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Knight Foundation renews community through arts

Seeking projects that benefit South Florida

Carla St.Louis | 2/20/2014, 9 a.m.

According to Tatiana Hernandez, South Florida is experiencing an arts revival.

“Right now, South Florida is undergoing a creative renaissance,” said Hernandez, arts program officer of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. “Culturally, Miami is very young. [Prior to current funding] museums and other art institutions were last funded in the late 1980s based on the small size of those communities. Now, those same communities have expanded tremendously, and they’re receiving funding that’s reflective of it.”

The Knight Foundation is on a mission to assist in the continuation and development of South Florida’s artistic resurgence by funding the most innovative art idea in the region.

“Miami has always been a place that’s integral in the shaping of artists,” she said. “The Knight Foundation wants to make sure artists have access to resources to do their work.”

What is KAC?

Since its inception in 2008, the KAC has given more than

$22 million to 193 projects. It initially started as a five year, $20 million initiative, but once Hernandez witnessed the demand for funding art projects and the creative community’s need for accessible resources and career development, she requested more funding from the 12-member board of directors.

They agreed, and expanded funding to a three year, $9 million initiative.

What separates the KAC from other grants, is its eligibility requirements and application process. In order to apply, a person or institution must be seeking funding for an artistic endeavor that takes place in or benefits South Florida, and the person or institution must match the Knight Foundation’s funding contribution. The applicant doesn’t have to be a United States citizen and can be under 18 years old. The application is available online and requires participants to explain their idea in 150 words. It's open to individuals or institutions from a broad spectrum as past winners included new works at the Miami City Ballet, the Haitian American Book Fair, artist talk series, one-stop performances, technology ideas and Big Night in Little Haiti just to name a few.

The deadline to apply is February 24th at midnight.

Since February 3rd, the Knight Foundation has held six public questions and answers discussion panels regarding the Knight Arts Challenge. The panels were held throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties at institutions that cater to creative types like museums, arts centers and theaters. The Knight Foundation held the talk sessions in order to better explain the benefits of the KAC including its application process and eligibility requirements.

For more information log on to http://knightarts.org, follow on Twitter @knightfdn or contact Hernandez at hernandez@knightfoundation.org