Knight Foundation believes the arts help build community by binding people to place and to each other. Done with excellence, the arts inspire and connect people.
Our grantmaking strategy in the arts has four initiatives:
- Creative Placemaking
- Making Art General
- Institutional Reform
- Spurring Innovation
The strategy is carried across Knight’s eight resident communities but is implemented in varying landscapes. Here’s a snapshot of the arts sector in each:
- Akron: Akron has a history of developing established arts institutions however, the organizations have struggled financially. The City of Akron has played a significant role in supporting culture, specifically in developing summer programming as well as increasing programs in neighborhoods such as downtown. Recently, the city has faced financial challenges which put many of its arts programs at risk of budgetary cuts. Despite the financial challenges, Akron hosts a significant dance program at the University of Akron as well as dance programming through the city. Akron is also home to an excellent modern art collection, at the Akron Art Museum.
- Charlotte: Charlotte’s arts community is booming. The geographical grouping of the Knight Theater, the Bechtler Museum, the Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture, and the Mint Museum has proven to be a focal point for downtown (or, as it’s known in Charlotte, “uptown”). Additionally, the Arts & Sciences Council of Charlotte-Mecklenburg supports a wide network of smaller arts organizations engaged in community-based art. The city is currently adapting to changing demographics and is a leader in redefining “The New South.”
- Detroit: Detroit’s arts institutions are beginning to show signs of bloom after a long decline. Despite the economic challenges, or perhaps because of opportunities derived from those challenges, individual artists and small arts groups have thrived. Detroit is also home to several longstanding arts institutions that have remained resilient and innovative through the many changes faced in the last half a century. These artists and arts institutions are building a strong network, seeking to reestablish Detroit through sustainable communities rooted in creative solutions.