Knight Foundation

Knight Arts Challenge Winners

These 53 Knight Arts Challenge winners are helping to make art general in Miami.

Congratulations also to the People's Choice Award winner Miami Girls Rock Camp and to our four Knight Arts Champions.

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  • DanceAfrica Comes to Miami

    Recipient: Delou Africa

    Award: $15,000

    Aim: Celebrating the arts of the African diaspora in Miami by expanding Delou Africa’s annual festival in collaboration with the founders of the national Dance Africa showcase.

  • Ballet Presents Shakespeare Miami-Style

    Recipient: Miami City Ballet

    Award: $150,000

    Aim: Reimagining a classic by presenting a uniquely Miami rendition of George Balanchine’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” during the company’s 30th anniversary season.

  • Dance Performance Highlights Importance of Water

    Recipient: Miami Dance Futures

    Award: $20,000

    Aim: Bringing attention to the water supply through National Water Dance Miami, a countywide celebration of site-specific dances – involving both professionals and local students –along the region’s shore.


  • Indie Film Scene Receives Increased Coverage

    Recipient: Independent Ethos

    Award: $15,000

    Aim: Giving South Floridians an insider’s peek into Miami’s growing indie film and music scene through a website that covers the local industry.

  • Roundtable Strengthens Indie Filmmaking

    Recipient: Kenny Riches

    Award: $8,000

    Aim: Strengthening the indie filmmaking community through a screenwriter roundtable where participants can get feedback on new material.

  • Legacy Media Materials Get New Archive

    Recipient: Obsolete Media Miami

    Award: $30,000

    Aim: Preserving legacy media, such as 35 mm slides and archival motion pictures, through an archive that serves as a resource for artists, designers, filmmakers and researchers.

  • Movie Lovers Pay Homage to 35 mm Films

    Recipient: Secret Celluloid Society

    Award: $15,000

    Aim: Preserving classic films by converting a 1986 bookmobile into a portable project booth that brings 16 mm/35 mm and high-resolution digital projection to Miami neighborhoods.


  • Community Gets Access to Letterpress

    Recipient: Extra Virgin Press

    Award: $10,000

    Aim: Preserving the art of letterpress by creating a space where the community can learn and practice this handmade form of communication.

  • Festival Showcases Ibero-American Literature

    Recipient: The Betsy-South Beach

    Award: $50,000

    Aim: Celebrating Ibero-American poetry, literature, scholarship and experience through Escribe Aqui/Write Here, a multiday bilingual festival fueled by ongoing cultural programming to champion Miami’s diversity.

  • Book celebrates South Beach’s cultural history

    Recipient:Tom Austin


    Aim:Celebrating Miami Beach’s centennial by publishing a cultural history of South Beach, an exploration of how the arts – music, dance, fashion, visual arts, film, literature, culinary culture and nightlife – have fueled this iconic resort city.

    South Beach artist Carlos Alfonzo, 1990, portrait by Steven Paul Hlavac.


  • Farmers Markets Host Pop-up Concerts

    Recipient: A Greener Miami

    Award: $20,000

    Aim: Expanding audiences for music by hosting mini-concerts in South Florida farmers markets with events preceded by a short explanation of the composer’s inspiration.

  • Hidden Musical Talents Showcased Onstage

    Recipient: FUNDarte

    Award: $120,000

    Aim: Bringing attention to Miami’s hidden musical talents, many of whom have immigrated to the city and have not yet made it to main stage venues, through a collaborative series with established companies and artists.

  • Gay Arts Groups Team Up

    Recipient: Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida

    Award: $40,000

    Aim: Increasing the visibility of South Florida’s LGBT arts scene through joint programming between the chorus, Island City Stage and Stonewall National Museum and Archives.

  • Havana and Miami Youth Collaborate

    Recipient: Greater Miami Youth Symphony

    Award: $55,000

    Aim: Creating cultural exchanges between Miami and Havana students through joint rehearsals and concerts with Cuba’s Amadeo Roldan Conservatory Orchestra.

  • Collaboration Makes Classical Musical More Accessible



    Aim:Engaging Miami audiences with an innovative, fully staged performance of a Pulitzer Prize-winning composition inspired by the visual art at the Pérez Art Museum Miami.

  • Miami Youth Learn Junkanoo Traditions

    Recipient: Leadership Prep Foundation

    Award: $25,000

    Aim: Celebrating Bahamian culture by teaching Miami youth to make traditional Junkanoo costumes and instruments, which are used during Coconut Grove’s annual Goombay/Junkanoo Festival and in other events.

  • Camp Empowers Girls to Perform Music

    Recipient: Miami Girls Rock Camp

    Award: $20,000

    Aim: Promoting creative expression and empowering young girls through an annual camp where participants are grouped into bands and learn to write and perform an original song.

