150 words could win you $2 million in South Florida arts grants

Posted at 11:38 AM, Jul 05, 2021

If you think you have a bright idea for the arts in South Florida, $2 million in grants is up for grabs, and it's not a particularly challenging start to the application process.

It all starts with a very simple, 150-word elevator pitch that answers: What is your best idea for the arts in the South Florida area?

Applications for the Knight Arts Challenge can be submitted starting now through July 31. Two million in grants is being given away to projects in Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties.

This is the twelve year of the South Florida challenge, which has brought 428 projects to life with $34 million in grants.

Adam Ganuza, Arts Program Officer, says previous projects have been for individuals, non-profits and groups of all sizes of vision.

"$10,000 projects that are intended to, you know, put poetry on popsicle sticks in a fair at a state fair in St. Paul, Minnesota, and large scale public arts projects that have elements, projected on huge buildings and also underwater. So it's a really, really broad range of things of projects that we've been able to fund through the challenge. It's always exciting. It's always new. And it's a really interesting, the process itself,” he said.

This year, the challenge will focus on individuals and groups who are "finding new ways to attract audiences, enhance in-person experiences, document creation and/or amplify reach to people who would not otherwise experience the art. Audio, video, websites, mobile apps, augmented reality and virtual reality are all potential tools," according to the organization.

Two virtual town hall meetings, July 1 and July 26, are being held to answer questions. Reserve a time at

“We don’t have all the answers. In fact, we believe that the greatest resource our communities have are the people in those communities themselves. When we pose this broad and simple question it’s done so in a way that it’s intended to cast as broad of a net as possible so that we can get you know, if you want new ideas? You got to look in new places," Ganuza said.

The Knight Foundation came from the success of brothers John S. and James L. Knight who published newspapers. The goal is to continue to enhance communities and make them stronger.

"You get enough people in an area whose to the trajectory of their lives are being inflicted towards good doing art projects that are intended to be accessible, and authentic. authentically reflect the communities that it's serving. Something good is going to come something good is going to come out of that," Ganuza said.

For more information on the Knight Foundation and the Knight Arts Challenge, click here.