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Knight Foundation Offering Miami-Dade Artists Grants For Innovation During Pandemic

© Gesi Schilling-650 (1).jpg
Gesi Schilling

Knight New Work 2020 will award performing artists $10K prizes to help them connect with audiences during a time of unprecedented venue shutdowns.

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, many of South Florida’s performing artists and arts venues are trying their best to stay connected to their audiences, even at a distance. No mean feat in an industry that depends on live audiences to survive.Likewise, many of the organizations that support them show no signs of slowing their pace.

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The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation says it will invest up to $500,000 to help Miami-Dade artists adapt to a new performance reality.

Through the Knight New Work 2020 program, artists can receive $10,000 prizes to produce new works that can be presented outside of traditional theater settings.

Those environments can include — but are not limited to — online presentations, drive-in programming, venues working at reduced capacity and performance art in public spaces.

Observing that “constraints breed creativity,” representatives of the Knight Foundation say it’s important for artists to receive funding now, as opposed to waiting until after the coronavirus crisis turns a corner.

“To come roaring back after the pandemic, they have to make it through the pandemic,” says Priya Sircar, Knight Foundation Director of Arts.

“And so we’re committed to spending this money now to fuel the creativity that we’re seeing in the arts,” she says.

How It Works*

The Knight New Work 2020 open call seeks artists and arts organizations based in Miami-Dade County.

The open call is in two parts; in the first round, 15 to 20 artists and arts organizations will receive a $10,000 prize to develop new performing art works.

The winners will receive access to an advisory panel of established artists for mentorship and be able to participate in a workshop, where they can share their projects with peers and advisors for feedback.

A small group of projects developed in this first round will then be selected to receive further funding to be fully produced and performed by the end of 2021.

The deadline for submission is September 7, 2020. Artists can apply here.

*Source: John S. and James L. Knight Foundation


This interview is part of “Intermission,” WLRN’s series looking at how South Florida’s arts community is coping during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you’ve got a story for us, please send an email to talktous@wlrnnews.org, with the word “Intermission” in the subject line.