56 arts ideas get $2.1 million to shape Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — A documentary celebrating Detroit’s 1970s Jit dance craze, a competition showcasing the city’s jazz scene and an after school program on classical Arab music are among the 56 projects that will receive some of the $2.1 million awarded in the first Detroit Knight Arts Challenge.

The program of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation funds the best ideas for engaging and enriching the city through arts. Winners were announced Saturday from more than 1,400 entries.

“Every day, in neighborhoods across Detroit, artists, entrepreneurs and designers are building on an impressive cultural legacy to shape new narratives for the city,” Alberto Ibarguen, president and CEO of Knight Foundation said in a news release announcing the awards. “Their ideas challenge us and inspire the artist in all of us. They also reflect the Detroit of today, and our hopes for tomorrow.”

Among the other 2013 winners are projects that will expand a literary walk where Detroiters meet nationally renowned authors, launch an interactive Hip-Hop Mardi Gras Parade and revitalize blighted areas in Brightmoor through community art projects.

Applicants had to answer one question: What’s your best idea for the arts? The idea had to be about the arts and take place in or benefit Detroit. Recipients must match funds within a year.

The winner of the Knight Arts Challenge People’s Choice Award will be announced on Tuesday. The $20,000 bonus prize goes to one of five finalists chosen in a public vote.

“The arts help shape the shared experiences that connect people to one another and to their communities,” said Dennis Scholl, vice president for arts at Knight Foundation. “We hope that Knight Foundation’s support will strengthen Detroit’s impressive arts scene — and with it — the fabric of this great community.”

The Knight Foundation previously offered the challenge in Miami and Philadelphia. Detroit had the largest number of applications per capita.



A full list of Knight Arts Challenge winners is at http://www.KnightArts.org

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