Knight Foundation invests up to $500K to help Miami artists create new way forward during pandemic

Knight New Work 2020 will award $10K prizes to Miami artists to encourage innovation in the performing arts.  

MIAMI – August 10, 2020 – Artists are searching for new ways to connect with audiences in a world upended by the coronavirus pandemic, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is launching a program to help do just that: Knight New Work 2020. The program will fund up to $500,000 to support Miami-area artists in developing groundbreaking new work that reimagines how the performing arts are created and experienced.

How it works

Knight New Work 2020 is a two-part open call. In the first round, 15 to 20 artists and arts organizations will receive $10,000 each to develop new performing art works in the worlds of dance, music and theater that reflect and respond to the incredible times we are living in. The winners will receive access to an advisory panel of established artists for mentorship and be able to participate in a workshop, where they can share their projects with peers and advisors for feedback. A small group of projects developed in this first round will then be selected to receive further funding to be fully produced and performed by the end of 2021.

A time of adaptation and experimentation

Knight New Work will support the development of new works that can be presented amid physical distancing and while respecting other health protocols. In many cases, this may be through the integration of technology in novel ways, but not exclusively.

“Constraints breed creativity, and the past few months have seen more adaptation and innovation in the arts than at any time in recent memory,” said Victoria Rogers, Knight’s vice president for the Arts program. “Artists and arts organizations in Miami are experimenting with virtual exhibitions, tours, talks and performances at a rapid pace. New Work will highlight artists who utilize creative methods to develop and present engaging work.”

The open call seeks artists and arts organizations based in Miami-Dade County. Submissions from emerging and established artists in the fields of dance, music and theater are welcomed. Knight New Work will support the development of new works that are presented in ways that are feasible with respect to physical distancing and other health safety protocols. Proposed works can include, but are not limited to, works designed to concurrently serve a virtual and a physically-distanced, in-person audience; drive-in programming; VR immersive theater; productions designed to be performed in venues operating at reduced capacity; and performance art in public spaces. 

Knight helps grow Miami’s reputation

As Knight Foundation’s first open call in 2020, this initiative is an opportunity to further demonstrate Knight’s commitment to an informed, equitable, inclusive and participatory community through the arts. New Work will celebrate artistic talent and showcase Miami’s growing reputation as a city where great art flourishes. Knight has helped to propel Miami’s cultural growth, investing more than $131 million in the arts in the region. The funding has allowed institutions to better engage the public and has helped create more than 425 art projects through the Knight Arts Challenge. 

“The power of the arts to unite us is even more important during a pandemic that has kept us apart,” said Priya Sircar, director of the Knight Foundation’s arts program.

The open call seeks artists and arts organizations based in Miami-Dade County. Submissions from both emerging and established artists in the fields of dance, music and theatre are welcomed. Proposed works can include, but are not limited to, works designed to concurrently serve a virtual and a physically-distanced, in-person audience; drive-in programming; VR immersive theater; productions designed to be performed in venues operating at reduced capacity; and performance art in public spaces. 

More information on Knight New Work 2020, and the application, can be found at kf.org/newwork2020. The deadline for submission is Sept. 8. 

For interviews, please contact Lisa Palley at [email protected] | 305.642.3132.

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About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit kf.org.