  • School Days Off Turn Into Music Boot Camps

    Recipient: Miami Music Project

    Award: $105,000

    Aim: Helping 100 Miami-Dade students push their own artistic limits through a series of orchestral boot camps taking place on teacher planning days throughout the school year.

  • Academy Preps Teens for Music Careers

    Recipient: Overtown Youth Center

    Award: $40,000

    Aim: Preparing teens for careers in the music industry through The Beats Academy, which will teach a range of topics from music theory to remixing.

  • TransAtlantic Festival Gets Refresh

    Recipient: The Rhythm Foundation

    Award: $50,000

    Aim: Providing a home for world music by rebooting the annual TransAtlantic Festival at the North Beach Bandshell – bringing in more ambitious programming and expanding the event into the adjacent public spaces.

  • Six Composers Celebrate 15 Years of Seraphic Fire

    Recipient: Seraphic Fire

    Award: $100,000

    Aim: Celebrating the group’s 15th anniversary by commissioning and presenting six new American choral works, championing both top composers and emerging talent.

  • Overtown Festival Expands

    Recipient: Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency

    Award: $50,000

    Aim: Celebrating Overtown’s culture through the sixth annual Overtown Music and Arts Festival featuring national and local recording artists.

  • Audio Equipment Rentals Come to Sweat Records

    Recipient: Sweat Records

    Award: $50,000

    Aim: Supporting the local indie music scene by providing low-cost rentals of audio equipment for independent promoters and nonprofit event producers.

  • Residency Helps Students Create Songs

    Recipient: The alt Default

    Award: $9,000

    Aim: Helping teens find their musical voice through a residency for this ensemble at the Fienberg-Fisher K-8 Center in Miami Beach where students will create an original song.

  • High-Profile Concert Showcases Student Performers

    Recipient: The Miami Symphony Orchestra

    Award: $60,000

    Aim: Offering visibility to pianists younger than 12 through a competition, where the finalists perform with the orchestra at a high-profile concert.

  • Jazz Fest Comes to Downtown

    Recipient: 88.9 FM WDNA Public Radio:

    Award: $75,000

    Aim: Bringing jazz to more Miamians by launching the Miami Downtown Jazz Festival, which will take over several blocks in downtown and continue in various venues.


  • Light Box Provides Space for Incubating New Performance Works

    Recipient: Miami Light Project

    Award: $120,000

    Aim: Providing a space for developing new work and new techniques by piloting a contemporary performance residency program at The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse in Wynwood for international and local artists.

  • Series Focuses on Power of the Elements

    Recipient: Tigertail

    Award: $75,000

    Aim: Creating new artistic experiences through a monthlong performance series that explores water—in April 2016—and fire—in April 2017—as elements that give and take through tragedy and regeneration.

  • Children Take “MiniTheater” to Stage

    Recipient: Artefactus Cultural Project

    Award: $15,000

    Aim: Instilling an appreciation for theater in West Dade’s children through workshops that lead them through the process of staging a play.

  • Contest Helps Develop New Student Playwrights

    Recipient: City Theatre

    Award: $20,000

    Aim: Developing and giving voice to the next generation of playwrights through a contest where high school students from Broward to Miami-Dade create, rehearse and present short plays and public readings.

  • Theater Explores Censorship Onstage

    Recipient: Mad Cat Theatre Company

    Award: $25,000

    Aim: Promoting discussion about the impact of censorship by presenting a banned play and then producing a new work inspired by incidents of censorship in South Florida.

  • Hispanic Theater Gets New Focus

    Recipient: Teatro Promoteo at Miami Dade College

    Award: $35,000

    Aim: Fostering Hispanic theater in Miami, and raising its prominence nationally, through a partnership with the national Latina|o Theatre Commons where the college will host a prominent Latino playwright in residency.

Visual Art

  • Hackathon Fuses Art and Technology

    Recipient: Bakehouse Art Complex

    Award: $30,000

    Aim: Bringing Art Hack Day to Miami – an international event, where groups of hackers and artists create an instant exhibition that blends art and technology.

  • Sculptures Reflect Fear in Media

    Recipient: Locust Projects

    Award: $60,000

    Aim: Exploring how fear is used in the media by creating sculptures of headless chickens, called Withervanes, that change colors to reflect the prevalence of fear-related keywords in news stories.

  • Arts Educators Teach Virtually

    Recipient: Art and Culture Center of Hollywood

    Award: $40,000

    Aim: Expanding arts education in the region by buying new telepresence equipment so that the center’s staff can interact directly with students in its distance learning arts programs.

