Knight Foundation announces $37 million in new arts funding

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

Knight Foundation announces $37 million in new arts funding:

Grants to organizations in Miami Beach total $10 million

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation this week announced “$37 million in new funding for arts organizations, many of them mid-sized groups that fill out Miami’s art ecosystem. The commitment brings to $165 million the amount Knight has invested since 2005” for the growth of the arts in Miami.
To date, Knight has used a two-tier strategy of giving to anchor arts institutions and, through its Knight Arts Challenge, brings “arts ideas to life” and is open to all, including individual artists.
This year’s funding “complements and expands the two-tier funding strategy” with “the bulk of it” to go toward “strengthening mid-sized arts organizations that create superb art year in and year out on tight budgets and without endowments. These include New World Symphony, Institute for Contemporary Art, Miami New Drama and O, Cinema Miami."
More than a quarter of the money, $10 million, was awarded to seven organizations in Miami Beach:
Miami City Ballet: $3 million 
To further strengthen the institution’s cultural relevance in Miami by supporting a new administrative and leadership infrastructure that emphasizes experimentation, diversity, equity and inclusion.
New World Symphony: $2.5 million 
To foster renewed interest in classical music by commissioning new works; using technology to engage audiences; and helping orchestras better reflect their communities by promoting diversity and inclusion.
O Cinema: $1.5 million 
To create South Florida’s first independent film center by supporting the cinema’s purchase and the renovation of a permanent home. 
Bass Museum - Knight Foundation Art Commission 2019: $1.25 million (photo above)
To support the commission and exhibition of new works of contemporary art, allowing artists to experiment and expand their practice to reach diverse audiences online and on-site.    
O, Miami at The Betsy: $1.25 million 
To create a new home for poetry in the Americas by supporting a partnership between O, Miami Poetry Festival and The Writer’s Room at The Betsy-South Beach. 
Miami New Drama: $750,000 
To elevate and sustain the production of original, critically-acclaimed theater in Miami by further strengthening the organization’s work through support for casting, staffing, technological upgrades, and a deeper focus on long-term financial sustainability. 
ArtCenter/South Florida - Cinematic Arts Residency: $500,000 
To elevate Miami’s filmmaking ecosystem through an arts residency that functions as an incubator for Miami filmmakers creating micro-budget narrative feature films. 
“Art and culture bind people to place and to each other. A dozen years ago, we saw an arts community that could be leveraged to make art general in Miami,” said Alberto Ibargüen, Knight Foundation president. “One hundred and sixty-five million dollars over a decade says we’re serious about this. The latest $37 million says we’re delighted with the impact and are shifting focus more toward the middle-level arts organizations and with a much greater emphasis on the creation of art in the city.”

“The City of Miami Beach has always valued the transformative power of art and understood the positive economic impact of culture and creativity,” said Mayor Dan Gelber. “We are immensely grateful the Knight Foundation has decided to make such a substantial commitment to advancing our many institutions.”
For the complete list of awardees, click here.

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