Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Walden: The Knight Neighborhood Challenge did this

Oct. 20, 2014, 8 p.m., Posted by Jessica Walden

This article is cross-posted with permission from The Telegraph.

This week a finale celebration was held atop Coleman Hill to recognize the impact of the Knight Neighborhood Challenge. Since 2009, this community-driven grant program invested $3 million in the College Hill Corridor by funding ideas that would make the area thrive.

What made the program so successful is how the people of Macon embraced it. We dreamed big. We embraced creativity. We applied innovation. We rolled up our sleeves and invested the time to not just talk the talk of, “You know what would be great?” but to walk the walk of, “Let’s do this.”

Our resulting projects ranged from the simple with a complex purpose to the downright funky, quirky and completely, uniquely Macon.

There were simple tasks such as requesting a few hundred dollars to distribute light bulbs with sensor cells so neighborhood homes would automatically have a friendly front-porch light turn on as day turned to dusk. Not only did this enhance the sense of safety, but it encouraged neighbors to be neighborly. If you received a light bulb, you also received an extra to pass along to someone else on your block who could use it.

Sundance comes to #KnightCities

Oct. 20, 2014, 1:29 p.m., Posted by Nate von Zumwalt


2014 New Frontier Flash Lab, Miami. Photo by Michael Toledo. 

Nate von Zumwalt is Editorial Manager for Sundance Institute

Discovering and supporting independent artists is what Sundance Institute is all about. We believe that providing an inclusive space for artists to create and thrive encourages diverse stories and greater understanding.  In 2013, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation joined us in support of this goal by helping Sundance Institute reach into two new communities, Philadelphia and Miami, in search of new voices, new perspectives, and new stories to be told.

Now Knight Foundation is expanding its support with a new $1 million investment. The Knight Fellows Project will provide filmmakers and related artists in eight U.S. cities with local programs modeled on the Institute’s renowned residential Labs and successful one-day workshops for emerging filmmakers.

Over the next three years, storytellers from Akron, Charlotte, Detroit, Macon, Miami, Philadelphia, San Jose, and St. Paul will have access to creative and tactical training from esteemed Sundance Alumni and Advisors.  Programs will include ShortsLabs, New Frontier Flash Labs and Screenwriters Intensives, as well as immersive workshops on documentary storytelling, film music, and creative marketing and distribution.

City Observatory: A new forum for what matters for successful cities

Oct. 20, 2014, 9 a.m., Posted by Joe Cortright

Joe Cortright is an economist and director of City Observatory, a virtual urban policy think tank that receives support from Knight Foundation. 

Last week we launched City Observatory, a new data-driven platform for sharing, analyzing and discussing the success of cities. The site’s original analysis and in-depth research on cities and urban issues is designed to inform community leaders, policymakers, policy wonks and the rest of us.

Today we released “The Young and Restless and the Nation’s Cities,” a new CityReport that analyzes the choices young, educated professionals are making about where they live and how those choices are reshaping the economic development process. Future reports will address topics such as city job growth, neighborhood change, and the ways we create, use and interact with public spaces in cities.