Miami-Dade County

Just 150 words is all it takes to apply for a Knight Arts Challenge grant. But hurry. Deadline’s looming.

Guitars Over Guns, shown here during a benefit at the Fillmore Miami Beach, won a 2016 Knights Arts Challenge grant for a collaboration with police to turn melted-down guns and bullet casings into musical instruments.
Guitars Over Guns, shown here during a benefit at the Fillmore Miami Beach, won a 2016 Knights Arts Challenge grant for a collaboration with police to turn melted-down guns and bullet casings into musical instruments.

The application window for this year’s Knight Arts Challenge is closing, but there’s still a few more days to get an idea in. It’s much easier than applying to college: just a 150-word proposal will do. It just has to be, you know, pretty darn good.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s program, now in its 10th year, has helped seed or solidify what are now some veritable Miami institutions. Those range from the O Miami poetry fest to the Wallcasts at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, from Sweat Records in Little Haiti to Wynwood’s O Cinema and the Light Box at Goldman Warehouse.

Last year, the foundation awarded $2.78 million to 44 projects in Miami and South Florida picked from hundreds of applications. Challenge grants are also awarded in Detroit, Akron, Ohio, and St. Paul, Minnesota, three other cities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers.

The only requirements: The idea must be about the arts; it must benefit one of the four communities; and grantees must match the dollar award from other donors or sources.

It also helps if the proposals are innovative, authentically rooted in their community and engage local and diverse audiences.

“It’s all about how the arts contribute to vibrant cities,” said Victoria Rogers, Knight’s vice president for the arts. “It’s through the arts that we tell our stories, both individual and collective, and transform individuals and communities.

“The beauty of this to me is that great, transformative art can come from anywhere and anyone.”

The deadline is Friday, April 28. Finalists will be announced in August and winners this fall. Apply at KnightFoundation.org.

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