Knight Arts Challenge South Florida 2014 Finalists Announced

The mission of the Knight Arts Challenge, according to the Knight Foundation, is to "bring South Florida together through the arts." But judging from this year's finalists to receive funding, announced this morning, the foundation's aim in 2014 is more specific: to bring South Florida artists together to foster even more creative output.

Seventy-five individuals, groups, organizations, and even a couple government entities are up for grants from Knight this year, located anywhere from Key West to Lake Worth. And if there's a theme to the ideas pitched by the finalists, it's one of collaboration and community building between artists.

Many of the Miami-based projects are focused on giving artists more to work with. Art Center/South Florida, for example, wants to provide more opportunities to work; its goal is to offer arts residencies aboard the Maribel, a wooden boat built in Art Center's founding year of 1984.

BFI (Bas Fischer International) wants to offer more inspiration, proposing a gallery swap program that would trade works by Miami artists with works by other art galleries from afar.

And more proposals aim to offer artists access to more and better tools to evolve their craft. Bleeding Palm, the artists behind 2012's Adventures of Christopher Bosh in the Multiverse, hope to open a nonprofit animation studio to make equipment available to Miami's would-be pro animators. Books Are Nice Inc and Creative Creative aim to offer a center for printing and binding books. Miami artists the TM Sisters hope to launch an equipment co-op for artists at the Downtown Art House, with cameras, power tools, and large-scale printers for local artists to use.

If all of these projects come to fruition, Miami would be a nationally recognized cultural capital in no time. But being named a finalist for the Challenge grant is just an early step. The foundation will announce which projects it'll fund on December 1. In order to receive that funding, winners must match it with their own fundraising efforts.

Starting this fall, South Floridians will be doing some choosing of their own; Knight is once again offering a $20,000 People's Choice Award to the project that receives the most votes from the public. Last year, actor, director, and playwright Teo Castellanos took home the 20 Gs.

Check out the full list of finalists after the jump.

Knight Arts Challenge South Florida 2014 Finalists

Amanda Keeley

To foster conversations on the visual arts with a pop-up store for art books that travels around Miami and is accompanied by lectures and programming

Andrew Yeomanson (DJ Le Spam)

To preserve the art of analog recording by improving a studio that allows local musicians the chance to record on vintage equipment or preserve their works now cataloged on older formats

ArtCenter/South Florida

To explore Miami's relationship to the water through one-month artist residencies aboard the Maribel, a wooden boat built in 1984, the same year ArtCenter was founded

Artists in Residence in Everglades (AIRIE)

To bring a bit of the Everglades into the city by creating billboards emblazoned with large-scale, artful images of South Florida wildlife

Arts & Drafts Miami

To change the dynamic of cultural experiences by offering free art lessons for curious Miamians at local watering holes

Arts for Learning/Miami Inc.

To engage young minds through the arts by expanding a lauded artist-in-residence program - pioneered by Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, Va. - to preschools throughout South Florida

BFI (Bas Fisher Invitational)

To raise the profile and importance of small, artist-run galleries by hosting a national gallery swap where shows from BFI will be exchanged with galleries around the country

Bleeding Palm

To further develop Miami's film community by creating a nonprofit animation studio that will produce professional animations while training students and local artists to develop their own work


To bring literature to more people by expanding a community mobile library that provides books for free, a trade or by donation

Books & Books

To bring great literature into more homes by live-streaming and archiving Books & Books' Author Events featuring noted writers from a variety of genres

Books Are Nice Inc. and Creative Creative

To make bookmaking and printmaking accessible to South Floridians by creating a space for - and the training to use - a press, binding equipment and more

Brian Butler

To showcase Miami's vibrant music scene, and make the city more appealing for touring bands, by capturing moments from concerts in a series of illustrations and exhibitions

Buskerfest Miami!

