South Florida's bubbling arts scene is largely thanks to Knight Foundation support for initiatives large and small. Now the Miami-based funder is opening its offers to artists who create performance works.
Tuesday, the foundation announced it will invest $500,000 in Knight New Work Miami, an open call for "ground-breaking, innovative works of dance, theater and music." Choreographers, playwrights and composers based in Miami and those with with strong Miami connections are eligible to apply.
The caveat: The works must premiere in Miami.
"Miami has blossomed into a community where art is created, not just performed or experiences. We want to leverage that," said Knight Foundation President Alberto Ibarguen via a release.
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Knight has frequently commissioned new works through its 10-year-old Knight Arts Challenge initiative, giving $125 million to local initiatives. "We thought it was time in Miami to put an emphasis on it," said Victoria Rogers, Knight's vice resident / arts.
"Miami is known as a consumer of arts. We want the world to recognize Miami as a city where art is created," she said.
The funding program leans on Miami's existing creative infrastructure of home-grown organizations. "We have Seraphic Fire. We have the New World Symphony, Nu Deco Ensemble, Summer Shorts," said Rogers— all companies that have created new works.
The emphasis on performing arts helps raise the international profile of disciplines beyond the visual arts showcased by Art Basel's annual December fair. The program also puts the focus on artists and their work. "It's all about creating groundbreaking works of the highest quality."
The New Work initiative takes the place of the 2018 Arts Challenge, which returns in 2019. Going forward, Knight plans to alternate years between the Challenge, which requires recipients to raise matching funds, and the New Work program, which supplies grants. In future years New Work may focus on different artistic disciplines. "It's a beta test," said Rogers. "We picked performing arts for this particular year, but it doesn't necessarily mean we will do that in the future."
The application period runs June 19 - August 31. Locally based artist and those with strong connections for the city are invited to submit ideas for innovative, risk-taking performance works. Local performing arts organizations can also apply in partnership with artists. An undetermined number of winners will share the award.
Details about the Knight Work Miami are at kf.org/newworkmiami. Knight Foundation will host an information session June 25 at 6 p.m. at The Light Box, 404 NW 26th Street, Wynwood; rsvp at kf.org/newworkmiamirsvp. Winners will be announced at Knight's annual December arts celebration, this year slated for Dec. 3.