  • Sidewalk Poems Take Literary Arts to the Streets

    Recipient: Agustina Woodgate

    Award: $20,000

    Aim: Transforming our county’s sidewalks into playful encounters with "Concrete Poetry," in partnership with Miami Dade County Art in Public Places and O, Miami.

  • Residency Program Expands Little Haiti Gallery

    Recipient: Rise Up Gallery

    Award: $25,000

    Aim: Strengthening an artist-run collective that provides studio space to local artists, gallery space for innovative curatorial projects and artistic programming for the community.

  • Library Becomes Museum’s Temporary Home

    Recipient: Friends of the Bass Museum

    Award: $75,000

    Aim: Infusing a library with art through a series of solo artists projects and education programs at the Miami Beach Regional Library while the Bass’ building is under renovation.

  • Exhibition Series Connects Miami and Caribbean Artists

    Recipient: Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance

    Award: $40,000

    Aim: Exploring the realities of living and creating in cross-cultural communities through the “Borderless Caribbean,” a series of exchanges and exhibitions between Miami and Caribbean contemporary artists.

  • Art Series Engages Tri-Rail Commuters

    Recipient: Kip Eagen

    Award: $5,000

    Aim: Engaging transit riders in art by creating a series of artistic billboards along the TriRail tracks that would appear to be an animated flipbook as riders fly by.

  • Artists of Color Shine at December Art Fair

    Recipient: Prizm

    Award: $80,000

    Aim: Promoting the works of artists of color who reflect global trends in contemporary art through an annual fair that takes place during Art Basel Miami Beach.

  • Illustrations Memorialize Miami Bands

    Recipient: Show Drawn; The Upper Hand Art

    Award: $8,000

    Aim: Drawing attention to Miami’s vibrant music scene, with the goal of encouraging more bands to play here, by creating a series of illustrations of local performances to be published in print and online.

  • Environmental Art Works Come to the Gardens

    Recipient: Village of Pinecrest/Pinecrest Gardens

    Award: $25,000

    Aim: Bringing the arts more deeply into communities by inviting acclaimed American environmental artist Patrick Dougherty, who creates sculptures from community-sourced saplings, to create new site-specific works in the gardens.


  • Artist Residency Sets Sail Aboard Boat

    Recipient: ArtCenter/South Florida

    Award: $40,000

    Aim: Exploring climate change through the arts by creating ARTsail, a one-month residency program aboard a sailboat where participants will be commissioned to create work inspired by Miami’s relationship to water.

  • Jazz Festival Expands to New Mediums

    Recipient: City of Miami Gardens

    Award: $80,000

    Aim: Expanding the city’s successful Jazz in the Gardens music festival to include a music, film and art conference that fosters a deeper exploration of the additional artistic mediums.

  • New Performance Piece Explores Rising Tide

    Recipient: Florida International University

    Award: $30,000

    Aim: Exploring the complexities of sea level rise in South Florida through an interdisciplinary performance featuring electronic sounds, orchestral musicians, video and dance in partnership with five prominent local artists.

  • Downtown Art Installations Explore Uncoventional Spaces

    Recipient: Fringe Projects

    Award: $35,000

    Aim: Activating downtown Miami’s less conventional spaces by expanding this site-specific, temporary public art commissioning program.

  • Film Series Explores Brain on Music

    Recipient: Jonathan Kane

    Award: $80,000

    Aim: Exploring how the human brain interprets music through a film series and exhibit that will illustrate a person’s neurological reaction to listening to a composition.

  • Waterfront Residency Comes to Key Biscayne

    Recipient: Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center

    Award: $25,000

    Aim: Helping inspire South Florida artists through a residency program at the waterfront center in Crandon Park.

  • Latino Artists Engage Little Havana

    Recipient: Miami Dade College’s Koubek Center

    Award: $100,000

    Aim: Cultivating emerging Latino artists through an artist-in-residence program that provides them the space to produce work that reflects and engages the surrounding Little Havana neighborhood.

  • Miami Makerspace Expands

    Recipient: Miami Industrial Arts (MIA)

    Award: $15,000

    Aim: Expanding a hub for Miami’s makers by constructing an onsite classroom and offering subsidized classes in ceramics, wood, metalworking and 3-D technologies.

  • Concerts and Films Coming to Sweetwater

    Recipient: NC-office

    Award: $30,000

    Aim: Activating a public space through culture by presenting concerts and films in a new plaza in the city of Sweetwater next to Florida International University’s West Dade campus.

  • Artistic Treasure Hunt Key Reveals West History

    Recipient: The Studios of Key West

    Award: $50,000

    Aim: Providing a new way to explore Key West’s history and culture through an event called Lost at the Beach, where participants use maps and apps to discover performances and installations hidden throughout Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park.