56 Finalists announced in Knight Arts Challenge Miami – Knight Foundation

56 Finalists announced in Knight Arts Challenge Miami

Contest part of $40 million cultural initiative to spur community engagement

Contest part of $40 million cultural initiative to spur community engagement

MIAMI (May 16, 2011) – The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today announced the finalists in the Knight Arts Challenge Miami, an annual contest that aims to bring South Florida together through the arts.

The 56 finalists –  including individual artists, artist-driven organizations and premiere cultural institutions – emerged from a wide-ranging field of applicants with a broad spectrum of ideas. Descriptions of the finalists’ projects are available below and at www.KnightArts.org. Knight Foundation will announce the winners of the matching arts grants in November.

 “The ideas from the South Florida arts community just keep getting better and better – further proof that Miami’s cultural scene is truly coming into its own,” said Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation’s vice president/arts. “The momentum this contest has created for the arts will continue to engage this community and enrich the lives of South Floridians.”

This is the fourth year of the Knight Arts Challenge, which offers $20 million over five years in matching grant money to the best ideas in the South Florida arts. Applicants must follow only three rules: the ideas must be about art, the project must take place in or benefit South Florida and the project must find funding to match Knight’s commitment.

Previous winners of the Knight Arts Challenge are helping to transform the local arts scene and bring the community together. They include the 2011 Borscht Film Festival, a sold-out event presenting Miami stories; the LegalArt Residency, Miami’s only live/work artists residency; Teatro Avante, which enhanced its award-winning Hispanic theater festival; and the Miami City Ballet, which brought back live music to accompany its 25th anniversary season. As part of the challenge, Knight Foundation also invested an additional $20 million in endowment grants to three leading arts institutions: the Miami Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami and the New World Symphony.

For more information, visit www.KnightArts.org.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed and engaged communities and lead to transformational change. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.

Contact: Marc Fest, Vice President of Communications, Knight Foundation, 305-908-2677; [email protected]


[NAME] Publications: To celebrate local women artists by dedicating a year of [NAME] Publications’ Miami artists book series exclusively to women and their work

Adalberto Delgado: To bring together Miami’s emerging and more established artists through joint exhibitions at the 6th Street Container alternative space in Little Havana

Area Stage Company: To further develop local playwrights by expanding a student New Play Festival to include a competition whose winners will develop their works for the company’s regular season

Artists in Residence in Everglades: To help artists bring their passion for the Everglades to the public by expanding the Artists-in-Residence program to include a stipend and professional support

Arts & Business Council of Miami: To broaden the number and diversity of board candidates accessible to arts organizations by developing a website where professionals can explore their interests, review opportunities and pursue board placement

Bas Fisher Invitational: To build a sense of community by expanding the popular Weird Miami bus tours, which are artist-led expeditions to little known places and projects around the city

Bass Museum of Art: To surprise and engage the public by populating a 40-block area of Miami Beach with temporary public art projects that include sculpture, murals, sound installation and video

Bridge Red: To provide more exposure to the region’s mid- to late-career visual artists – who might not enjoy gallery representation or museum exposure – through exhibitions at a warehouse space

Camposition: To promote unity in South Florida through a series of dance-theater productions that suggest artistic solutions to the discord that threatens communities

Cathleen Murphy: To tell an authentic story of a Cuban journey to America through a musical conceived by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz and Grammy Award-winning recording artists Tiempo Libre – who use their own journeys as inspirations

Centro Cultural de España: To celebrate modern music, technology and design by launching Sonar Miami, a weekend event that uses public and private spaces to showcase cutting-edge developments in modern sound

Ceramic League of Miami: To fill a growing need in Miami by providing ceramic artists with access to kilns and studio facilities in an idyllic setting on the Deering Estate grounds

City of Miami Little Haiti Cultural Center: To support traditional Haitian arts by conducting workshops in paper mache, textiles and other disciplines, then hosting a community procession to highlight them

City Theatre: To cultivate local playwrights by uniting local writers with national playwrights, artistic directors and industry leaders for master classes, workshops and mentorships

Coral Morphologic/Miami Science Museum: To build excitement for downtown’s Museum Park by creating a multimedia art project displaying video of a living coral reef aquarium juxtaposed with time-lapsed documentation of the park’s construction

Cuban Museum: To bring the work of top Cuban artists in exile to South Florida through a series of exhibitions and performances at the Cuban Museum

Dimensions Variable: To present experimental works in South Florida through exhibitions at an independent space that focus on site-specific works by national and international artists

ERE. Bistoury: To foster improvisational performance through a weeklong, multidisciplinary festival offering free public performances

Florida Grand Opera: To bring opera to new audiences by presenting new or updated operas in unique, intimate spaces

Friends of Gusman and Sweat Records: To foster indie music through an annual Battle of the of Bands that brings local acts out of the clubs and onto the stage of Miami’s original concert venue

FUNDarte: To expand the visibility of Miami artists by creating a virtual office and interactive blog that will build partnerships among local art presenters

GableStage: To introduce a new audience to an old master by launching a Winter Shakespeare Festival, which will blend classic techniques with contemporary references in collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company and acclaimed Miami-native playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney

