are busy putting together a light rail line that will connect the Twin Cities. It’s a massive infrastructure project. But instead of suffering with an elongated construction site, a group of artists got together to turn the corridor into a  public arts project. FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO APPLY FOR AN ARTPLACE GRANT PLEASE VISIT ARTPLACEAMERICA.ORG/LOI Irrigate, a project of Springboard for the Arts, the city of St. Paul and LISC has since seeded 150 projects involving 400 artists,  from a community-made textile piece to a  large puppet of a black dog that lets customers know a cafe is open during construction. Irrigate was one of the first projects funded by ArtPlace, a collaborative investing in creative placemaking projects that help transform communities. ArtPlace is now accepting applications for funding through Dec. 13. With Knight Foundation as a founder, designating its funding to the eight Knight resident communities, artists and organizations in those cities have a special opportunity for support. So far, ArtPlace has chosen projects that very much reflect the fabric of their community. In Macon, for example, a historic church is becoming a performing arts and multi-use space  on the edge of Mercer University. Wanting to capitalize on school spirit and love for Mercer’s football team, they turned a performance ofMoliere’s Tartuffe into a “Tartuffe & Tailgating” event, with a performance followed by a tailgate with the cast and crew.
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    Last night Knight Foundation received its seventh and eighth Emmy nominations (Suncoast region) in the last five years. This year's first nomination was for a short film Theaster Gates: Soul Manufacturing Corporation. The film arose from Gates' exhibition at Locust Projects during Art Basel last December. Knight Foundation's second nomination...
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    Recently, I had the good fortune of being invited to the National Arts Policy Roundtable, hosted by the country’s leading arts advocacy group, Americans for the Arts. The event is an intimate two-day think tank led by the founder of the Sundance Institute, Robert Redford (he said call him Bob,...
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    I am asked all the time why Knight Foundation funds in the arts. I don’t think I have ever conveyed it as eloquently as this column in the Detroit Free Press, by Rochelle Riley. Riley attended our Detroit Knight Arts Challenge winners event on Tuesday night, where Knight Foundation awarded...
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    Detroit Knight Arts Challenge Celebration: A Knight Foundation Flickr set  I am asked all the time why Knight Foundation funds in the arts. I don’t think I have ever conveyed it as eloquently as this column in the Detroit Free Press, by Rochelle Riley. Riley attended our Detroit Knight Arts Challenge winners event on Tuesday night, where Knight Foundation awarded more than $2 million to 56 projects, and was moved to capture the essence of what the arts can do to lift the spirit and bring together a community. As Riley writes:  "I walked into the Fillmore Detroit theater Tuesday night and met Detroit’s soul. The city’s soul is not made of dollars and companies. It lies in the creativity and passion and genius that has fueled art and the business of art. It lies in a fierce persistence to share spirit.... We know the city’s troubles, but we better not forget its soul. Souls lift cities. That is how the healing begins."
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    Detroit Knight Arts Challenge Winners from Knight Foundation on Slideshare I’m in Detroit this week, and am excited to announce the 56 winners of the city’s Knight Arts Challenge. They’ll receive $2.1 million for their ideas. RELATED LINK  "Detroiters pick community book and record store as winner of Knight Arts Challenge People's Choice Award" The winners are mostly small groups and individual artists—homegrown talent working across a range of disciplines. If they have one thing in common it’s that they keep the community at the heart of their projects. That speaks to why Knight does the challenge: The arts don’t just inspire, they help build community—the kinds of common experiences that get people excited about their neighbors and neighborhoods. With our mission to promote informed and engaged communities, Knight Foundation sees the arts as a way to attract and keep the talent that fuels cities and local economies. We’re excited to help build on the creative momentum in Detroit, and everything that artists and social entrepreneurs are doing to push the city forward. Take a look at their winning projects below. We'll announce the winner of the People's Choice Award early next week. And get your ideas ready; we’ll be back with year two of the Detroit Knight Arts Challenge in 2014. - Dennis Scholl