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Culture

Community Meetings Underway For Knight Arts Challenge

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Applications are open for the Knight Arts Challenge.

The challenge provides funds from the Knight Foundation for art projects that work to bring the community together.

When the challenge began back in 2008, the foundation had one big community meeting to tell the public about it. But over the past four years, Knight has been hosting a series of meetings throughout communities in South Florida.

Dennis Scholl is the foundation's vice president of arts. He says these meetings lead to better applications.

"We get more varied requests," says Scholl. "We get artistic disciplines that are unique sometimes to those neighborhoods, so it's important to be able to go and reach out to every neighborhood in South Florida and invite people to come and ask questions and hopefully leave thinking that they're going to give us their best idea."

Last year, 47 ideas received funding, including a dance festival in Miami focusing on Afro-Cuban culture, a kinetic sculpture parade in Key West and street performances through Buskerfest Miami!

The rules of the challenge are simple. Projects must be about art. They must take place in or benefit South Florida and recipients must find funds to match the grant from the foundation.

But Scholl says the artists who come to these meetings want to know more than the rules and regulations. They want to know how to make their ideas sing.

"So we talk about that," says Scholl. "We encourage them to show their idea, to road-test their idea with their friends and their family, so that if somebody who doesn't know much about the idea reads it and says, 'I don't really understand this part of it' or 'wow, that sounds great' or 'I get it completely.' It's a way of kind of getting some independent feedback before submitting your idea."

Community Q&A sessions have already been held in South Miami and Fort Lauderdale about the challenge, and three more meetings are scheduled for this week.

  • Wednesday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. at Cannonball in downtown Miami
  • Thursday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center in Miami
  • Friday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. the Custom House Museum in Key West 

The deadline to apply is February 23.