66 finalists named in Miami Knight Arts Challenge – Knight Foundation

66 finalists named in Miami Knight Arts Challenge

Diverse group of ideas go to contest’s next round

MIAMI – (May 13, 2013) – The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today announced 66 finalists in the Knight Arts Challenge, an annual contest that aims to bring South Florida together through the arts.

Spanning from Broward to the Florida Keys, many of the finalists are grassroots projects and organizations representing the diversity of South Florida’s cultural community. A full list is below and at KnightArts.org. Winners will be announced in December.

Related Link

Announcing 66 finalists in Miami Knight Arts Challenge” by Dennis Scholl on KnightBlog

“These finalists show the depths of our cultural community, the diversity of our creative leaders, and their fearlessness in presenting outside-the-box ideas,” said Dennis Scholl, VP/arts at Knight Foundation.

In addition, the public once again will have a say in who receives funding with the Knight Arts Challenge People’s Choice Award. In the fall, all South Floridians will be invited to vote via text message for one of several up and coming cultural organizations. The winner will receive $20,000 in support.

“Because so much of this community’s exciting art is happening at the grassroots level, we want to bring attention to smaller and emerging groups that are engaging the public,” said Matt Haggman, Miami program director for Knight Foundation. 

This is the sixth year of the Knight Arts Challenge, which offers matching grant money to the best ideas for the arts. Applicants must follow only three rules: 1) The idea must be about the arts; 2) The project must take place in or benefit South Florida; 3) The grant recipient must find funds to match Knight’s commitment.

Since 2006, Knight Foundation has invested $86 million in the South Florida arts. In addition to challenge projects, funding has gone to launch cutting-edge exhibitions at North Miami’s Museum of Contemporary Art, a new media program that includes the signature “Wallcasts” at the acclaimed New World Symphony campus and bringing every Miami-Dade third grader to the soon-to-open Perez Art Museum Miami on the downtown waterfront.

For more information, visit www.knightarts.org.

2013 Knight Arts Challenge Miami finalists

Art Center/South Florida

To provide opportunities for Miami’s artistic talent – and attract new creatives to the city – by strengthening the ArtCenter/South Florida’s residency programs

Artists Spreading Art

To inspire the next generation of creative minds by pairing professional artists with at-risk youth for a day of creating chalk murals in Broward’s Lauderhill neighborhood

Awesome New Republic

To bring together the city’s musicians, dancers and filmmakers into a multimedia, theatrical work that explores Miami’s evolution from swampland to cosmopolitan city


To inspire new, South Florida works by pairing local choreographers and composers to create site-specific performances.

Big Brother Art School

To encourage conversations around Haitian history by having students paint a mural that features the major figures of Haitian independence

Broward Center for the Performing Arts

To bring people together around downtown Fort Lauderdale’s riverfront through a series of outdoor performances featuring local talent

Cannonball Miami

To provide local artists with opportunities for growth through a new educational program that explores experimental thinking in art production and education

Circ X and The Fillmore at the Jackie Gleason Theater

To create Miami’s only resident cabaret at the Jackie Gleason Theater by converting the backstage greenroom into a permanent space for regular performances

Claire Breukel

To strengthen Downtown Miami’s arts scene through a series of independently organized “fringe” performances and installations taking place during DWNTWN Art Days

Community Arts Program

To introduce more young Miamians to jazz by creating an after-school, year-round Jazz Institute that will provide leading-edge training in America’s great art form

Community Television Foundation of South Florida/Television Station WPBT

To provide exposure for South Florida artists by producing profiles of 20 prominent artists under the age of 40

Florida International University School of Architecture + Arts

To develop the next generation of creatives by launching a summer high school program in conjunction with Harvard University centered on careers in the arts and design

Florida International University School of Music

To develop Miami’s ear by creating a lecture series on the history of recorded music that utilizes a prominent collection recently acquired by the university

Friends of the Bass Museum

To make provocative artworks accessible to the public by expanding the museum’s outdoor exhibits to include concerts, performances and other programming


To engage South Florida’s GLBTQ youth through the arts by growing the annual Out in the Tropics Performing Arts Festival to include educational workshops in high schools and community centers


To promote an appreciation for theater by presenting one of GablesStage’s productions  to local high and middle schools, including a study guide and post-performance discussion

Greater Miami Youth Symphony of Dade County, Florida

To bring a world-class violinist into Miami-Dade’s communities by inviting Japanese-American performer Midori for a week of master classes, outreach performances and a side-by-side concert with young musicians

Hattie Mae Williams

To explore the past and present of the historic Venetian Pool by creating a site-specific dance performance themed around the 1920’s on the occasion of the site’s 90th birthday

Indie Film Club Miami

To develop the local film scene by expanding the recently launched Interactive Film Festival, which focuses on cross-platform storytelling, screenings, training and events

Ivan Toth Depeña

To promote innovation in the local arts community by creating a series of augmented reality public art projects that exist in both the physical and virtual worlds

Key West Council on the Arts

To stimulate interest in classical music across generations by creating a month-long series that includes concerts for families and educational lectures

Mapou Cultural Center

To promote Haitian culture and literature by creating a Haitian-Caribbean Book Fair in Little Haiti

Meals That Heal

To provide an innovative funding source for the arts by organizing popup dinners at art venues where participants vote on a creative project to support

meme™ – media experi mental ensemble

To explore the combination of digital media and live theater by presenting a multimedia opera written by a South Florida professor

Miami Art Museum of Dade County Association

To celebrate the new waterfront home of the Pérez Art Museum Miami with a series of monthly arts projects produced collaboratively by local and international artists

Miami Beach Botanical Garden

To stimulate thinking about sustainable design by hosting a competition to create a sculptural shade structure that creates solar power and night lighting for the garden

Miami Beach Film Society

To foster a deeper appreciation for cinema through a series of conversations on the art of filmmaking led by local and visiting film critics

Miami Biennale

To have Wynwood’s urban infrastructure reflect the creativity of its residents and businesses by artistically enhancing all aspects from crosswalks to bike racks.

