Miami, Fla. – Miami arts nonprofit Oolite Arts is making plans to help ease the burden of rising rents and keep talented local artists in South Florida by offering its resident artists a $1,000-a-month housing stipend to ease the impact of the city’s affordability crisis, thanks to $1.25 million in funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Additionally, Oolite Arts will use the funding towards the creation of a Film & Digital Lab at the organization’s new home in the city, as well as hire a chief technology officer to lead the lab and Oolite’s efforts to help artists work at the intersection of art and technology.

The housing stipend for resident visual artists will be offered beginning in 2024.

Oolite is developing a new campus at 75 NW 72nd St., where it will offer the Film and Digital Lab, as it expands to meet the needs of Miami’s growing arts community.

Oolite Arts has championed artists since its founding in 1984, by providing artists with studios, financial support through programs like The Ellies, Miami’s Visual Arts Awards, professional development workshops, curator visits and more.

Oolite creates opportunities for experimentation and innovation and encourages the exchange of ideas across diverse cultures through residencies, exhibitions, public programs, education and outreach.

The funding is part of the Knight Foundation’s new $40.7 million investment in local arts organizations and initiatives that use technology in their practice to enhance the way art is produced, shared and experienced.

“As a cultural community, we need to find ways to ensure that artists who chose to make South Florida their home can afford to live here. The arts sector, which is one of Miami’s greatest assets, will only thrive if we find solutions. We’re excited Knight Foundation has stepped forward to help our resident artists bridge the financial gap,” said Dennis Scholl, Oolite Arts’ president and CEO.

“Knight is leading the way on innovation in the arts,” Scholl added. “We’re thrilled to be able to provide new tools and a workspace to artists to evolve their practice through technology.”

“Oolite Arts is always finding new and interesting ways to inform, engage, and connect people through art,” said Victoria Rogers, Knight’s arts program vice president. “We’re excited to support their artist and residence program, which will help sustain an innovative learning center in the heart of Miami, well into the future."

Exhibitions and programs at Oolite Arts are made possible with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council; the MiamiDade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; the City of Miami Beach, Cultural Affairs Program, Cultural Arts Council; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; the National Endowment for the Arts; the Jorge M. Perez Family Foundation at the Miami Foundation; the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Family Foundation; and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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