Knight New Work 2020 Winners

Knight New Work 2020

Inspired by the resilience and creativity displayed by artists during the pandemic, earlier this year we announced Knight New Work 2020. The open call sought ideas from Miami artists to create new works that reimagine how the performing arts are created and experienced during the pandemic and beyond. The New Work program will invest up to $500,000 in total to support Miami artists to create their new works, with first-round winners each receiving grants of $10,000 to develop new concepts in dance, music or theater. Among the winners, a smaller group will be chosen next year to receive additional funding to fully produce and showcase their work for Miami audiences in 2021.

Knight Foundation is thrilled to announce the Knight New Work 2020 first-round recipients, a diverse group of 18 Miami-based artists and arts organizations that are pushing the boundaries on how the performing arts are created and experienced. 

Along with the open call winners, Knight is also announcing the 2020 Knight Arts Champions, 19 Miami community leaders who will direct $10,000 to local artists and arts organizations of their choosing.  

Read more about the winners and champions announcement here and in this blog post by Knight Arts Officer Adam Ganuza. 

A Night of New Work

The New Tropic teamed up with the Knight Foundation for a special live celebration of the resilience of performing artists, “A Night of New Work.” The event spotlighted the 2020 Knight New Work winners  and premiered cinematic excerpts of works by 2018 Knight New Work winners. Learn more here.

Meet the KNW 2020 Winners

Carlos Fabián Medina

Carlos Fabián Medina

Little Spaces

A site-specific theatrical performance that uses real testimonies to explore the different experiences of individuals living in Miami during the pandemic’s “new normal.”

About the artist: A recent Miami transplant, Carlos Fabían Medina has earned critical acclaim in his native Venezuela as an up-and-coming theater director. More on Carlos HERE.

Ari Urban

Ari Urban

The Art of Being Human

A new personal type of concert experience at the intersection of classical music, sound healing and meditation that invites active participation from the audience.

About the artist: Ari Urban is a violinist, performer, composer and educator who has shared the stage with such greats as Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell and Ben Folds. She’s currently part of the Nu Deco Ensemble. More on Ari HERE.

Rosie Elliott

Rosie Elliott

Making Deux

An uplifting dance film that includes unlikely collaborations from artists all over the country and that examines the link between human connection and isolation.

About the artist: A promising young choreographer, Rosie Elliott uses technology to create and present dance in multiple vernaculars simultaneously. More on Rosie HERE.

Jay Thomas

Jay Thomas

Butterfly Parade

A psychedelic concept album performed live and broadcast online, inspired by human resilience and triumph.

About the artist: A Miami native, singer-songwriter and composer Jay Thomas evokes fantasy and escapism while addressing grief, trauma and human rights. More on Jay HERE

Octavia Yearwood

Octavia Yearwood

Life’s Interludes

A mixtape of music and poetry paired with visual components that share the intricate experiences of queer artists in a world where their lives feel like interludes. 

About the artist: Named “Best Author in Miami” by Miami New Times in 2018, Octavia Yearwood uses storytelling to strengthen connections, liberate, have fun with heavy topics and empower communities. More on Octavia HERE.

Maya Billig

Maya Billig

A Lot

An interactive drive-in dance performance centered around physicalizing the experience of regaining momentum after being “parked” in one space for a period of time. 

About the artist: A Miami native and graduate from the New World School of the Arts, Maya Billig uses research-based practices to develop choreographic works for film, stage and site-specific performances. More on Maya HERE.

Juggerknot Theatre Co.

Juggerknot Theatre Co.

Miami Bus Stop Stories

A live, virtual immersive theater experience featuring a local historical adventure where bus passengers meet neighborhood residents in a series of virtual stops throughout Miami neighborhoods.

About the arts group: Juggerknot Theatre Co. is the producer of the “Miami Motel Stories” theater series. The three editions produced have garnered critical acclaim from national publications, including The New York Times. More on Juggerknot Theatre Co. HERE

Fereshteh Toosi

Fereshteh Toosi

Oil Ancestors

An immersive, virtual performance that explores the cultural history of oil.

About the artist: Fereshteh Toosi’s critically acclaimed artwork takes the form of guided journeys augmented by small electronics, audio, video and media transmissions. More on Fereshteh HERE

Najja Moon

Najja Moon

The Huddle is a Prayer Circle

An immersive installation and interactive performance that encompasses sound, scripture and movement.

About the artist: Former athlete turned artist Najja Moon believes art is utilitarian. Her work connects two seemingly different worlds — the church and the arena — by meditating on the spirit of community that exists within their walls. More on Najja HERE.

