By: AJ Williams
Source: Michigan Chronicle Web Editor
The Knight Arts Challenge Detroit will open for submissionsApril 4 – offering a share of $3 million to the best ideas for the arts. A project of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the challenge is open to anyone with an idea for engaging and enriching Detroit through the arts.
“The Knight Arts Challenge is an opportunity for anyone to pursue his or her artistic dreams,” said Victoria Rogers, vice president for arts at Knight Foundation. “We want hear your big ideas that can help define, reflect, and engage your community.”
Applying is easy. All it takes is 150 words to fill out the initial application, which will be available at knightarts.org April 4 – May 2 and is deliberately designed to be user-friendly to encourage a wide range of applicants.
There are only three rules for submissions:
- The idea must be about the arts.
- The project must take place in or benefit Detroit.
- The grant recipients must find funds to match Knight’s commitment.
Knight launched the challenge in Detroit in 2012 to amplify the creative momentum on the ground, and to bring new energy and encouragement to the artists and residents driving the city’s future. Because of its success, Knight Foundation announced last fall that it will continue the challenge through 2018.
“Almost everywhere you go in Detroit, you see Knight Arts Challenge winners inspiring and engaging our city,” said Katy Locker, Detroit program director for Knight Foundation. “What’s next? We can’t wait to see what Detroit comes up with.”
Many previous Knight Arts Challenge winners have been small, grassroots efforts that reflect Detroit. They include Hardcore Detroit, which sought to revive the ‘70s Detroit dance craze, The Jit, at a community celebration at the Detroit Institute of Arts; Detroit Fiber Works, promoting and producing fiber arts workshops for all ages in Detroit’s Avenue of Fashion; and “From Detroit to Baghdad: Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here,” an exhibit and festival highlighting artists’ books and letterpress broadsides commemorating the 2007 bombing of the famed street of Baghdad booksellers.
Knight Foundation will host community conversations in venues across the city during the month of April, with Knight staff and previous winners on-hand to answer questions about the challenge and to guide applicants.
- Monday, 4/11, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at MOCAD
- Friday, 4/15, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American
The challenge is part of Knight Foundation’s two-pronged approach to investing in the arts in Detroit. Support for large institutions helps those organizations open up and better engage the public, while the arts challenge is intended to support more grassroots projects.