Miami Book Fair International

To raise the profile of Florida authors by creating a popup lounge at the Book Fair that features writers whose works explore the beauty, contradictions, uniqueness and “weirdness” of life in the Sunshine State

Miami Contemporary Dance Company

To draw audiences to Overtown’s Historic Lyric Theater with a “souped up” dance series taking place when the renovated theater reopens  in 2014

Miami Gay Men’s Chorus

To strengthen choral leadership by expanding the annual South Florida Choral Festival to include workshops on professional development, effective board stewardship and more

Miami Light Project

To deepen the dialogue between international, national and local artists by establishing a short-term residency program

Miami Music Project, Inc.

To empower more children to play and appreciate classical music by expanding the project’s orchestral academy to a third location, Liberty City

Miramar Cultural Trust

To provide deeper insights into the arts and culture through a new series where professional artists perform and engage in a dialogue with the audience

Museum of Contemporary Art

To expose South Florida audiences to global art centers through a film festival focused on cinema in Nigeria, home to one of the largest film industries in the world

Noreen Legault Mendoza

To promote South Dade as a literary hub by creating a residency program for local writers on an organic farm where they will create works about Florida’s beauty and bounty

New Theatre

To sprinkle theater throughout Miami-Dade by expanding a one-act play festival to four locations from Hialeah to Homestead, Kendall and the beaches

New World School of the Arts

To help talented, low-income students gain a competitive edge in auditions for collegiate arts programs by providing training through the Summer Theater Academy

O Cinema

To strengthen a center for independent film by upgrading equipment and adding a second auditorium to expand film offerings

Orchestra Miami

To explore Liberty City through the arts by commissioning an opera based on the neighborhood’s history and residents’ stories that will ultimately be performed by local students

Palm Beach Opera

To bring opera into the community through a series of free, outdoor community concerts that include a full orchestra and chorus

Paul Thomas

To enhance South Florida’s arts infrastructure by creating studio spaces where artists can access workshops for metal and woodworking, ceramics, glass, photography, computer design and more.

Pinecrest Gardens

To enhance the gardens’ reputation as a performing arts park by expanding programming to include international recording artists


To build up South Florida’s design and technology based art community through a co-op offering a range of equipment including digital printers, laser cutters and more

Puppet Network

To engage South Florida in a Mexican tradition by expanding a Broward-based Day of the Dead celebration that includes a giant puppet parade, mask workshops and family designed altars to loved ones

Puremovement Projects

To explore hip hop’s continuing impact through a festival presented by award-winning choreographer Rennie Harris that includes free dance classes, films and artist lectures

Seraphic Fire

To bring the award-winning vocal ensemble to new audiences in South Dade through regular masterworks concerts at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center

Shira Lee Abergel

To entertain audiences in an unconventional way by recreating the medicine shows of old in a wooden wagon that travels and transforms into a theatrical play space

6th Street Dance Studio/Whole Project

To encourage artistic growth in Miami by creating a residency program for young professional dancers and musicians

South Florida Center for Percussive Arts

To bring together and inspire local percussionists by providing free weekly master classes taught by well-known drumming artists

Stiltsville Trust

To use Biscayne Bay’s beauty to inspire artists by creating an artist-in-residence program at the seven remaining houses of Stiltsville

Studio Enrique Martínez Celaya

To strengthen the local visual arts community by offering a series of lectures by internationally recognized art historians, critics and philosophers discussing the intersection of arts and ethics

Teatro Prometeo

To celebrate children’s theater from around the world by launching a free international children’s theater festival in South Florida during the Miami Book Fair International

Teo Castellanos D-Projects

To fuse world culture, ritual and music in a uniquely Miami story through a one-act play and film produced by artists Teo Castellanos and Tarell McCraney

The Bakehouse Art Complex

To strengthen a studio art space by updating The Bakehouse’s workshops and adding a foundry for casting metals

The Black Archives History and Research Foundation of South Florida

To provide a platform for recognized and emerging spoken word artists during a monthly series that will eventually fill the stage of Overtown’s Historic Lyric Theatre when it reopens

The M Ensemble Company

To inspire an appreciation for theater by having Florida Memorial University students work behind the scenes on a production

The Miami Rail

To inspire critical writing by supporting a visiting writers program where authors hosts lectures, roundtables and workshops

The Motivational Edge

To help disadvantaged youth express themselves by strengthening an arts program in Miami’s Allapattah neighborhood where they can expand their horizons through creative writing and lyrical expression

Tigertail Productions

To explore art through the perspectives of French and Miami artists during a series of site-specific and new performances that will make-up FLA-FRA (Florida-France) in 2014

University of Wynwood

To celebrate renowned poet Donald Justice through a new book and conference in his hometown of Miami, where he is virtually unknown

Upper Room Art Gallery

To preserve the artform of creating dugout canoes by organizing a twice annual Paddle Up featuring Seminole and Miccosukee canoes with participants in traditional dress


To foster a community of jazz afficionados by expanding WDNA’s monthly Jazz Encounter to a video audience through live broadcasts and video archives


To showcase the local music community and engage listeners through a live concert and interview series featuring South Florida musicians and songwriters

Wynwood Radio

To provide a platform for the Do-It-Yourself-Spirit that fuels Wynwood by expanding an online community radio station providing streaming audio and video coverage of innovative events

Zoetic Stage

To offer Miami playwrights a platform by producing two world-premiere plays at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.



Andrew Sherry, Vice President/Communications, (305) 908-2677, [email protected]