Gables Cinema, Actors’ Playhouse win Knight arts grants
Awarded nearly $200,000 in grants, the Coral Gables Art Cinema and Actors’ Playhouse are among the recently announced winners in the Knight Arts Challenge. The awards are part of the $23 million investment made by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation into South Florida’s arts community.
The Coral Gables Art Cinema, 260 Aragon Ave., received a $150,000 grant, which will allow it expand to include a number of new components. The cinema will produce a three-day annual event as part of existing family programming, in partnership with the New York International Children’s Film Festival, and launch initiatives to support feature film production and distribution, including visiting director, screenwriter and producer residencies, in conjunction with existing exhibition programs.
With a $40,000 award, Actors’ Playhouse will introduce high school seniors to Broadway by making 3,000 seats available to its production of the Tony-winning musical In the Heights, and engage the audience through a rap-writing contest. Students will prepare with study guides on the show’s plot line and will participate in discussions with the director, actors and creative team to better understand the performance and possibilities for arts careers. Students will then write their own personal or family story that mimics the play’s musical score or is in a style appropriate to their cultural background. Finalists will perform their works at the Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile.
“Miami’s creativity is limitless, Knight Foundation’s arts initiative and its Knight Arts Challenge have acted as its conduit – pulling the best ideas out of the city’s most creative thinkers, and helping them flourish. In a truly creative town like Miami, everybody should be able to participate, to dream and to ultimately see their passions through to reality,” said Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation’s vice president for arts.
Each year since 2008, the challenge has asked everyone in South Florida for their ideas to enhance the South Florida arts. The contest has just three rules: Projects must be about the arts, take place in or benefit South Florida, and match Knight’s funding.
The best ideas receive Knight Foundation funds. Some 6,601 ideas have been received over the past five years. More than half of these ideas came from individuals, businesses, and small organizations that don’t have 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. In total, 143 projects have received close to $20 million in funding.
Knight Foundation is extending the Knight Arts Challenge because of its success: A new, independent evaluation of Knight Foundation’s impact found that the challenge has helped fuel Miami’s cultural scene. In particular, the challenge has helped small projects with an entrepreneurial spirit take shape.
For more information about the new funding commitment and the Knight arts program, visit www.KnightArts.org.