Hispanic-American Lyric Theatre: To support the creation of new works by commissioning a full-length opera and giving local artists the opportunity to collaborate in its creation

Homestead Main Street: To bring the New World Symphony to South Dade through free simulcasts of concerts shown in Homestead’s Losner Park

Inkub8: To cultivate local performing artists by creating a residency program that offers time, space and a modest stipend in exchange for artists teaching classes and exhibiting works

Jillian Mayer: To create a conceptual variety show – a nod to similar shows in 1970s New York – that will feature artists filmed in front of a live audience, broadcast live and later released as short videos

Joey Daoud: To provide a new way to experience local architecture by creating an iPhone app that allows people to simply point their phone at a building and have a rich visual experience, complete with interviews, historical photos and short videos

Karen Peterson and Dancers: To provide dance instruction to the 3,000 children with disabilities in Miami-Dade County Public Schools, who will perform their work at a gala performance

Katherine MacDiarmid: To encourage South Florida youths to participate in the performing arts by providing educational performances by the Black Violin fiddlers, whose music links the classics to jazz to hip-hop

Lucila Garcia de Onrubia: To strengthen Miami’s reputation as an “art city” by commissioning works that will be displayed on parking meter receipts

Magic in Action: To celebrate the musical and artistic heritage of Overtown with an annual festival that draws top acts

Miami City Ballet: To broaden programming and support the future of ballet by establishing a fund for the creation of new works

Miami Dade College Cultura del Lobo Performance Series: To provide professional development training for Miami’s performers by creating a series of intensive summer master classes 

Miami Downtown Development Authority: To cultivate a sense of community by making the Downtown Miami Concert Series year-round, with summer shows at the Gusman Center

Miami Film Fellowship: To cultivate local filmmakers by offering a mid-career fellowship during which participants both learn from master filmmakers and mentor up-and-comers

Miami International Airport Fine Arts & Cultural Affairs: To enhance South Florida as a destination by inviting the Miami Symphony Orchestra to perform in Miami International Airport’s International Greeters Hall

Miami Jazz Cooperative: To strengthen the local jazz scene by establishing a permanent facility that will offer rehearsal space by day and live performances at night

Miami Light Project: To introduce the community to the new Light Box at Goldman Warehouse through a campaign featuring monthly podcasts, open mic and dance jams, artist-community potluck lunches and a direct-mail campaign

Miami Lyric Opera: To strengthen local opera offerings by providing a larger venue and additional performances for Miami Lyric Opera’s popular subscription series

Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs: To “bring home” prominent and influential Miami artists now living elsewhere through a series of performances at the new South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center

Miami-Dade Parks: To reach a broader segment of the community by more than doubling the number of free concerts in neighborhood parks produced by the successful Noches Tropicales and Tropical Nights series

Miami-Dade Public Library System: To encourage creative writing among Miami-Dade teens by creating a writer-in-residence program for an author of teen novels

Moving the Lives of Kids Art Center (MLK): To bring together the Little Haiti community to help create a large mural at the Little Haiti Soccer Park

Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale: To enhance local knowledge and dialogue around the CoBrA art movement, formed as a reaction to World War II’s devastation, through an international partnership that includes artistic residencies and a major exhibition of the museum’s collection

Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami: To inspire students to become lifelong learners and lovers of art by creating an institute to provide free year-round programs in art history, museum studies, studio art, creative writing and more

Nereida Garcia Ferraz: To inspire a female-led art revolution in Liberty City by working with teens to create interdisciplinary works of art that transform parking lots, street corners, storefronts and parks

Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum: To mark the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Ponce de Leon in Florida by organizing major exhibitions, educational programs and events in 2013, in partnership with Spanish institutions

Peter London Global Dance Theater: To stem the flow of talented local dancers who pursue careers elsewhere by launching the Peter London Global Dance Theater in Miami

Roofless Records: To support Miami’s experimental music scene by helping the local label Roofless Records launch seasonal catalogs and a publishing house in addition to acquiring a sound system for events

Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre: To bring attention to Miami’s distinctive cultural voice by having the innovative Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre employ a full-time ensemble to create a repertoire

South Beach Chamber Ensemble: To inspire the community through music by expanding the ensemble’s Mozart on the Move series to ten, brief pop-up performances at a variety of South Beach stores, clubs and venues

Teatro Avante: To promote Miami as the center for Latino performing arts by creating a bilingual website featuring the rich and diverse work Latino artists produce in the United States  

The M Ensemble Company: To cultivate African-American playwrights by creating a mentorship program to assist in the development of scripts for a new play series

Tigertail Productions: To promote innovative thinking in the local dance community through a series of artist-curated and site-specific performances that team visiting and local choreographers

Young at Art Museum: To engage the community in Haiti’s rich artistic traditions through an installation by artist Edouard Duval Carrie, accompanied by family workshops and art-making activities

Zoetic Stage: To explore Miami’s people and cultural identity through “The Miami Plays,” a series by South Florida playwrights launched with the help of local actors, stage designers and artisans


Photo: Rosie Herrera Dance Company