Knight Blog

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

Two art leaders join Knight’s national arts advisory committee

Feb. 23, 2012, 9:01 a.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

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Today, Knight Foundation welcomes two new art leaders from Miami and San Jose to its national arts advisory committee.

Silvia Karman Cubiñá, executive director and chief curator of the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach, and Anjee Helstrup-Alvarez, executive director of MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, in San Jose join the committee, which is made up of recognized artists and art advocates.

The committee guides Knight on the best ways to promote artistic excellence that engages, inspires and brings communities together.

Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation’s vice president/arts said:

“Both Silvia and Anjee are extraordinary arts advocates committed both to culture and their communities. They each bring extensive knowledge of the arts, and have the experience and dedication to help identify the most engaging ways to bring art to communities.”

Lessons and insights learned in building community partnerships

Feb. 22, 2012, 4:51 p.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

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Joaquin Alvarado, senior vice president, digital innovation, American Public Media

The 70 Knight Community Information Challenge projects funded so far have led to collaborations with nearly 450 organizations - from libraries, to tech groups, universities, legacy and new media and more.

Partnerships are so prevalent, that community and place-based foundations often ask for tools and tips in making them effective. So Knight and the consulting firm FSG talked with the leaders of successful projects, gathered their insights into a new report - and organized a panel discussion at the Media Learning Seminar offering lessons learned.

With less resources available for community news and information projects, collaboration and partnerships are more valuable and necessary than ever before, said Joaquin Alvarado, senior vice president, digital innovation, American Public Media.

But what creates some of the most successful partnerships? Alvarado says it’s about getting people from different communities active and engaged, earning their loyalty and providing long-term commitment to the partnership. It’s also about using technology to really engage with residents and making sure they feel their voices are heard in the communities.

Deepening engagement in elections: TurboVote expands in South Florida

Feb. 22, 2012, 1:27 p.m., Posted by Seth Flaxman

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Knight Foundation is helping TurboVote, which aims to make the voting process as easy as renting from Netflix, expand into new communities and develop its platform. The funding is part of a series of Knight grants that support new ways to deepen Americans’ engagement in elections and foster more informed communities.

Co-Founder Seth Flaxman talks about the effort:

Our democracy is in trouble. The United States ranks 138th in voter participation – behind every major democracy, according to the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.

As a grad student, I was on my way to contributing to the problem when I missed three elections in a row. I figured it was easier to build TurboVote, a platform that simplifies the voting process, than to find a printer and stamp to change my registration and then keep track of when local elections were taking place.

Looking back two years later, it turned out that TurboVote was sort of hard to build - but I'm still glad we did it.