Knight grants help local arts groups

By Howard Cohen

Earlier this month the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation granted nearly $2.3 million in awards to 34 winners of its 2012 Knight Arts Challenge Miami.

The awards range from $10,000 for the Pablo Malco Foundation’s Hip-Hop Symphony, which aims to marry the rhythms of hip-hop and dance with the instrumentation of classical, to ArtWorks’ $225,000 grant for a project to help high school students in Overtown, Wynwood, Little Haiti and Liberty City pursue the arts via paid art internships and apprenticeships.

And South Miami-Dade could soon see a new space for community theater with a residency opportunity for artists at Palmetto Bay’s Deering Estate, thanks to a $35,000 grant to the Deering Estate Foundation. Mary Petit, executive director of the Deering Foundation and Jennifer Tisthammer, Deering’s director, see many possibilities for providing community theater in the region, which she said lacks community theaters beyond a Black Box room at the new South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center in Cutler Bay.

Grants, which must be matched by the recipients, were given to individuals, organizations or others in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties in disciplines such as film, dance, theater, music, visual art and storytelling.

Winning a grant is a considerable boost, not only financially, but psychologically, in helping fledgling, as well as veteran, organizations thrive in today’s tough economic climate.



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