Articles by

Rosemary D'Amour

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    SXSW, one of the world’s largest gatherings of techies, journalists, educators, filmmakers, interactive media producers and musicians kicks off Friday, March 10. Thousands of attendees who descend on Austin, Texas, are prepping their schedules for must-see panels, performances and demos.   Knight Foundation’s Journalism, Technology Innovation and Community and National Initiatives programs will take part in discussions around Austin over the next week. Check out these events to connect with Knight and our partner network at SXSW Interactive.
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    Representatives from four Knight communities and Gehl Architects at the 2016 convening in Lexington. Photos by Rosemary D'Amour. Angie Martin huddles under an awning in a public square in Lexington, Kentucky, on a cold April morning. She’s tallying the number of pedestrians who walk through the square, making note of the lighting, whether people feel drawn to hang out in the square. Martin, CEO of the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce in Georgia, is taking part in a two-day convening of four Knight communities: Fort Wayne, Indiana; Milledgeville, Georgia; Wichita, Kansas, and the host city, Lexington. The learning exchange will focus on how to develop and measure city projects to improve the experience people have in public spaces. The gathering is part of Gehl Architects’ people-first design training, which is an interactive series that helps prepare cities for projects that bring people together and make public spaces more vibrant. People-first design is the focal point for Gehl, and the concept is executed much as it sounds: Create cities that consider people first—their scale, senses, behavior and engagement in their surroundings.
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    MLS 2016 Day 1: Tools and Techniques: Using Social Media and Mobile to Inform and Engage Communities from Knight Foundation on Vimeo. Knight Foundation’s Media Learning Seminar convenes leaders in media, tech and philanthropy to identify how community foundations can best meet community information needs. And it should come as no surprise that mobile and social media were at the forefront of many discussions of the first day of the 2016 seminar held at the J.W. Marriott Marquis hotel in Miami.
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    This post has been updated. On Thursday Knight Foundation closed out SXSWedu, the SXSW conference track focused on educators, asking crucial questions about the future of libraries and technology, and the role of each in communities. Two panels featured several previous Knight News Challenge on Libraries winners, such as P2PU, StoryCorps and the Internet Archive, and touched on strategies to improve technology and processes in libraries and how mobile archives are transforming community engagement. Here are some of the key takeaways from Thursday’s sessions, “Innovation in Libraries” and “Mobile Archives: Preserving Community Memories.”
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    SXSW 2015. This post has been updated to reflect the latest ways you can connect with Knight Foundation at SXSW. Knight Foundation is turning its attention to leading-edge ways to tell news stories, hosting events on mobile innovation and virtual reality, as SXSW moves into its Interactive phase. On Saturday, March 12, we will host a discussion on experimentation with mobile in newsrooms with BuzzFeed, NBC, Guardian US Mobile Innovation Lab and NPR, all leaders in mobile news. Then on Sunday, experts from the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin, a Knight Prototype Fund winner, will explore “Using Virtual Reality in Storytelling,” and StoryNext will hold a roundtable discussion on overcoming challenges to the growing field of virtual reality. On Thursday Knight Foundation closed out SXSWedu, the SXSW conference track focused on educators, asking crucial questions about the future of libraries and technology, and the role of each in communities. Knight hosted a series of events focused on the Knight News Challenge, which this round asks the question: How might libraries serve 21st century information needs? The challenge opened for entries on Feb. 24 and closes at 5 p.m. ET March 21. Two panels featured several previous Knight News Challenge on Libraries winners, such as P2PU, StoryCorps and the Internet Archive, and touched on strategies to improve technology and processes in libraries and how mobile archives are transforming community engagement.
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    The recent Reddit Ask Me Anything with John Bracken, Knight’s vice president for media innovation, started with questions on the library of the future. One sample: “What does a day in the library look like when my 3-year-old goes to college?” Bracken responded by painting a picture of how the physical space will change: “Buildings will likely be more crafted for physical interactions—more of an emphasis on experiences than on books. The notion of the shushing librarian will also be passé.” The second Knight News Challenge on Libraries opened for submissions last week. Individuals, nonprofits, businesses, governments, libraries, anyone in the U.S. can apply by March 21, 2016 with an idea for how libraries can meet 21st century information needs. The Reddit chat was intended to inspire and engage librarians, technologists and people throughout the U.S. to learn more about the Knight News Challenge, and in a two-hour time span on Monday evening, we certainly received a variety of input.
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    A team of reviewers are in Miami for the next two days to help Knight Foundation evaluate finalists in the latest Knight Cities Challenge, which asks the question: How can we make cities more successful? The latest round closed in October 2015 with more than 4,500 entries. Civic innovators from across the country submitted ideas for our 26 communities. In January, Knight named 158 finalists, with common themes focusing on the three key drivers of city success: retaining talented people, expanding economic opportunity and promoting civic engagement. Proposals represent a range of ideas—from pop-up parks to mobile festivals to the accessibility of government websites. A big thank you to our reviewers: ·      Ben Bryant, Group Melvin Design ·      Bobby Martin, Original Champions of Design ·      Fred Dust, IDEO ·      Jason Roberts, Team Better Block ·      Jewel Gopwani, Detroit Free Press ·      Joanna Frank, Center for Active Design ·      Kate Catherall, 270 Strategies ·      Lisa Adkins, Blue Grass Community Foundation ·      Matt Lister, Gehl Architects ·      Maurice Cox, City of Detroit ·      Nate Echeverria, San Jose Downtown Association ·      Raphael Clemente, West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority Knight plans to announce winners in April 2016. 
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    Knight Foundation’s summer internship program offers college students and recent college graduates a chance to help foster informed and engaged communities through our work in the arts, journalism and media innovation, and cities. Applications are now open for the paid, 10-week summer program. Below, Lucas Hernandez, special assistant to Knight President Alberto Ibargüen, talks about his work as an intern with the Learning and Impact team in summer 2014. Following his internship, he was hired as an associate on the Media Innovation team. He moved to his current role in June 2015. 
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    Chris Caines at Knight's offices in Miami. Photo by Rosemary D'Amour. Applications are now open for Knight Foundation’s summer internship program, which offers competitive, paid 10-week internships for college students and recent grads. A former Knight intern turned Knight employee, Chris Caines, talks about his experience as an intern in summer 2015 and the transition as a recent graduate from Wesleyan University. Caines works as the program associate for the Miami communities program.