Knight Arts Challenge South Florida opens for applications Jan. 26

Kickoff party, community Q&A sessions scheduled around region for challenge that funds best ideas for the arts

MIAMI — Jan. 20, 2015— Beginning Jan. 26, South Floridians can apply for the Knight Arts Challenge, which funds the best ideas for bringing the community together through the arts. The deadline for the challenge, a project of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, is Feb. 23.

Related Link 

Join us South Florida to learn about the Knight Arts Challenge” on Knight Arts blog

Knight Foundation will host a kickoff party at Gramps on Jan. 27, co-hosted by INFRACULTURE, Miami’s premier culture calendar. There, applicants can meet other artists, past winners and Knight Foundation staff. In addition, as a way to recruit ideas from South Florida’s many neighborhoods, Knight Foundation will host a series of Community Q&A sessions. The events, taking place Feb. 2-5, will offer tips on creating a standout application, information on the challenge timeline and more. The schedule is below.

“Whether you are an arts organization or a small collective, a longtime South Florida artist or someone who moved to town recently, we want to hear from you,” said Dennis Scholl, vice president of arts for Knight Foundation. “Our goal is to make art general in South Florida. We do that through the challenge, and finding the best grassroots ideas for bringing our community together through the arts.”

Anyone can apply. All it takes is 150 words to fill out the initial application, which will be available at and is deliberately designed to be simple to encourage nontraditional applicants.

There are only three rules for the challenge:
1) The idea must be about the arts.
2) The project must take place in or benefit South Florida
3) The grant recipients must find funds to match Knight’s commitment.

Knight has received more than 8,900 ideas from the South Florida community since launching the challenge in 2008. In total, 241 projects have received almost $25 million in funding.

Since 2006, Knight Foundation has invested more than $86 million in South Florida’s cultural community. Those funds have launched a new media program that includes the signature “Wallcasts” at the acclaimed New World Symphony campus, helped present Ibero-American films at the Miami International Film Festival, and are bringing every Miami-Dade third-grader to the new Pérez Art Museum Miami, among other projects.  The approach is two-pronged: Knight Foundation aims to open up institutions to more South Floridians with large grants, while the Arts Challenge ensures that smaller, grassroots efforts fuel and refresh the arts scene.

The Knight Arts Challenge kickoff party, co-hosted by INFRACULTURE, takes place 6 to 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 27, at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami.

The Community Q&As schedule is below.

  • 7 p.m., Feb 2: ArtSouth, South Miami Community Center, 5800 SW 66 St., South Miami
  • 7 p.m., Feb. 3: The Projects at FATVillage, 523 NW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale
  • 7 p.m., Feb. 4: Cannonball, 1035 N. Miami Ave., No. 300, Downtown Miami
  • 7 p.m., Feb. 5: African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, 6161 NW 22nd Ave., Miami
  • 11 a.m., Feb. 6: Custom House Museum, 281 Front St., Key West, park at the Westin

The Community Q&As will be cohosted by ArtSouth, city of South Miami, African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, Miami-Dade County, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, Key West Art and Historical Society, the Westin Key West Resort & Marina, Florida Keys Council of the Arts, Cannonball, FatVillage and Broward Cultural Division.

For updates, follow #knightarts on Twitter, @knightfdn on Instagram and Knight Foundation on Facebook.

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


Marika Lynch, Knight Foundation communications, 305-908-2677, [email protected]

Lisa Palley, 305-642-3132, [email protected]