Knight Foundation Awards $2.72 Million to O Cinema, Miami Rail, GableStage and More
Last night, while many Miamians were busy planning out their Art Basel event itineraries, an entirely separate arts organization unveiled its plans to help further expand culture in South Florida.
The Knight Foundation announced the winners of this year's Knight Arts Challenge last night, including 49 winners taking home a total of $2.72 million.
The winning projects span from Palm Beach to Key West, but most are centrally located right here in Miami. In a statement, the foundation explained that the winners fall into three categories: those that will "push the limits of art and technology," "celebrate the offbeat in South Florida," and "bring art into neighborhoods" like Overtown and Miramar.
Among the Miami winners are O Cinema, which plans to add a second auditorium for smaller, more specialized screenings; the Museum of Contemporary Art, which will launch a film festival dedicated to Nigerian cinema; the Miami Book Fair International, which will create a pop-up "Swamp" lounge to promote Florida authors at its annual event; and GableStage, which will begin staging its productions at local middle and high schools.
The Bass Museum will expand its outdoor offerings to include concerts and other live performances, while Miami's Indie Film Club will expand its Filmgate film festival. University of Wynwood's project to popularize Miami poet David Justice was also a winner.
Teo Castellanos D-Projects was the winner of the Knight Arts Challenge People's Choice Award, earning him $20,000. Castellanos was also one of the 49 winners of the regular Knight Arts Challenge grants, earning another $25,000. The grant will fund a one-act play created by Castellanos and Tarell Alvin McCraney, who won a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship earlier this year.
Looks like Miami arts lovers have plenty to look forward to.
Read on to see the full list of all 49 winners.
To provide opportunities for Miami's artistic talent and to attract new creatives to the city by strengthening the center's residency programs
Awesome New Republic
To bring together the city's musicians, dancers and filmmakers to produce a multimedia theatrical work that explores South Florida's evolution from swampland to modern metropolis
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 be presented at Overtown's historic Lyric Theater when it reopens in 2014
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 Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater
To create Greater Miami's only resident cabaret at the Jackie Gleason Theater by converting the greenroom into a permanent space for regular performances
Community Arts Program
To introduce more young Miamians to jazz by creating an after-school jazz institute that provides leading-edge training in America's great art form
Florida International University College of Architecture + Arts
To develop the next generation of creatives by launching a summer career discovery program for high school students centered on art and design
Friends of the Bass Museum
To make provocative artworks accessible to the public by expanding the museum's outdoor public exhibitions 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 GableStage's productions to local high schools and middle schools, with a study guide and post-performance discussion
Hattie Mae Williams
To explore the past and present of the historic Venetian Pool and the Miami Marine Stadium by creating a site-specific dance performance
Indie Film Club Miami
To develop the local film scene by expanding Filmgate, the recently launched interactive film festival, which focuses on cross-platform storytelling, interactive screenings and more
Ivan Toth Depeña
To promote innovation in the local arts community by creating a series of multimedia, augmented-reality public art projects that exist in both the physical and virtual worlds
Key West Council on the Arts
To spur interest in classical music across generations by creating a monthlong series that includes family concerts and educational lectures
Mapou Cultural Center
To promote Haitian culture and literature by creating a Haitian-American book fair in Little Haiti
Meals That Heal
To provide an innovative funding source for the arts by organizing pop-up dinners at arts venues where participants vote on a creative project to support
meme - media experi mental ensemble
To explore the fusion of art, music and technology by presenting a multimedia opera written by a southern Florida professor
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 Book Fair International
To raise the profile of Florida authors by creating a pop-up 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 professional development workshops
Miami Music Project
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 arts and culture through a new series where professional artists perform and engage in a dialogue with the audience
Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA)
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
To sprinkle theater throughout Miami-Dade County 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
To strengthen a center for independent film by upgrading equipment and adding a second auditorium to expand film offerings
Palm Beach Opera
To bring opera into the community through a series of free outdoor community concerts that include a full orchestra and chorus
To build up South Florida's design and technology-based art community through a co-op offering access to a range of equipment
To engage South Florida in the Latin American tradition of Dia de los Muertos by expanding the Broward-based celebration that includes a giant puppet parade, mask workshops and family-designed altars for loved ones
To explore the continuing global impact of hip-hop dance through a weeklong series of free classes and workshops featuring award-winning choreographer Rennie Harris and other hip-hop pioneers
To bring the award-winning vocal ensemble to new audiences through regular masterworks concerts at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center
Shira Lee Abergel
To entertain audiences unconventionally by reimagining the medicine shows of old in a wooden wagon that travels and transforms into a theatrical playing 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 foster a sense of community among an often-disparate group of local percussionists by providing free weekly master classes taught by well-known drumming artists
Studio Enrique Martínez Celaya
To strengthen audiences for the visual arts by offering a series of lectures on the intersection of arts and ethics
To celebrate children's theater from around the world by launching a free international children's theater festival in South Florida during 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 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 great writing by supporting a visiting-writers program where authors host lectures, roundtables and workshops
The Motivational Edge
To strengthen an arts program that enables disadvantaged youth to demonstrate their feelings through creative writing and lyrical expression
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 traditional art form of creating dugout canoes by organizing a seasonal Paddle Up, featuring Seminole and Miccosukee canoes
Pérez Art Museum Miami
To celebrate the new waterfront home of Pérez Art Museum Miami with a monthly series of free evening public programs
To foster a community of jazz aficionados by expanding WDNA's Jazz Encounter to a video audience through live broadcasts and video archives
WPBT2/ Community Television Foundation of South Florida
To provide exposure for South Florida artists by producing profiles of 20 prominent artists under the age of 40
To offer South Florida playwrights a platform by producing two world-premiere plays at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts
Follow Ciara LaVelle on Twitter @ciaralavelle.
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