The Knight Foundation's never needed much help determining the best arts initiatives to fund in South Florida. Its grants have touched almost every influential cultural project in Miami, from the massive new Miami Art Museum under construction downtown to the O, Miami poetry festival to the small series of flash mob events known as Random Acts of Culture.
But now, the foundation is asking South Floridians to help it choose its next grant recipient. The first Knight Art Challenge People's Choice Award will go to the cultural organization that earns the most votes before October 22. And the stakes are high: The most popular project wins $20,000.
Five South Florida arts groups are up for the award, including four specific to Miami:
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LAB Miami, a Wynwood shared workspace for artists;
FUNDarte, a presenting multicultural performances and exhibits throughout Miami-Dade county;
and Urgent Inc., a group bringing art to urban communities based in North Miami-Dade.
Delray Beach's cultural venue Arts Garage is also up for votes.
Voters can visit knightarts.org/peopleschoice to watch videos and gather more information about the potential award recipients; when they've made their choice, they can text their vote to 305-767-2200. The winner will be announced December 3.
If you just can't decide which project to back -- or if you're feeling uncomfortable about potentially voting a worthy cultural group off of the fundraising island -- don't worry. Each of the five possible winners is already a Knight Arts Challenge finalist, meaning they're still eligible for a challenge grant whether you vote for them or not.