The Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced $23 million in grants and new commitments to the nonprofit arts in its hometown, bringing its total investment in South Florida's cultural community to $86 million over the last six years.
Grants totaling $14 million will support grassroots groups and leading cultural institutions in the city. Grant recipients include the Miami City Ballet, which was awarded $5 million to expand its outreach efforts and add new works to its repertoire; the Cleveland Orchestra Miami, which received $2 million to expand its subscription season to four weekends and ramp up its educational outreach programs to students; and the Miami International Film Festival, which was awarded $500,000 to further the growth of Ibero-American film through awards at the annual event.
In addition, the foundation committed $9 million to continue the Knights Arts Challenge Miami contest through 2015. For the last five years, the challenge has sponsored innovative arts projects that highlight the creativity of the region. The success of the challenge in Miami, which was highlighted in a new independent evaluation of the foundation's impact, has led to the development of similar Knight-funded programs in Philadelphia and Detroit.
"The arts not only inspire and challenge, they help create the shared experiences that connect people to one another and the places they live," said Knight Foundation president Alberto Ibargüen. "The success of our earlier initiative in Miami has encouraged us to expand to Philadelphia and Detroit and, now, to take it to the next level in Miami."