Philadelphia – Knight Foundation



Knight supports informed and engaged communities where the Knight brothers owned and operated newspapers. We believe an engaged community is one in which people are attached to the place where they live and are invested in the community’s future. Learn more through our Statement of Strategy.

In Philadelphia, Knight Foundation advances equitable neighborhood development through engaging public spaces. Our program focuses on efforts that transform civic and public spaces into places that bring together a range of people, while offering an outlet to learn and share ideas. 

Knight also invests to attract and retain people in communities through inclusive and effective pathways to economic opportunity. We are a force-multiplier to empower Philadelphians’ active participation in the civic, social and economic life of the city. 

Knight also invests in Philadelphia’s arts and culture as a way to connect people to place and to one another. Investing in arts and culture is central to Knight’s effort to build stronger, better-informed and more engaged communities, which are critical for a more effective democracy. Learn more about Knight’s Arts program.


In partnership with the city and other funders, we piloted Reimagining the Civic Commons, an initiative to connect and reinvigorate public spaces such as parks, trails, recreation centers and libraries. Our goal is to bring together people from all backgrounds, develop new local leaders and foster a more vibrant, engaged community.

Since 2015, the initiative has spread to six other cities and helped create five new civic assets in Philadelphia, including a riverfront park and trail, a renovated public library and park space, an elevated park, an outdoor education and nature center, and recreational amenities for one of the city’s signature public spaces West Fairmount Park. All were developed with input from the surrounding communities.

Philadelphia Program Staff


Philadelphia Community Advisory Committee Members:

Sandra Clark, StoryCorps; Jerry Sweeney, Brandywine Realty Trust; Lindsey Scannapieco, Scout

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