Monday is the deadline for a grant application that has the Philadelphia arts community buzzing. The Knight Arts Challenge has $9 million to give away to anybody who has a good idea.
If you can boil your idea down to 150 words, the Knight Arts Challenge promises to consider it.
A hi-tech fabrication workshop in University City wants to introduce international artists to its 3D prototype printers and laser cutters. A gallery in Chinatown wants to subsidize the rent for art studios in the Loft District.
Fern Gookin wants to establish an artist residency program in the middle of a recycling dump. Because the Knight grant is open to everybody – including non-profits, for-profits, and individuals – Gookin is hopeful.
“We’re in this gray area, where we are registered as a non-profit with the state but we’re still going through our federal 501(c)3 process. We’re in this no-man’s land right now.”
In the last few years the economy has hit arts organizations hard. Rachel Zimmerman of InLiquid says many organizations focus their funds on mere survival.
“This enables you to do something way beyond that, for individual artists it gives them an opportunity to really put something out there that no one would have seen before.”
After the Knight Challenge filters the several thousand first-round applicants down to a few hundred, the real grant-writing work begins. The deadline is Monday.