Knight Blog

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

Artists-in-residence program creates recipe for healthy civic engagement in Philadelphia

Dec. 22, 2014, 5:22 p.m., Posted by Lillian Dunn

The SPACES Artists-in-Residence program at The Village of Arts and Humanities is a winner of the 2013 Knight Arts Challenge. Lillian Dunn is SPACES program manager.

This summer, Philadelphia-based public arts collective Amber Art & Design joined The Village of Arts and Humanities for the first cycle of SPACES, a unique urban artist-in-residence program in which artists live and work on site in North Philadelphia.

Amber Art sought to celebrate local culinary traditions and foster excitement around healthy food in the neighborhood. To that end, they created The Village Table, a ticketed four-course sit-down meal held in Meditation Park. Anyone could earn a ticket by volunteering or sharing a recipe with the team, creating an alternative exchange based on civic engagement.

The unlikely train that connects a Twin Cities community

Dec. 22, 2014, noon, Posted by Chuck Salter

Chuck Salter is a senior writer at Fast Company, who produces and performs live, staged versions of in-depth stories. St. Paul, Minn., is one of 26 Knight communities.

The Green Line. Photo by Flickr user Jerry Huddleston.

“Trains are about journeys, and that’s what we’re embarking on today.”

So begins “The Green Line: Eleven Miles of Hopes, Dreams and Fears,” the story of how the new light rail line between Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., overcame nearly 30 years of uncertainty and turmoil before opening last summer. Transit projects of this magnitude—this one had a nearly $1 billion price tag—are inherently daunting, financially, politically and physically. In St. Paul, the line faced a psychological hurdle as well: the legacy of a transit project that tore apart the city’s largest African-American community 50 years earlier.

How this once-divisive train project became a reality is a complicated and inspiring story about the persistence, unusual collaborations and creative problem-solving necessary for transportation-led economic and community development. 

Atlanta Journal-Constitution engages readers with Videolicious reports

Dec. 22, 2014, 11 a.m., Posted by Matt Singer

View the original video at

Matt Singer is CEO of Videolicious, a Knight Foundation investment through its venture capital initiative, the Knight Enterprise Fund. This is part five of five in a series exploring ways journalists are using Videolicious to enhance storytelling. Videolicious is available for iOS.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is ramping up its video creation, with a clear mandate from its audience.

AJC Senior Editor of Visuals Sandra Brown explains that the paper’s recent expansion of video reporting is a result of listening to what the audience wants—and delivering it. With video the paper can “tell stories and engage readers,” says Brown, especially given the growth of its audience online and on mobile devices.

The AJC takes video creation seriously; reporters are evaluated on how well they incorporate video into their reporting, and the paper supports this expectation with significant video creation training. Reporters are also supplied with automatic video editing software from Videolicious.