Knight Foundation wants your innovative arts idea

The eligibility requirements for the Knight Foundation’s Arts Challenge grant are remarkably simple: does your idea have a title, and can that idea be described in 150 words?

Over the next three years, nine million dollars will flow into the Philadelphia arts sector. Everyone is eligible to apply for the Knight Foundation’s money.

The eligibility requirements for the Knight Foundation’s Arts Challenge grant are remarkably simple: does your idea have a title, and can that idea be described in 150 words?

In Miami, Florida – where the Arts Challenge was launched three years age, 42 hundred applications were submitted. Including an idea from a record store to open an art gallery and performance space. It received 150 thousand dollars.

As applicants rise through the vetting process they are required to submit more information. Foundation vice president Dennis Scholl, who is based in Miami, says the filtering will be done by members of the local arts community.

Scholl: Arts granting traditionally is large institutions seeking money for large projects. This contest is for everybody, and it’s very important that you keep an open mind of what the ideas might be. We’re saying to Philadelphia, give us your best idea.

A spokesperson for the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance says the grant will reward innovative ideas in both the non-profit and for-profit world.

Julie Hawkins of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance says the Knight grants are welcome in an economic sector still reeling from the recession.

Hawkins: Even their definition of art – the conscious use of skill and imagination – is a broad definition and a great way to emphasize the link that there’s innovative ideas in non-profit organizations, but it’s happening in for-profit organizations too, and among individual artists.

The Knight challenge requires recipients to find other money to match the grant. It was started in Miami two years ago, attracted forty-two hundred applications. That pool was narrowed to fifty-one, which split twelve million dollars.

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