Dream big and give us your best idea for the arts in Philadelphia


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Applications open today for Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA: The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is now accepting applications for the second year of the Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia through Oct. 31. The three-year, $9 million community-wide contest seeks the most innovative ideas in the arts to engage and enrich Philadelphia's communities.

In the Challenge's first year, Knight Foundation awarded $2.7 million to 36 winners representing a broad spectrum of the community—from individual artists and artist-driven organizations to some of the city's premier cultural institutions.

Anyone can enter the Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia—independent artists and artist collectives of all types, businesses, established arts institutions, service organizations and any individual who has a great idea for the arts. The initial two-question application—available now at KnightArts.org—is designed to be simple to encourage applicants who are not traditional grant seekers.

There are only three rules for the Challenge:

1. The idea must be about the arts.

2. The project must take place in or benefit Philadelphia.

3. The grant recipients must find funds to match Knight's commitment (within a year).

“This contest is about ideas. What's your big idea for the Philadelphia arts? We want people to tell us what moves them, so that together we can help engage and move the soul of the community," said Dennis Scholl, vice president/Arts for Knight Foundation.

Winning ideas in year one were selected from a field of 1,752 submissions, including:
Darla Jackson for Philadelphia Sculpture Gym, to help Philadelphia sculptors create their works safely by creating a “sculpture gym" where artists can use heavy-duty tools, have storage space and get one-on-one help with projects;

Vox Populi for Spectrum, to inspire the community by offering an innovative arts series that crosses the traditional boundaries of visual art, performance, music, film, video, dance and theater;

Taller Puertorriqueño for Café under the Stars: Spotlighting Arts in the Barrio, to create personal cultural experiences that connect audiences across cultures by producing a series of monthly outdoor performances in the heart of Latino Philadelphia.

“The first year of this contest demonstrated just how creative our community can be," said Donna Frisby-Greenwood, Philadelphia program director for Knight Foundation. “We're looking forward to more and even better entries in year two."

The Knight Arts Challenge began in 2008 in Miami, where the initiative is now in its fifth year. Philadelphia is only the second city in which Knight is offering this program.

For more on Knight Foundation's arts initiative and to view a full list of Knight Arts Challenge winners, visit KnightArts.org. Philadelphians can also learn more, ask questions, and share ideas on the Knight Arts Challenge Facebook page here, and on Twitter @KnightArts.

About Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged.


Megan Wendell
Canary Promotion
Philadelphia Knight Foundation Representative
[email protected]

Marc Fest
Vice President/Communications
Knight Foundation
(305) 908-2677
[email protected]

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz Publicity.
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