Win money for your big, artsy idea. The Knight Arts Challenge is seeking applications and will award funds to those with the best art ideas. The deadline to enter is Feb. 24, 2014.
“We are looking for ideas authentically South Floridian. Art ideas that could only happen here. Ideas that are bold, innovative,” said Tatiana Hernandez, Knight Arts Challenge program officer. “We are looking for folks who realize that the arts brings people together and inspires them to be bigger than they are.”
The Challenge started in 2008. The Knight Foundation has $2.2 billion in assets and disperses this money out to support the arts community. That community spans from Key West to West Palm Beach.
In 2012, Neil de la Flor and Paula Kolek won $30,000 for their “Reading Queer” project. This weeklong writer’s series celebrates gender-bending literature in Miami.
"Our mission is to transform the lives of the queer community through the act and the art of creative writing," de la Flor said. "Currently, we are programming our 2014 Reading Queer Creative Writing Academy. This is exciting because we're putting the grant funds to use by hiring local queer writers to lead these creative writing workshops. There will be writing workshops that focus on comedy, political blogging, poetry, memoir and other interesting topics that will appeal to all writers."
Ever Chavez won and created “Out in the Tropics,” an annual LGBT performance arts festival. This festival included educational workshops in high schools and community centers.
Grants also went to support a Caribbean book festival in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood; Frank “Rat Bastard” Falestra won monies to help support his annual International Noise Conference in Miami.
The challenge is open to everyone: artists and artist collectives of all types, businesses, established arts institutions, and any individual with a great idea for the arts. The application is simple Hernandez said. It’s a mere 150 words. Participants must follow these three rules:
1. The idea must be about the arts.
2. The project must take place in or benefit South Florida.
3. The grant recipients must find funds to match Knight’s commitment within a year of winning.
Applications are available in Spanish, English and Creole. Non-Florida residents can apply, too, as long as the project will occur in South Florida.
“Many Miamian artists are based out of New York, but still want to do work here,” Hernandez said.
Community Q&A sessions are available to find out more. Visit KnightArts.org to download an application.