jojn_and_james_l._knight.jpgMIAMI – Through the March 4 deadline, South Floridians can submit their ideas for the Knight Arts Challenge, a community-wide contest financing cultural projects that engage and enrich Greater Miami. The deadline is March 4.

In each application, reviewers look for two key attributes: artistic excellence and ways the project will engage the public. Anyone can apply. There are three rules:  Projects must be about the arts, take place in or benefit South Florida and match Knight’s funding.

The challenge is a project of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which has invested more than $86 million over the past six years in both arts institutions and grassroots projects as a way to weave culture into people’s everyday lives. The foundation recently renewed the contest through 2015.

“We’re looking for the best ideas — truly Miami ideas — that help bring art to our neighborhoods and make culture ubiquitous in South Florida,” said Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation’s vice president/arts. “In a truly creative town like ours, we see the challenge as a chance for everybody to participate, to dream, and ultimately see their ideas through to reality.”

Applicants can get questions answered by foundation representatives during a series of community roundtable meetings, taking place in Downtown Miami, South Dade, North Central Dade and Fort Lauderdale, each at 7 p.m. at the following locations:
• Feb. 18, Cinema Paradiso, 503 S.E. Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale
• Feb. 19, Opa-locka City Hall, 780 Fisherman St., second floor, Opa-locka
• Feb. 20, Cannonball, 1035 N. Miami Ave., Suite 200, Downtown Miami
• Feb. 21: South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 S.W. 211 St., Cutler Bay

Started in 2008, the challenge has funded 143 projects for close to $20 million. Past winners have stretched from

Delray Beach to Homestead and include:
Weird Miami Bus Tours: Organized by internationally recognized visual artist Naomi Fisher, the artist-led tours take visitors to little-known local haunts.
Hialeah Cultural Center: The center being launched by Miami Dade College will be a gathering spot for the growing Northwest Dade cultural community;Demystifying Indian Dance: Choreographer Ranjana Warier will showcase traditional Indian dance through the stories of Western fairy tales, as a way to promote cross cultural understanding.

“South Florida residents continue to surprise us with their ideas, challenge us with their art and ensure that this region is a vibrant place to live,” said Matt Haggman, Miami program director for Knight Foundation. “We’re excited to see what ideas the community comes up with in 2013.”

The Knight Foundation works to support transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged.

For more information regarding the Knight Foundation, visit

To find out more about the Knight Arts Challenge and/or to apply, visit Follow on Facebook and on Twitter via @knightarts and #knightarts


*Picture above are John and James L. Knight