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

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    McColl resident artist Robert Karimi promotes wellness through food stories

    Feb. 26, 2015, 12:59 p.m., Posted by kbalcerek

    McColl Center Artist-in-Residence Robert Karimi. This Saturday, join Robert Karimi, artist-in-residence at the McColl Center for Art+Innovation, for a lively event at the 7th Street Public Market in Uptown Charlotte. The event, Viva La Bicycle Parade + Progressive Food Party, will be filled with high-energy activities...

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    Akron ‘Snow Day’ creates colorful community connections

    Feb. 26, 2015, 12:09 p.m., Posted by Susan Ruiz Patton

    Photo by Megan Louise.

    Instead of letting the bitter cold and snowy weather trap them inside, the Akron League of Creative Interventionists chose to build their January change-themed event around the snow.

    Sure, they had to reschedule it twice – once for a storm that dumped five inches of the white stuff and again in anticipation of rain that would have melted it all. But that didn’t deter nearly 20 people from showing up ready to paint inspiring messages in the snow.

    Each month the group builds an event or events around a theme set by the league’s founder, San-Francisco-based artist Hunter Franks. Knight Foundation provided more than $55,000 for Franks to create similar community connections in four Knight cities: AkronDetroitPhiladelphia and Macon, Ga. January’s theme was Change. February’s is Strength.

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    To improve civic participation we need transparency

    Feb. 26, 2015, 11:32 a.m., Posted by Chris Gates

    Photo by Flickr user Mortimer62

    Chris Gates is the president of the Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan nonprofit that advocates for open government globally and uses technology to make government more accountable to all. Below he writes on voter participation and campaign finance disclosure, inspired by the latest News Challenge from Knight Foundation. Knight News Challenge: Elections asks the question, How might we better inform voters and increase civic participation before, during and after elections? Winners will share in more than $3 million. Apply at

    Over the past several decades, we’ve seen a steady decline in voter turnout, and a growing feeling of disconnect from the leaders of our government that exists to represent us. This, despite advances in technology that quite literally have put the world at our fingertips. Why is it then, when technology has made it easier than ever to access information, connect with one another, build networks and communicate ideas, that we’re so disengaged from the political process?

    Rather than engage, more and more people are making an active, and rational, choice to not participate in our political process. The United States has the lowest turnout rate of any industrialized country in the world. Citizens are tuning out and turning away from a system they feel can’t hear them and doesn’t represent them. Are they wrong? Given the state of our political system, who do citizens think their leaders really represent?

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