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

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    Advisers gather in Miami to review Knight News Challenge: Elections entries

    May 1, 2015, 3:16 p.m., Posted by Jessica Hodder

    (Above) Knight News Challenge: Elections reviewers meet at the Knight Foundation offices headquartered in Miami. Photo by Jessica Hodder. 

    Nineteen advisers have joined us in Miami this week to review the
    46 semifinalists in Knight News Challenge: Elections.

    The challenge closed on March 19 with more than 1,000 entries to the question: How might we better inform voters and increase civic participation before, during and after elections?

    The advisers, who specialize in areas including open government, journalism, civic tech, audience engagement and voting rights, will help us identify a group of finalists that will then be submitted to Knight Foundation’s board of trustees for approval. The winners will be announced in July. Winners will receive a share of $3 million for their projects.

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  • Engaged Communities

    Knight-sponsored events showcase many sides of San Jose

    May 1, 2015, 9 a.m., Posted by Daniel Harris

    San Jose's City Hall by Flickr user HarshLight.

    Knight Foundation supports a variety of events as part of our ongoing efforts to spark new ideas for cities and support civic innovators working to advance talent, opportunity and engagement in San Jose, Calif.

    In April, we welcomed the news that two Knight grantees received national recognition; Cinequest, a 13-day digital film festival, was named “Best Film Festival” by USA Today and The Tech Museum of Innovation won the National Medal for Museum and Library Science.

    Looking forward, join us for Knight-supported events and opportunities in May.

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  • Arts

    St. Paul Food Opera looks to heighten the dining experience

    April 30, 2015, 3:04 p.m., Posted by Levi Weinhagen

    One of the Asparagus Compositions. Photo by Melissa Rivard.

    In 2006, composer and audio designer Ben Houge was living in Shanghai and working on audio for a video game project for Ubisoft when he had dinner at a multi-sensory restaurant called Ultraviolet. The dining experience, coupled with how immersed Houge was in his audio work, made him think about applying some of the same audio concepts to a meal. “It made me realize that the types of structures I’m putting together for this video game could apply to any kind of unpredictable event.” he said.

    Houge collaborated with a chef in 2010 on a workshop where they created music based on the flavors, textures and experiences of a meal. The music from that workshop eventually informed a collaboration with Boston-based chef Jason Bond for their 2012 project, Food Opera: Four Asparagus Compositions.

    Now, Ben Houge is collaborating with St. Paul’s Zeitgeist, a quartet focused on new music, to create the Saint Paul Food Opera –a project that won a grant from the Knight Foundation during the first Knight Arts Challenge St. Paul. Zeitgeist and Houge will seek out five St. Paul chefs with whom they’ll create five musical works that partner with a dish. In the Spring of 2016, they will present three evenings of musical works partnered with dishes at Studio Z in downtown St. Paul.

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