To enhance Miami's urban life by producing street performances that activate public parks, transit hubs and community plazas that often go unnoticed

Cannonball Miami

To support the growing number of innovative, artist-driven projects in Miami by providing micro-grants - in partnership with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts - that recognize and validate unconventional artistic projects

Centro Cultural Español de Cooperación Iberoamericana

To provide an intimate cultural experience by expanding the Microtheater program, which produces short plays for a small audience in a confined space

City of Doral

To provide artistic programming in West Miami-Dade through a monthly series offering classical music, dance, installations, art films and more in Downtown Doral Park

City of Miami

To invigorate Miami's Little Santo Domingo business corridor by producing themed art pieces and murals showcasing Dominican culture

Classical South Florida

To showcase South Florida's array of musical groups by broadcasting a weekly series of previously recorded live performances that reflect a range of vocal and instrumental music

Community Arts and Culture

To celebrate world music by expanding the Afro Roots World Music Festival to three days and host it in a variety of venues and neighborhoods around Miami-Dade County

Corrie Van Sice

To explore the use of new materials in the arts by developing 3-D printing processes for ceramics and polymers

Downtown Miami Partnership

To help revitalize Miami's Central Business District by having artists transform vacant passageways and lanes with creative projects

Elizabeth Cerejido

To launch an artist exchange program that brings together Cuban artists from Havana and Miami to present exhibitions, in partnership with a local university

Ezzio Chaviano

To highlight talented local jazz artists by supporting a weekly performance series and acquiring equipment to record these "Jazz Live in the Cellar" events

FATVillage Arts District

To promote cutting-edge contemporary art by expanding the reach of Fort Lauderdale's FATVillage Projects Contemporary Art Space, which provides a home for artists to create and present experiential work

Food Culture Museum

To explore the cultural implications of the way South Floridians eat through a dinner series at artists' homes and studios where the table and food become impromptu sculptures

Foundation for Emerging Technologies and Arts

To examine the connections between art and technology by creating a new public center for artistic discovery, experimental performances and innovative exhibitions

Fundación Federico García Lorca

To imagine how Spanish poet Federico García Lorca would experience Miami if he arrived today through a series of literary projects

Guitars Over Guns

To engage youth through the arts by expanding the Guitars Over Guns music-mentoring program to include the visual arts, and to open a community arts center


To support a Hialeah-based collective featuring artists whose works transcend the exhibit space and engage the surrounding city


To showcase Miami through images by creating a photography center at the museum focused on curating exhibits and engaging the community in documenting life in South Florida


To expand the reach of the company's Afro-Cuban Dance Festival which produces an array of workshops reflecting the diversity of the African diaspora


To create themed musical programs as a complement to museum and gallery exhibits


To provide professional artists a forum to collaborate and create hybrid works through weekly classes at the organization's Wynwood's studio

Jason Taylor Foundation

To bring the "Super Bowl" of poetry to Broward County schools through a friendly poetry competition that empowers and unites students through spoken word

Jason Walker

To reconnect and reimagine Miami's urban neighborhoods by inviting artists to visually transform Miami's dreary underpasses

Key West Art & Historical Society

To unite Key West through a kinetic sculpture parade, where artists, bike riders and the community co-create a wacky display of art on wheels

Key West Literary Seminar

To engage islanders in the city's rich literary history through the Bibliocycle, a customized, three-wheel bicycle that opens up into a boutique bookstore offering titles by iconic Key West writers alongside new releases

Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency

To explore the connections between a largely Guatemalan community's heritage and contemporary art through a performance series that complements a new artist/live work development in Lake Worth's Luna Park

Letter 16 Press

To capture South Florida's history by digitizing the work of Miami photographers from the 1970s and '80s and curating them in a book series

Little Haiti Cultural Center

To preserve Haitian rara, a form of festival music used for street processions, by creating a youth rara institute where teens can learn to play and make traditional instruments

Live in Color Dance Collective

To further develop South Florida's distinct brand of urban funk dance by training young artists and providing them with opportunities to perform

Mexican American Council

To celebrate Mexican culture by creating a children's mariachi academy in South Dade

Miami Center for Architecture & Design

To bring artists and architects together to share their ideas and inspirations through a lecture series

