70 Finalists Named in 2015 Knight Arts Challenge Detroit

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The Knight Foundation has named 70 ideas as finalists in its Knight Challenge, a community-wide contest funding ideas that engage and enrich Detroit through the arts.

The rules were simple:

  • The idea must be about the arts.
  • The project must take place in or benefit Detroit.
  • The grant recipient must find funds to match Knight’s commitment.

And Detroiters spoke out en masse. The finalists were chosen from a pool of more than 1,000 submissions, and they brought their creative “A” game to the challenge. Some of the more interesting ideas included using art to explore this moment in Detroit’s evolution, recording made-in-Detroit music, and using public spaces for performances.

The majority of the finalists are individual artists and small organizations who are intent on revitalizing their city through the arts. The challenge showcased the best that Detroit had to offer, and narrowing the pool down to 70 finalists was no easy task.

“We asked a simple question; what’s your best idea for the arts? Detroiters’ answers, their passion for culture and the thoughtfulness in their submissions, continue to impress,” said Victoria Rogers, vice president for arts at Knight Foundation.

Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until October to learn who will win the Knight Arts Challenge Detroit. Winners of the challenge will receive a share of $3 million to put their ideas into motion.

However, we only have to wait until the end of summer to find out who won the Knight Challenge People’s Choice Award. This summer, the Knight Foundation is giving Detroiters a chance to decide who receives funding. Detroiters can vote via text message for one of several small cultural organizations. The winner of the People’s Choice Award will receive $20,000 in support for a project of their choosing.

“Through the People’s Choice Award, we hope to shine a spotlight on the small organizations that continue to push the envelope in our community,” said Katy Locker, Detroit program director for Knight Foundation.

Here’s the list of all 70 over on their website.


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