Sometimes it is hard to find the poetry in technology. Though most people use technology as part of their daily life, the coldness of machines makes it easy to overlook the richness of human culture that flows through their circuits. 

Yet culture can move quickly, aided by our devices, whether it’s a virtual museum tour, a live-streamed concert or crowdsourced poetry. And we’re only at the beginning of this curve. Technology offers a myriad of opportunities for art, expanding how it challenges us, triggers reflection, awakens empathy and connects us to our communities. Innovations have the potential to provide arts organizations with new ways to connect with audiences and create deeply engaging experiences that inform and delight.

But how do we ensure that arts organizations, and artists themselves, take advantage of these opportunities, instead of lagging behind their audiences in the adoption of technology? 

Today, Knight Foundation is opening a call for ideas focused on this issue. It centers around a question:

How might cultural institutions use technology to connect people to the arts?

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  • Article

    Tech and the fine art of complicity

    February 21, 2018 by Jer Thorp

    Tech and the fine art of complicity

    8:23 PM by Daniel Olnes. Photo licensed under Creative Commons.

    What are the opportunities for technology in the arts – and what threats does it pose? Knight Foundation, which recently launched an open call for ideas to use technology to connect people to the arts, asked leaders in the field to answer that question. Here, Jer Thorp, a data artist and innovator-in-residence at the Library of Congress, answers with his own, provocative inquiry.

  • Article

    Meet Akron’s 2017 Knight Arts Challenge winners

    November 14, 2017 by Adam Ganuza

    Meet Akron’s 2017 Knight Arts Challenge winners

    Tonight, we’re excited to announce the winning ideas in the 2017 Knight Arts Challenge Akron: 17 projects receiving a combined $743,000 to further Akron’s growth as a center for arts and culture in northeast Ohio. This cohort of winning ideas, the challenge’s third, brings world-class talent and cutting-edge projects to the city, while celebrating the creators and artists working locally.

  • Article

    10 years, one mission: To make art general in Miami

    November 13, 2017 by Fernando González

    10 years, one mission: To make art general in Miami

    The Pioneer Winter Collective won Challenge funding to commission site-specific dance performances. Photo by Charles Trainor, Jr.

    This year, Knight Foundation is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Knight Arts Challenge’s founding in Miami. Attend a celebration event, and learn more below about the challenge’s impact.

  • Article

    Hangout, rediscover the city at Miami Book Fair’s The Porch

    November 9, 2017 by Fernando González

    Hangout, rediscover the city at Miami Book Fair’s The Porch

    Photos courtesy of Miami Book Fair.

  • Article

    29 Knight Arts Challenge winners flipping Detroit’s script

    October 25, 2017 by Adam Ganuza

    29 Knight Arts Challenge winners flipping Detroit’s script

    Miners 2017, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Photo by Djenne Carswell.

    Detroit is a city characterized by transformation, but also reclamation. Through sheer creativity and grit, Detroiters flip the script on the city’s narrative and its physical spaces, building on the region’s cultural legacy while moving people to see Detroit with a fresh lens. Nowhere is this more evident than in the ideas proposed by the  29 winners of this year’s Knight Arts Challenge.

  • Article

    29 winning projects to share $1.29 million in 2017 St. Paul Knight Arts Challenge

    October 4, 2017 by Adam Ganuza

    29 winning projects to share $1.29 million in 2017 St. Paul Knight Arts Challenge

    Motionpoems' innovative project "Chaos on the Green Line" will turn the Green Line into a virtual reality experience freely accessible via smartphone app and triggered by the train's movements.

    Earlier this year, we posed a question to Saint Paul: Tell us your best idea for the arts. Artists and community members responded in a big way to Knight's call for project ideas.

  • Article

    Five takeaways on how museums are adapting to digital age demands

    August 31, 2017 by Jayne Butler

    Five takeaways on how museums are adapting to digital age demands

    Lumin helps visitors see inside an ancient mummy. Photo courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Arts.

    In May 2017, Knight Foundation announced funding to 12 art museums as part of an initiative to help museums better use technology to meaningfully engage visitors in art. Aligned with this goal, I spent much of my summer researching ways to scale new  tools and approaches in support of museum tech.  

  • Article

    St. Paul’s first Youth Poet Laureate gets personal in new book

    August 29, 2017 by Ira Brooker

    St. Paul’s first Youth Poet Laureate gets personal in new book

    Images courtesy of Donte Collins.

    Watching clips of Donte Collins reading poetry online, the first thing that stands out is the straightforward beauty of the words, the carefully observed imagery and perfectly chosen descriptors that immerse the audience immediately in Collins’s world. The second thing that grabs the attention is the confidence and nuance of Collins’s stage presence. The poet generates a captivating aura that befits a long-time veteran of literary performance, and is well beyond what some people might expect of a reader young enough to claim the title of St. Paul Youth Poet Laureate.

