Knight Blog

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

Broadsides and craft brews at Miami Book Fair’s the Swamp

Oct. 31, 2014, 7 a.m., Posted by Lissette Mendez

Lissette Mendez is director of programs for Miami Book Fair International, which Knight Foundation supports. Image: 'Somewhere.' For Sweat Broadside Project II, artists and writers collaborated on pairing original artwork with poems.

The Swamp, a new event space at Miami Book Fair International sponsored by Knight Foundation, celebrates the writers, filmmakers, visual artists and musicians (and some who fall between those disciplines!) who are creating work and defining culture in the Sunshine State. Among those culture makers are the writers and visual artists who are part of Sweat Broadside Project II.

Florida-based writers and artists came together to form Word and Image Lab (WAIL), a group that encourages community conversation and opportunities for collaboration among writing and the visual and performing arts. For Sweat Broadside Project II, artist/writer duos created the broadsides, which feature their collaborative pairings of original artworks and poems. The printing processes vary widely and include letterpress, lithography, etching, silkscreen, woodcut and archival ink-jet printing. 

Foundations take on projects to improve local news and information

Oct. 30, 2014, 11:57 a.m., Posted by Steve Outing

Terry Mazany of the Chicago Community Trust and Neha Singh Gohil of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation take part in a design thinking session for their projects.

Increasingly, community foundations are playing a role in meeting the information needs of their cities. Over the next year, KnightBlog will follow four of these projects funded by the Knight Community Information Challenge, and share their progress and insights.

Community foundations aren't likely to save faltering local news institutions or bring failed media outlets back from the dead. But six years into the Knight Community Information Challenge, they now are playing a significant role in ensuring residents have the information and news they need to shape their cities.

Knight launched the Community Information Challenge in 2008 as a way to encourage community and place-based foundations to get involved in stemming what was becoming a news-and-information crisis across the U.S.: the alarming decline in local journalism as a result of the news industry's rocky transition to the digital age and the loss of many working journalists in local media. Through 2013, the challenge backed more than 100 community-information projects, which were matched with funding from community foundations.

Lessons from Miami’s Underline: What makes an idea stick?

Oct. 30, 2014, 9:39 a.m., Posted by Meg Daly

Meg Daly is an entrepreneur and founder of Friends of The UnderlineKnight Foundation provided seed funding for the project to promote community engagement. Photos: Pedestrian path below Metrorail track by Michael Bolden.

For years, people posted notes on doors, corkboards and car windshields with tape, thumbtacks and windshield wipers. Notes got wet, stolen and often never delivered. 

Then, along came the Post-it note. We could post notes wherever we wanted, without the hassle of glue, tape or other things to make the note stick. And, the product took off, making billions for the company with the Post-it patent, 3M. 

Sometimes great ideas like that, with the possibility for big change, are right in front of us, just waiting for someone to take them and run with it. Sometimes they are ideas just sitting in your back yard, with the possibility of changing an entire community.