MIAMI: In a dramatic expansion of its arts funding in South Florida, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced $37 million in new funding for arts organizations. The commitment brings the amount Knight has invested since 2005 to $165 million. Knight also named the five winners of the first Knight New Work Miami Initiative, who will share $500,000 to create and perform original works of theatre, music, and dance in the city.
“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 2018 Knight New Work winners include Danzas del Silencio by Alvaro Bermudez, DECO “Danzon of Eclectic Cultural Origin” by Kevin Jenkins, F/Punk Junkies by Teo Castellanos, G7: 2070: An Immersive Theatrical Summit by William Hector, and The Edwidge Danticat Project: Create Dangerously by Lileana Blain-Cruz. Additionally, $30,000 will be put toward promotion of the Knight New Work Miami 2020-21 season.
During its announcement on Monday night, the Foundation also recognized 21 Knight Art Champions who have played key roles in facilitating the arts sector and in building Miami’s cultural community. They include theatre and film director Joseph Adler and curator, artist, and artistic director of the Underline, Ximena Caminos. Each champion was given $10,000 to contribute to a local artist or arts organization of their choice.
Knight Foundation has pledged to invest in several arts institutions around the city of Miami. The foundation’s support will be invested in fostering the work of anchor institutions like Arsht Performing Arts Center and Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs–Coconut Grove Playhouse; promoting the creation of cutting-edge art in Miami at Miami New Drama and others; and advancing training and learning opportunities.
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