  • Article

    A musical bridge between Miami and Havana

    August 14, 2017 by Sebastian Spreng

    A musical bridge between Miami and Havana

    Simone Dinnerstein and Havana Lyceum Orchestra perform at Miami's New World Center. Photo: John Kieser

    Miamians turned out in force for “Mozart in Havana,” the South Florida debut of Havana Lyceum Orchestra, under the baton of José Antonio Mendéz Padrón and appearing with its champion pianist Simone Dinnerstein in a refreshing, meaningful performance at Miami Beach’s New World Center.

  • Article

    Meet the finalists in the 2017 Knight Arts Challenge

    August 14, 2017 by Adam Ganuza

    Meet the finalists in the 2017 Knight Arts Challenge

    Akron's Art Bomb Brigade. Photo by Freedom Trail Ladder

    Earlier this year, we asked for the best arts ideas in four cities, and each responded in a big way. This year’s Knight Arts Challenge drew more than 2,500 ideas, and put the creative energy of these communities on full display.

  • Article

    Wagner thrills fans in highly anticipated Miami Music Festival performance

    August 7, 2017 by Sebastian Spreng

    Wagner thrills fans in highly anticipated Miami Music Festival performance

    The Miami Music Festival Symphony Orchestra performing at New World Center. Photo: Miami Music Festival

    Wagner fans of Miami - and it looks like there are many more of them than one might think - must thank conductor and Miami Music Festival Artistic Director Michael Rossi for his astute undertaking, the Miami Wagner Institute, which capped its second year with a remarkable performance at Arsht Center’s Knight Concert Hall.

  • Article

    Innovations in opera take the stage from Philadelphia to Santa Fe

    July 19, 2017 by Kris LeCorgne

    Innovations in opera take the stage from Philadelphia to Santa Fe
    Garrett Sorenson (Woz) and Edward Parks (Steve Jobs). Photo: Ken Howard for Santa Fe Opera, 2017

    2017 is a great year for opera. Now more than ever, this platform, once reserved for the upper echelons of society, is being created in collaboration with communities.

  • Article

    When your phone is the stage: new play takes place entirely via text message

    July 12, 2017 by JoAnn Greco

    When your phone is the stage: new play takes place entirely via text message

    Photo: Kate Raines.

    Every morning during the usually merry month of May, I received a text message from a mysterious source asking me to draw a card. After exchanging pleasantries, this entity, named The End, would provide me with a password to enter a web portal. There, I’d find a link to a video of a New Orleans funeral, say, or to a portrait gallery of adults recreating decades-old photographs taken during their youth. Primed to muse on the special people, places and things in my life, I was ready to pursue a quest.

  • Article

    Arts groups help Detroit explore how the summer of 67 changed the city forever

    June 26, 2017 by Amy Haimerl

    Arts groups help Detroit explore how the summer of 67 changed the city forever

    The Wright Museum's newly installed sculpture "United We Stand" is the first component of how they are using art to commemorate the 1967 civil unrest. Photo by Annistique Photography.

    Detroit.

    July 23, 1967.

    Twelfth Street and Clairmount.

    3:15 a.m.

    Police raid a speakeasy.

    An uprising breaks out.

    Rioting. Looting. Anger. Frustration. Fear.

    Forty-three dead; 1,189 injured.

    Five days.

    A city forever changed.

    Changed in the way you’ve heard – accelerated flight from the city, abandonment by a generation of Detroiters – but also in ways you may not. That night indelibly marked Detroit’s future as the city’s narrative cleaved in half.

    For some, a riot occurred. “Black power militants promoting a revolution,” as one man told the Detroit Historical Society in an oral history collected for the “Detroit 67: Looking Back to Move Forward” exhibit.

  • Article

    Meet the local winners of the 2017 #InsideOutUSA photo contest

    June 15, 2017 by Marika Lynch

    Meet the local winners of the 2017 #InsideOutUSA photo contest

    Touring the Detroit Institute of Arts installations at the InsideOutUSA Instameet on June 9. Photo by Larisa Zade.

    Update: Congratulations to the winner of the national contest, @tistheseasontv of Akron, Ohio! See the winning photo, chosen by the participating museums, below.

    Instagrammers in five cities this week participated in the #InsideOutUSA photo contest, taking creative photos highlighting the national program that brings high-quality replicas of the art in museum’s collections into neighborhoods.

    Today, the six participating museums in the Knight-funded program – the Akron Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pérez Art Museum Miami, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture – announced the winners.

    Together, they took pensive portraits, mixed tai-chi with their art, and used the natural foliage to enhance iconic works in museums’ collections.