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Knight Challenge Winners Bring Art To South Florida Neighborhoods

Knight Foundation

The Knight Foundation announced the winners of its annual Knight Arts Challenge Monday. The foundation handed out more than $2 million in grant money.

Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Miami Book Fair International and Palm Beach Opera were among the 49 top entries to receive grant funds from the contest. Winners represented a blend of art and technology, with projects including film, music, stage and much more.

Miami playwright TeoCastellanos won the coveted People’s Choice Award, besting four other emerging organizations in a text-to-vote campaign. The award means an additional $20,000 for Castellanos, who plans to bring Miami stories to the stage.

“Teo is a great example of the smaller artistic organizations that are inspiring and engaging South Florida,” says Dennis Scholl, vice president for arts at Knight. “No matter where you go in this community, Knight Foundation wants you to have an encounter with art. Projects like [Teo’s] help make that possible.”

Many of this year’s winners included organizations that got their start with Knight funds. Wynwood’s O Cinema will use new funding to open a second viewing room, and the Miami Music Project will expand its orchestral academy to a third location in Liberty City.

Knight Foundation President AlbertyIbargüen says projects like those awarded grants affirm Miami is on the path to major growth.  

“We seek to make art general in Miami,” says Knight Foundation President Alberto Ibargüen. “The Challenge has helped blossom a culture of creativity across South Florida, inspiring and challenging those of us who live here.”

The annual challenge is a community-wide competition funding projects aimed to bring South Florida together through the arts. Submissions must be about the arts, take place in or benefit South Florida, and match Knight’s funding.

The Knight Foundation has received more than 7,500 ideas since launching the contest in 2008.