Victoria Rogers named Knight Foundation’s vice president for arts

Dennis Scholl, who led program, to step down

MIAMI – March 8, 2015 – Arts leader Victoria Rogers will join the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as its new vice president for arts on May 1. Rogers, the New World Symphony’s executive vice president, will succeed Dennis Scholl, who led the program from its 2009 launch to national prominence.

Dennis Scholl

Dennis Scholl (download)

Victoria Rogers

Victoria Rogers (download)

Related Links

"In Miami, new funding and new beginnings in the arts" - by Alberto Ibargüen on Knight Blog, 3/8/2015

"Knight Foundation announces $25 million in new gifts for the South Florida arts" - press release, 3/8/2015

Scholl, an entrepreneur with multiple business, philanthropic and arts interests, will continue to serve Knight Foundation as an adviser.

“Victoria is a strategic thinker and leader who played a critical role in the evolution of the New World Symphony. She’s the right leader for the next phase of the Knight arts program,” said Alberto Ibargüen, president, Knight Foundation. “We are immensely grateful to Dennis for the remarkably creative program he designed and developed.”

Knight Foundation’s national arts program takes a two-pronged approaching to fostering arts in communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. The program invests in key institutions, helping them to more deeply engage the public. In addition, Knight supports grassroots groups that have fresh and innovative ideas for the arts.

Knight has supported institutions ranging from the Pérez Art Museum Miami, the Barnes Foundation and Philadelphia Museum of Art to the Akron Art Museum, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Detroit Institute of Arts. The Knight arts program has also earned a reputation for seeking out innovative ways to bring art to wide audiences, from support of the O, Miami poetry festival to more than 1,200 Random Acts of Culture around the United States. Knight recently funded a collaborative symphony project in Detroit, where residents will contribute to a work that reflects the city, composed by MIT Media Lab’s Tod Machover, to be premiered in November by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

The arts program also created alliances with other foundations to form ArtPlace, a project of the National Endowment for the Arts, which uses art to create a sense of community in cities across the country, and helped to craft the recent “Grand Bargain” that preserved the Detroit Institute of Arts as the community’s cultural treasure and saved municipal pensions.

In addition, the Knight Arts Challenge, a community-wide contest for the best ideas for the arts, has expanded to five cities: Miami, Philadelphia, Detroit, St Paul and Akron. So far, the challenge has received more than 20,000 ideas. Today, Knight Foundation also announced $25 million to the South Florida arts, which includes support through 2018 for the South Florida Arts Challenge, which has sparked the growth of Miami’s arts scene.

“The opportunity to help create and grow the national arts program at Knight Foundation has been one of the highlights of my professional career,” Scholl said. “Under Alberto’s leadership, the program has taken great steps to make art general in Knight communities across the country. I am thrilled that Victoria has been chosen as my successor, and I know she will lead the program to the next level.”

In her nine years at New World Symphony, Rogers helped set the strategic plan for the orchestral academy that prepares graduates of distinguished music programs for leadership roles in orchestras and ensembles around the world. She orchestrated the successful $200 million capital campaign for the Frank Gehry-designed campus, one of the world’s most technologically advanced venues for concerts. Before joining New World Symphony, Rogers served as assistant vice president for central development at the University of Miami, where she was the architect of its billion-dollar capital campaign, Momentum.

“In cities both large and small, Knight Foundation has been a catalyst for change and informed risk taking. Through its programs it is helping to create more engaged communities.  I don’t know any foundation that does a better job of fostering the arts, from individual artists, to grassroots organizations and large institutions,” said Rogers. “Knight is helping institutions break down the barriers to attendance and creating new audiences. Its support was instrumental to New World Symphony’s popular WALLCAST™ Concert Series.  I’m thrilled to have a chance to extend and build on that work.”

At the same time, Knight Foundation announced $25 million in new funding for the arts in South Florida, bringing to $122 million the amount pledged in the past decade. University of Miami Frost School of Music, Pérez Museum of Art Miami, and Institute for Contemporary Art, Miami, are all recipients. In addition, Knight extended the successful Knight Arts Challenge for another three years in South Florida.

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 knightfoundation.org.

CONTACT: Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 305-908-2677, media@knightfoundation.org

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 www.knightfoundation.org.