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

  • Communities

    Collaborating to reimagine downtown San Jose

    Jan. 20, 2015, 1:53 p.m., Posted by Tim Ritchie

    Tim Ritchie is president of The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, one of 26 Knight Foundation communities.

    San Jose has worked for decades to establish its downtown as a vibrant, active center for the Silicon Valley. The Tech Museum of Innovation, in the heart of this downtown, is now embarking on a new project with its partners to build on recent momentum and catalyze new efforts towards this goal.

    Maryanna Rogers, The Tech’s director of innovation, and Gehl Studio, the renowned global firm focusing on people-centered urban design, are working to reimagine City Hall Plaza — how it can engage and inspire residents and employees, bring communities together, and infuse innovation into San Jose government. With Knight Foundation’s support, we hope to use this project as a springboard to create a stronger sense of place all over San Jose.

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    MUSAIC, a musical meeting house for the world

    Jan. 20, 2015, 12:30 p.m., Posted by Fernando González

    Gil Shaham leads a master class of Brahms' violin concerto, 1st movement. 


    It’s a place where, a few keystrokes away, you can find cellist Yo-Yo Ma offering insights about the structure and interpretation of Bach’s “Suite No. 5 in C minor” for unaccompanied cello; have a former principal flutist at the Boston Symphony Orchestra give you some pointers on practicing scales; or just simply listen to a performance of Steve Reich’s modern classic “Music for 18 Musicians.”

    In fact, the recently launched MUSAIC, an online community of classical musicians and video library curated by the New World Symphony, is that, and more, including master classes, conferences, live virtual hangouts and webcasts of events.

    Co-founding artistic director of the New World Symphony “Michael [Tilson Thomas] used to talk about creating a global musical meeting house,” says Howard Herring, president and CEO of New World, while discussing the origins of the project. “We know about meeting houses. [It’s a place where] there are a lot of collisions, a lot of conversations, a lot of ‘Hey, do you know that piece? Do you have trouble where I have trouble? Let’s figure it out.’  Michael’s vision was ‘What if you can do this at a global scale?’ and in fact the digital world allows you to do it. So we started to experiment. “

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    Contradictions and Communist propaganda make a Primary project

    Jan. 20, 2015, 12:17 p.m., Posted by Anne Tschida

    Installation from Beatriz Monteavaro. Photo by Zachary Balber There is a lot going on in the inspiration for “International Friendship Exhibition,” which opened up during Art Basel at Primary Projects. There are themes of contradiction, of propaganda, of the truly bizarre world of North Korea. That’s...

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