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

Oct 12, 2012

Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia: Get inspired by winning ideas

Posted by Valerie Nahmad

In its first two years, Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia has awarded $5.4 million to 71 projects — all of which focus on engaging and enriching Philly’s neighborhoods through the arts. If you’ve got an idea that will bring fresh thinking, inspiration and innovation to the city’s cultural community, now is the time to apply: Applications are due by midnight on Oct. 15.

As shown in this rendering of Granahan Skatepark, designed by students of Charter High School for Architecture & Design, the Franklin’s Paine Skatepark Fund will transform West Philadelphia blacktop lots into art-laden skate parks.

All it takes is one great idea and 150 words to describe it. Take it from last year’s winners, whose diverse projects range from individual grant programs to huge-scale “sculptural interventions”:

  • Art Sanctuary will create, over the course of five years, a Hip H’Opera to tell the stories of urban teen life.
  • Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra — which won a Knight Arts Challenge grant two years in a row — will showcase diverse cultures through Black Pearl Pops!, a symphonic world music festival.
  • Catzie Vilayphonh, recently featured in 215 Magazine, will present the writing, performance and filmmaking workshop “Laos in the House: Voices from Four Decades of the Lao Diaspora.”
  • Erica Hawthorne’s Small But Mighty arts grant program will give a boost to local artists through small individual awards.
  • Franklin’s Paine Skatepark Fund (pictured) will turn several West Philly blacktop lots into art-laden skate parks, to seek a skateable connection between neighborhoods.
  • The Fabric Workshop and Museum will commission artist Daniel Arsham to create a sculptural intervention within the museum’s architecture that will explore the boundaries between museums and theaters.
Read on: Check out all 35 winning ideas from year two of the challenge. Applications for year three of the Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia are now being accepted through Oct. 15. Give us your best idea and make this your year!


Back to top