Knight Foundation offers a share of $1 million for new ideas to connect people to the arts

Press Release

February 15, 2018


Applications now open for new, early-stage projects

MIAMI – Feb. 15, 2018 – How might cultural institutions use technology to connect people to the arts? Today, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation launches an open call for new ideas that answer this question.

Part of Knight Foundation’s arts technology initiative, the open call recognizes the potential of technology to help cultural institutions - galleries, museums, performing arts centers, theaters and arts organizations of all genres - reach new audiences and keep pace with changing expectations.

Knight Foundation will run the open call through the Knight Prototype Fund, which helps people quickly develop and test early-stage ideas. Winners will receive up to $50,000, with a total of $1 million available. Support will come with training in innovation methods and opportunities to learn from others in the group.

“The arts inspire us, challenge us, bring wonder to our lives, and ultimately connect us to each other and the cities where we live. To continue in this important role, they have to embrace new ideas and keep pace with the way people live today,” said Victoria Rogers, Knight Foundation’s vice president for arts.

“Technology presents an opportunity for cultural institutions to not only engage people around the arts, but also to take risks, adapt new approaches and share what they’ve learned. Through this open call, we invite creators of all kinds to take on this challenge,” said Chris Barr, director of art at Knight Foundation.

The open call invites submissions from arts organizations and artists, as well as technologists, designers, educators, researchers and others who are eager to experiment and collaborate with arts institutions.

The deadline to submit ideas is 11:59 p.m. EST March 6, 2018. Winners will be announced in May 2018. The Prototype Fund accepts applications from nonprofit and for-profit organizations and individuals. Organizations must be based in the United States.

Funding for these projects is part of Knight Foundation’s arts technology initiative, which aims to help arts institutions better meet changing audience expectations and use digital tools to help people better experience and delight in the arts. Knight, which promotes informed and engaged communities, has helped institutions from newsrooms to libraries adapt and thrive in the digital age. This initiative expands the foundation's use of its digital expertise to help arts institutions build stronger, more vibrant communities.

To learn more, office hours will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. EST Feb. 21. Join here or connect via telephone (only if not connecting via video): 1 (888) 240 2560 Meeting ID: 885 685 111.

More information, and the application, is available at

Apply Now

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. Knight Foundation invests in ideas and projects that can lead to transformational change. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit