Knight Blog

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

Monday: Find out winners of the 2012 Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia

April 20, 2012, 7:27 a.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller


On Monday, tune in to find out the winning projects of the 2012 Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia!

More than 1,200 ideas were submitted by artists, artist-run groups and organizations who pitched their big ideas for engaging the Philadelphia community through the arts. Earlier this year, Knight announced the 55 finalists.

Our reviewers whittled the list down to a few dozen winners and on Monday at 6 p.m., Knight will post the winning projects at We’ll also tweet the winners and other updates from the announcement ceremony via @knightfdn. The hashtag to follow along is #knightarts.

This year’s winners offer a wide array of innovative ideas to engage and enrich Philadelphia’s communities through visual arts, music, film, theater and more.

St. Paul: addressing key factors of community attachment

April 19, 2012, 3:22 p.m., Posted by Polly M. Talen


Photo Credit: Flickr user Jeremiah Peterson 

I spotted a wonderful convergence of two things which Knight is passionate about, namely community foundations and its Soul of the Community research.  The current issue of the Giving Forum features community foundations and uses Knight’s Soul of the Community research to set up how important it is that community foundations focus on the quality of life in a particular geography. The research showed a significant, positive connection between residents’ emotional bond to a place and local economic growth.   

Giving Forum is the online and print publication of the Minnesota Council on Foundations that covers Minnesota philanthropy news by and for grantmakers, givers and nonprofits.  The article includes work of the Saint Paul Foundation and Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, both of which have rallied around the importance of addressing the key drivers of community attachment identified by the Soul of the Community: social offerings, openness, aesthetics and education.

Why we need new models for arts journalism

April 19, 2012, 10:04 a.m., Posted by Eric Newton

Today, Knight Foundation and the NEA announced the winners of its Community Arts Journalism Challenge. Here, Knight's Eric Newton gives some insight into why both organizations decided to fund innovations in arts coverage and criticism.

Update: Two of the winning projects, CriticCar Detroit and the Charlotte Arts Journalism Alliance, were recently profiled in The Huffington Post and The Charlotte Observer, respectively.

When Knight Foundation first started working with the National Endowment of the Arts on the issue of arts journalism, we asked four questions: Is arts journalism in trouble? Does it matter? Can anything be done to help? How can we - the Knight Foundation, the nation’s leading private funder of journalism innovation, and the National Endowment for the Arts, the nation’s leading advocate for the arts – improve the situation. Let’s look at the questions and answers:

1.    Is arts journalism in trouble? 

Nationally, arts journalism is doing well. Locally, it is not. 

Nationally, the medium of film is an example of the positive post-internet trend. Even as film critics shrink in traditional media, the victims of the new economics of the digital age, they are blooming in cyberspace. Typical was famed film critic Roger Ebert reporting in his January 2011 Wall Street Journal article, “Film Criticism is Dying? Not Online.”: “The Web and HTML have been a godsend for film criticism. The best single film criticism site is arguably, featuring the Good Doctor Bordwell and his wife Kristin Thompson. Their names are known from their textbooks, studied in every film school in the world. But they are not users of the obscurantist gobbledygook employed by academics who, frankly, cannot really write. They communicate in prose as clear as running water.”