Knight Foundation Gives $37 M. to Miami Arts Organizations

Ugo Rondinone’s Miami Mountain at the Bass in Miami.


The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will distribute $37 million in grants to 22 Miami-based arts organizations. According to a news release, part of the sum will ensure the continuation of the Knight Arts Challenge—a city-wide open call for art projects that will take place every other year starting in 2019.

Alberto Ibargüen, the Knight Foundation’s president, said in a statement, “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. 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.”

In addition, the foundation has announced the winners of the inaugural edition of Knight New Work, a competition that launched in June. The selected productions will premiere between 2020 and 2021.

A total of $500,000 has been awarded as follows:

—Guitarist and composer Alvaro Bermudez will receive $50,000 for Danzas del Silencio, a musical collaboration with Seraphic Fire.

—Choreographer Kevin Jenkins will get $80,000 to produce a ballet to be titled DECO: Danzon of Eclectic Cultural Origin.

—Actor/writer/director Teo Castellanos, choreographer Augusto Soledade, and saxophonist Leo Casino will create a “dance-theater experience” incorporating Afropunk aesthetics with their $115,000 grant.

—For his project “G7: 2070: An Immersive Theatrical Summit,” playwright William Hector will get $75,000.

—Theater director Lileana Blain-Cruz will receive $150,000 for a theatrical dramatization of Miami-based novelist Edwidge Danticat’s Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work.

—The remaining $30,000 will support marketing and promotion of the works.

The list of organizations and initiatives that will receive part of the foundation’s $37 million gift follows in full below.

Arsht Performing Arts Center ($1 million)
Bass Museum ($1.25 million)
Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami ($2 million)
Miami City Ballet ($3 million)
Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs ($2 million)
Miami International Film Festival ($750,000)
New World Symphony ($2.5 million)
Pérez Art Museum Miami ($3 million)
Borscht Film ($1.25 million)
Friends of the Underline ($500,000)
Locust Projects Inc. ($1 million)
Miami Light Project ($750,000)
Miami New Drama ($750,000)
O, Miami at The Betsy ($1.25 million)
Visual Art Residency Programs ($1 million)
ArtCenter/South Florida ($500,000)
DASH/New World School of the Arts ($1 million)
Florida International University ($2 million)
Frost School of Music ($2.25 million)
Miami Music Project ($750,000)
O Cinema ($1.5 million)
Rubell Family Collection Contemporary Arts Foundation ($500,000)

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