Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation picks 66 Arts Challenge finalists

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation on Monday announced 66 finalists for its Knight Arts Challenge, which has pumped $86 million into South Florida’s creative community since 2006.

This year’s group is noteworthy for the number of projects outside established arts enclaves and organizations.

“The contest continues to penetrate deeper into our community to a much broader spectrum of neighborhoods and people with great art ideas,” said Dennis Scholl, the foundation’s arts vice president.

Many proposals involve students, from a Big Brother Art School plan to create a mural of Haitian history to FundARTE’s proposal to offer workshops for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth as part of its Out in the Tropics Festival.

Broadcast and multimedia ideas include streaming coverage of events at online community station Wynwood Radio and a concert series with Miami artists from public radio station WLRN.

“The contest ideas are generally a proxy for what’s going on in the community,” Scholl said “We felt there was a real organic movement of filmmakers and multimedia makers.”

Among the best-known names on the list are acclaimed playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney and his former teacher Teo Castellanos, who propose creating a play and film based on world culture.

Most projects are in Miami-Dade, but one is for an outdoor classical concert series in Key West and another for free outdoor opera performances in Palm Beach County.

Finalists must submit detailed proposals, from which 40 to 65 percent will be funded with matching grants of from $10,000 to as much as $1 million.

Winners will be announced Dec. 2. A full list of finalists is at

Read more Performing Arts stories from the Miami Herald

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