Miami Art Week Kicks Off With Knight Foundation’s 2021 Arts Challenge Winners – Knight Foundation

Miami Art Week Kicks Off With Knight Foundation’s 2021 Arts Challenge Winners

Knight is announcing the selection of 24 South Florida artists and arts organizations, who will share $2M for works that showcase diversity, creativity and new forms of expression.

MIAMI (Nov. 29, 2021) –  The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is kicking off Miami Art Week by announcing the 2021  Knight Arts Challenge winners. Twenty-four artists and organizations will share the $2 million Challenge award, which will help bring their creative and innovative ideas to life.

Today’s announcement is part of Knight’s first year-long campaign, themed “365 in the 305,” to connect people and places across the city with activations by the foundation’s organization’s vast network of arts grantees and partners.

Since 2008, the Knight Arts Challenge has funded thousands of ideas from artists and arts organizations that have transformed South Florida’s cultural scene, with winners who reflect the area’s rich diversity.

“The Knight Arts Challenge celebrates artists, organizations and the technology that is changing the way people access and experience art,” said Alberto Ibargüen, Knight Foundation president. “We’re committed to making art general in Miami because art and culture are fundamental building blocks of a community. That requires talent, quality and access — qualities that define the Knight Arts Challenge.” 

Entrants in the 2021 Challenge from across Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties answered a single question: “What is your best idea for the arts?”    Participants responded with a 150-word description of their ideas.  Knight’s art staff and a panel of local residents   selected finalists to submit full proposals, and then chose the winners.  

This year, Knight is highlighting artists and art organizations using innovative ways to attract audiences, enhance in-person experiences and document creation, and/or amplify access to the arts. Across artistic genres from exhibitions to performance, the winners use technology – audio, video, websites, mobile apps, digital data, augmented and virtual reality, and NFTs – to create hybrid on-site and virtual experiences.

The 24 winners are eligible to receive additional funding to implement digital strategies,  and access to experts to advise them on ways  to use  the funds. Winners can also tap into training resources and materials related to business sustainability, budgeting, revenue generation, marketing and outreach.

“Our Knight Arts Challenge winners exemplify the evolving nature of South Florida’s artistic voice, and reflect the immense talent in our cultural sector,” said Victoria Rogers, Knight’s vice president for the Arts. “Across various disciplines and mediums, the ideas of each artist and art organization will reach new and existing audiences in innovative ways.  We’re excited to see how their unique visions evolve.”

To date, the Knight Arts Challenge has invested about $34 million on more than 400 projects ranging from  large-scale public art to new theatrical performances. The annual Challenge significantly contributes to the advancement of  South Florida’s arts and culture scene.

The full list of Knight Arts Challenge winners is below:

Antiheroes Project

As Miamense as Possible
A series of newly commissioned works by Miami-based LatinX playwrights 40 years of age and under. 

Miami Light Project

Positive Vibration Nation
A newly commissioned multimedia Guaguanco rock opera by Miami-based Grammy nominated composer, singer, multi-instrumentalist Sol Ruiz.

LIZN'BOW (Liz Ferrer and Bow Ty)

[Cries in Spanish]
A bilingual episodic web series developed through community workshops and performances that follow the stories of six Latinx and queer fem characters living outside of the norm.

The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum

An Elegy to Rosewood
An exhibition that re-evaluates the history of Florida’s Rosewood community and, more broadly, racial violence in Florida. 

Gustavo Matamoros

And Sometimes the Space is Full of a Previous Space
A series of experimental collaborations with intermedia artists that will transform Deering Estate’s community theater through immersive experiences with new technologies.  

Dimensions Variable

Archive, Digital, and Writer Commissions
A collection of digital commissions that support contemporary art on the web and social media alongside Dimensions Variable’s in-person gallery. 

WAAM (Women Artists Archive Miami)

Artist as Archivist Residency
A series of visual arts residencies that reframe Miami’s community archives as spaces for civic engagement and social justice. 

Alexandra Fields O'Neale

A sound art piece that uses the ocean as narrator to describe the cyclical nature of enslavement through the middle passage and freedom through the Saltwater Railroad.

Robert Colom

A series of free, outdoor screenings of Caribbean, Latin American and locally-made films, across the Miami-Dade neighborhoods. 

Juraj Kojs and Pioneer Winter

Close Encounters
An augmented reality work where communities of performers and audiences are brought together in a shared experience through music, movement and technology.

Adam Weinert & Institute for Contemporary Art Miami

Dance of the Ages
An immersive retelling of Ted Shawn’s iconic work, “Dance of the Ages” (1938) for site-specific performances at Miami’s Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA)
Photo: PHILMONT, NY – JULY 11, 2017: Choreographer Adam Weinert at The Mill in Philmont, NY. . CREDIT: Eva Deitch for The New York Times

Downtown Doral Arts and Culture Foundation

Downtown Doral Holiday Festival
A festival of diverse arts programming that will reduce barriers to arts participation by bringing cultural experiences directly to the community in the accessible, open-air Downtown Doral.

Lee Pivnik

Habitat: Regenerative Shelters as Symbiotic Solutions
To reimagine the home as a potential site for climate care, yielding a living earthwork serving as a center for interdisciplinary art and ecology research in South Dade

Miami Dade College – Live Arts Miami

Haint Blu
A new, site-specific work created by Urban Bush Women that will take audiences on an immersive dance-theater journey at the Historic Hampton House. 

Islandia Press

Islandia Journal
To expand a Miami-based print and digital publishing enterprise focused on reexamined local history.  

Symone Titania Major

Martin's Footprints: Marches in Coconut Grove & Goulds
A photography series documenting the duality of two important marches that took place in Miami during the pandemic to stop gun violence and police brutality. 

[NAME] Publications

Migrant Archives
An online and physical repository of cultural archives drawn from artists and other cultural producers who are part of the displaced communities that now call South Florida home. 

Olympia Center/Olympia Arts Miami

Olympia Arts Miami – Bicycle Theatre
Humorous, topical and quirky original theatre performance during which the audience travels from scene to scene on bikes, scooters and anything else they can roll on (except cars).

Fringe Projects

Southern Histories
A research-driven, public art initiative that will commemorate under-recognized historical narratives connected to Miami’s roots in the American South, the Caribbean and Latin America with monumental works at culturally relevant sites.

Delou Africa

Tall Spirit: Stilt Artistry of Black Immigrants
An intergenerational project showcasing the traditions of stilt culture from Africa to the Americas. 

Hued Songs

The Juneteenth Experience
A tri-county celebration of Juneteenth through song, dance, spoken word, and multimedia.

Miami-Dade Public Library System

The Vasari Project: Miami's Art Timeline
A project that will update Miami’s oldest local arts archive and present complementary programming drawn from its materials.

Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami

Welcome to Paradise
A new quarterly commissioning program that will invite South Florida artists to activate MOCA’s Paradise Courtyard with temporary experimental works of art. 
Photo: Exterior – Aerial

The White Elephant Group

White Elephant Film Festival
A community-inclusive film exhibition and industry event incubating and celebrating our uniquely Miamian cinematic perspective by commissioning a slate of short films. 


About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation 

We are social investors who support democracy by funding free expression and journalism, arts and culture in community, research in areas of media and democracy, and in the success of American cities and towns where the Knight brothers once had newspapers. Learn more at and follow @knightfdn on social media.