Miami City Ballet

To spur innovation in dance by supporting Morphoses, the experimental arm of Miami City Ballet

Miami Dade College

To share the stories of modern-day Marines and their families through a multimedia performance based on their wartime experiences

Miami Jazz Cooperative

To provide a home for jazz in Miami by establishing a nonprofit center for jazz performance and education in partnership with music programs at local universities

Miami Music Project

To enhance music instruction at Miami's only El Sistema-modeled orchestral program by implementing a new teacher training program for professional artists

Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs

To commemorate the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center's 40th anniversary by presenting events where prominent artist alums share their talents with today's students

Museum of Fashion

To celebrate the art of fashion through a new museum that highlights South Florida's diversity and famous designers with local ties

Mylinh Nguyen

To create a meeting place for design enthusiasts seeking to learn more about typography

Nicholas Ducassi

To create a free, after-school "word gym" where high school and college students can learn the art of writing and oratory

Norton Herrick Center for Motion Picture Studies

To preserve the experience of collectively viewing vintage, 35mm films by expanding the Cosford Cinema Classics series

Nu Deco Ensemble

To engage South Floridians in innovative concert experiences by supporting a new ensemble offering a hybrid of music and multimedia performances

O, Miami

To create an aesthetic voice for Miami-Dade County by launching a literary publishing house

Oliver Sanchez

To support Swampspace, an alternative exhibition space for local artists and musicians in Miami's Design District

Olympia Center

To infuse Downtown Miami with the arts by expanding a cabaret-style, weekly jazz performance series in the lobby of the Gusman Center

Opa-locka Community Development Corporation

To reimagine Opa-locka's Ali Baba Avenue by engaging the community to make it a large-scale public art project

Otto Von Schirach

To showcase Miami music by creating a bass festival that brings local greats to stages across the city's many neighborhoods

Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science

To create a performance series that mixes 20th century science and science fiction movies with musical improv and multimedia presentations

Patrick Walsh

To connect South Florida to global audiences by supporting Klangbox.FM, a Miami-based Internet station

Pioneer Winter

To engage local choreographers in creating site-specific work in non-traditional spaces that is free to all

Ranjana Warier

To celebrate Miami's many cultures by setting traditional Indian dance to the rhythms of Adrian Castro's Afro-Caribbean poetry


To explore innovative forms of musical expression that use open source software, cutting-edge technology and audience actions to create new compositions

Steven Mathieu

To provide a space for filmmakers, performance and visual artists to collaborate on productions that marry technology and performance

Stiltsville Trust

To give local artists more access to the seven remaining historic houses of Stiltsville by creating an aquatic-inspired arts incubator and residency program

The Children's Voice Chorus Inc.

To enrich the lives of children in South Miami-Dade's migrant farming communities by providing transportation to the Children's Voice Chorus' program in Palmetto Bay

The Opera Atelier

To enable children to explore opera and ballet by participating in a joint production where the students are a part of all phases of preparation and performance

The Screening Room

To bring high-quality film screenings and video installations to more South Floridians by supporting programming at Wynwood's The Screening Room

Third Horizon Media

To raise the profile of Caribbean artists by staging showcases that feature the work of cutting-edge filmmakers, musicians and visual artists

TM Sisters

To provide artists access to expensive tools by creating an equipment co-op at the Downtown Art House that will offer cameras, power tools, large-scale printers and more

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral

To provide a space for up-and-coming musical talent to perform by opening up Downtown Miami's Trinity Cathedral twice a month

University of Florida - College of Fine Arts - School of Music

To showcase South Florida's Brazilian community by supporting a Brazilian music institute at Broward College

Village of Pinecrest - Pinecrest Gardens

To enable Miami-Dade students to learn from jazz greats by expanding Pinecrest Gardens' popular Jazz Series to include a new mentor program

Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival

To bring South Floridians together at the festival, which strives to provide music, workshops and events that nourish both brain and body

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

To engage the community in Vizcaya's storied past by commissioning local artists to create installations that explore the estate's hidden spaces and oft-forgotten stories

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