Knight Foundation Invites Applications for Arts Challenge Detroit, Akron

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Knight Foundation Invites Applications for Arts Challenge Detroit, Akron


An initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Knight Arts Challenge funds ideas that connect people to place and to each other through the arts.

Now in its seventh year in Detroit, the challenge has awarded $11.3 million in matching grants in support of 276 arts ideas in that city since its inception in 2013.

In 2019, the foundation will be conducting challenges in Akron (opens March 18), Detroit (March 18), and Miami (June 24) and will be inviting applications from artists and arts organizations in each of these cities. 

There are only three criteria for submissions: 1) the idea must be for an arts project; 2) the project must take place in the challenge city (Akron, Detroit, or Miami); and 3) the project must find other funding to match, on a 1:1 basis, the foundation’s grant.

Although the foundation is not prescriptive in its approach, it is looking for high-quality projects that demonstrate novelty and perspectives that are authentic to each community. Half of all challenge winners are nonprofits; 32 percent have never won a grant before; and half have a budget of less than $100,000. 

Finalists will be announced this summer, and winners in the fall.

The foundation will be hosting informational events with Knight staff in Akron on March 20-22 and April 3-5 and in Detroit on March 27-29 and April 8-10. For additional information, a list of winners from Detroit (2018), Akron (2017) and Miami (2017), and an FAQ, see the Knights Arts Challenge website


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