Diana Lozano

Diana Lozano

Escape 2020

A socially distanced drive-through safari meets an immersive theme park ride in this theatrical journey. 

About the artist: Diana Lozano likens herself to a fusion chef, re-mixing ingredients to create new recipes. She is the director of CircX, a Miami-centric subversive cabaret that tackles socio-political issues. More on Diana HERE

Ballet Flamenco La Rosa

Ballet Flamenco La Rosa

Me Duele el Aire

A collaborative online dance performance with diverse artists and community members inspired by COVID-19 experiences.

About the arts group: Founded in Miami in 1985, Ballet Flamenco La Rosa is a dance company and school known for its groundbreaking approach to creating flamenco fusion works that draw connections between the traditional dance and contemporary culture. More on Ballet Flamenco La Rosa HERE

Juraj Kojs

Juraj Kojs

Where Home Is

A multi-movement music composition for voices, instruments and laptops, exploring the theme of immigration and citizenships from the perspective of a recently naturalized U.S. citizen.

About the artist: Avant composer Juraj Kojs’ work spans from acoustic concert music to muscle-powered installations and investigates the multiplicity of ways we relate to the world around us. He is an assistant professor at the Frost School of Music and director of the Foundation for Emerging Technologies and Arts. More on Juraj HERE.

Natasha Tsakos

Natasha Tsakos

CARABOOM: A carwashow production

An immersive theatrical experience that aims to bring human connection, fun and awe back into everyday life for everyday people from their vehicles. 

About the artist: Natasha Tsakos is a conceptual director, interactive designer and performer known for integrating technology with live performance. More on Natasha HERE

Melissa Cobblah Gutierrez

Melissa Cobblah Gutierrez

CuBlack: Invisibilized No Further!

A dance film and performance that analyzes the “invisibilized” oppression of Blackness inside the Cuban community and investigates how it has impacted Miami.

About the artist: Cuban-born and Miami-based choreographer, performer and educator Melissa Cobblah Gutierrez sees dance as a means to understand the many layers of the human experience. More on Melissa HERE.  

Jose Veliz

Jose Veliz

Music United

An interactive musical experience that lets participants control cross-genre music in person and remotely, with a composition performed across different rooms and streamed together to create a unified piece.

About the artist: Multicultural composer Jose Veliz creates interactive compositions that allow audiences to become part of the music. More on Jose HERE

Amanda Ribnick & Emilia Torello

Amanda Ribnick & Emilia Torello

Underground

A musical web-series that follows an unlikely team of women in purgatory fighting through an examination of morality.

About the artists: Amanda Ribnick and Emilia Torello are a writer and director pair, current students at the University of Miami and committed to producing work with a team made up of female identifying and non-binary individuals. More on Amanda and Emilia HERE. 

Brian Lynch

Brian Lynch

7 for 7 by 7: A Jazz Work Exploring Distance, Interaction and Chance

Seven performances for seven minutes by seven musicians totalling 343 new pieces for a jazz septet, exploring the nature of interaction at a distance. 

About the artist: Brian Lynch is a Grammy-winning performing musician, composer, arranger and bandleader. More on Brian HERE

Carlos Miguel Caballero, Inez Barlatier and Lornoar

Carlos Miguel Caballero, Inez Barlatier and Lornoar

Sharing Grandmothers

A collaborative theatrical performance featuring Black female artists from Cameroon and the Haitian diaspora in Miami, incorporating original music and dance by Inez Barlatier and Lornoar. 

About the artist: Carlos Miguel Caballero is a Cuban-born, Miami-based actor and theater director who produces theatrical performances. Inez Barlatier is a Haitian-American musician and educator. Lornoar is a singer-songwriter and composer based in Cameroon.  More on Carlos HERE, Inez HERE and Lornoar HERE.

What’s Next? 

Knight New Work 2020 consists of two phases. Out of the diverse selection of winners listed above, a smaller group will be selected to receive further funding to produce and perform their finished work by the end of 2021.  

This smaller group will be announced in 2021. Stay tuned! 

Learn about the 2020 Knight Arts Champions

Along with the open call winners, Knight is also announcing the 2020 Knight Arts Champions, 19 Miami community leaders who will direct $10,000 to local artists and arts organizations of their choosing.  Click below to find out more.

2020 Knight Arts Champions

The 2020 Knight Arts Champions are a group of 19 Miami community leaders who have played an essential role in expanding South Florida’s rich cultural scene. The champions will direct $10,000 of Knight funding to local artists and arts organizations of their choosing. Learn more below about the champions and the organizations they are supporting. […]

2020 Knight Arts Champions