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

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    Join Knight in San Jose, Calif., for holiday celebrations, theater and more

    Dec. 1, 2015, 3:14 p.m., Posted by Daniel Harris

    Above: The Tabard Theatre Company presents Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Radio Play, Dec. 4.

    At Knight Foundation we support many events as part of our efforts to spark new ideas for cities, build community and support civic innovators working to advance talent, opportunity and engagement in San Jose and other Knight communities.

    Join our community partners and me for these Knight-supported events in December:

    Dec. 1-31: The San Jose Downtown Association hosts Downtown for the Holidays.

    Dec. 1-31: CreaTV presents The Creatives: Call for Entries.

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    Street art transforms Wynwood’s community and culture

    Dec. 1, 2015, 1:52 p.m., Posted by Alec Schwartzman

    Mural by Ron English, 2010 at 222 NW 26th Street. Photo by Alec Schwartzman on Flickr.

    Miami Art Week kicks off today and thousands of art lovers and curious visitors will descend on Wynwood to take in its colorful walls, trendy galleries and scores of selfie spots. The arts district is thriving like never before.  But in the late ’90s, the neighborhood was mainly composed of a string of dilapidated warehouses, auto shops and drug dens.

    It “was a bit sketchy then,” said Ron English, a revered Texas graffiti artist who has worked at Wynwood Walls. “I saw this guy hanging out by a trailer and I asked him if I could paint his trailer. He said I could and I did, only to later find out it was not his. I guess the crack he was smoking at the time should have been a clue.”

    However, because of street art and the work of property developers such as David Lombardi and Tony Goldman, among others, Wynwood has transformed into a popular tourist destination. With more restaurants and businesses moving in, the public art space now sees over 150,000 sightseers monthly. During Miami Art Week, those numbers swell with a proliferation of shows and parties in the arts district and nearby in Midtown Miami.

    Mural by Paris street artist Kashink, 2013. Photo by Alec Schwartzman on Flickr.

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    The arts champions among us

    Nov. 30, 2015, 6:40 p.m., Posted by Victoria Rogers

    In Sunday's New York Times Elaine Glusac wrote, "The Miami area may once have craved culture, but new institutions, with more on the way, have helped it reach critical mass." For any arts ecosystem to be successful, it needs a plethora of artists and makers, organizations both small and large, performing arts centers, buyers and funders. However perhaps most importantly, it needs champions.

    Tonight, in addition to announcing the 53 winners of the Knight Arts Challenge South Florida, Knight President Alberto Ibargüen honored four champions for their contributions to the arts. They have supported the next generation of makers, broadened our understanding of the world around us through access to independent film, and provided insight into  a diverse array of emerging contemporary visual artists through curated exhibitions and lectures.

    The 2015 Knight Art Champions are Kareem Tabsch and Vivian Marthell, co- founders of O Cinema, Alex Gartenfeld, interim director and chief curator at ICA, and Rosa de la Cruz, gallery owner and philanthropist who created a travel program for young art students at Design and Architecture High School (DASH) and the New World School of the Arts so that they can study art in New York and Europe.

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