Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia finalists announced

By Victor Fiorrillo

Every year, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation asks Philly artists and arts organizations the question: “What’s your best idea for the arts?” Over the last two years, the foundation has awarded $5.5 million in matching grants to those projects with the best answers, such asFranklin’s Paine Skatepark Fund, the Black Pear Chamber Orchestra, and John Jarboe’s Bearded Ladies Cabaret.

This year, 1,200 local artists and organizations responded to the challenge, and today, the foundation announced the finalists, with some pretty exciting ideas like a Dr. Dog/Pig Iron Theatre Company collaboration. (Where can I buy tickets for that?) Winners will be announced in the spring.

Here, the 69 finalists:

836 Writers Residence
To provide new resources for writers by establishing a reading and performance venue that also offers temporary residences for selected authors

Ars Nova Workshop
To honor Philadelphia’s rich jazz legacy by producing a month-long festival in venues across the city during Jazz History Month

Art Sphere, Inc.
To improve arts education by creating a database of art lesson plans and projects to be used by organizations with few resources



About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit