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

Feb 19, 2013

Last chance South Florida: Ask questions about the Knight Arts Challenge

Posted by Tatiana Hernandez

We had a great turnout last night at Fort Lauderdale’s Cinema Paradiso, our first of 4 Community Q & A sessions on the Knight Arts Challenge that are taking place this week around South Florida.

 We wanted to share what’s on people’s minds ahead of the March 4 application deadline, and some tips and insights that Matt Haggman, previous winners and I shared.

Several people asked how to make their application stand out. Here’s the advice we offered:

  • Make the title catchy, not necessarily descriptive.
  • Use your 150 words to get to the point – what’s unique about your project?
  • Don’t write your proposal in isolation. Share it with friends for their input. Make sure they understand what you’re trying to convey.
  • Present the idea as personal and show your passion, but stay away from the words “I want to.” Ideas should put the community first.
  • If you’re an individual artist seeking funds for a project, remember it has to be in service to the community. Ask yourself, how will this engage South Florida? Will my project make South Florida a better place to live?

Willie Stewart, a previous challenge winner, gave the best tip of the night: “Be honest and sincere, and the Knight Foundation will feel it.”

Here are few other quick questions – and our answers:

  • How many ideas can I submit? As many as you like!
  • Can the project be nationwide? As long as it follows the three rules, which includes that the project takes place in or benefits South Florida.
  • How provocative can the program be?  Be provocative. Be creative. We are not the thought police.

We have three more Community Q & A sessions this week. The schedule is below. Hope to see you there.

  • North Central Dade: 7 p.m. Feb. 19: Opa-locka City Hall, 780 Fisherman St., Second Floor
  • Downtown Miami: 7 p.m. Feb. 20: Cannonball, Downtown Miami, 1035 N. Miami Ave., Suite 200
  • South Dade: 7 p.m., Feb. 21: South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 SW 211 St.

Thanks again to all of our hosts for these gatherings: Broward County Cultural Division, WPBT, Business for the Arts of Broward, Arts and Cultural Center of Hollywood, the Opa-locka CDC, Hot 105, WEDR, M Ensemble, Urgent Inc., Miami Children’s Initiative, Miami-Dade County Division of Cultural Affairs, Miami New Times, Cannonball, Miami Light Project, Sweat Records, Bass Museum of Art, Bas Fisher Invitational, Karen Peterson Dancers and ArtSouth.

By Tatiana Hernandez, arts associate at Knight Foundation

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