Tuesday night in Wynwood, interested possible applicants, proud previous winners, and engaged Miamians gathered at Gramps for the Knight Arts Challenge Kickoff event, sponsored by Infraculture.
A major funding project of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Knight Arts Challenge awarded $2.29 million to 47 projects last year to help grow and improve the arts scene in South Florida.
Now, the Knight Foundation is now accepting applications for 2015's Challenge, which runs January 26 through February 23. According to the flyers and coasters scattered on the bar and tables, applications must follow only three rules:
1. Your idea is about the arts.
2. Your project takes place in or benefits South Florida.
3. You find other funding to match the Knight Foundation grant.
"We want to bring together the old with the new," Marika Lynch, a communications consultant for the Knight Foundation said. "There are a lot of people who have obviously worked for a long time in the arts in Miami, but there are people who are coming into this town every day with fresh ideas."
Former winners from Coral Morphologic, Arts & Drafts, and the New Tropic were all spotted at Gramps, as were Blue Starlite Drive-In theater reps and members of the musical improv team Cheap Trills, who expressed interest in the competition.
"Miami can be a transient place," Lynch said. "We obviously have a very established arts community, but there are new people and new ideas coming all the time and we want to be sure to capture those."
In the coming months, the Knight Foundation's program officer, Tatiana Hernandez, will also host a number of community Q&A sessions throughout South Florida to offer tips on the application process. Check out the series schedule below and apply for the Knight Arts Challenge at knightarts.org.
Community Q&A schedule:
- February 2 at 7 p.m.: ArtSouth at the South Miami Community Center, 5800 SW 66th St., South Miami
- February 3 at 7 p.m.: The Projects at FATVillage, 523 NW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale
- February 4 at 7 p.m.: Cannonball, 1035 N. Miami Ave., #300, Miami
- February 5 at 7 p.m.: African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, 6161 NW 22nd Ave., Miami
- February 6 at 11 a.m.: Custom House Museum, 281 Front St., Key West, park at the Westin