Knight Arts Challenge offers $3 million in arts grants

The Detroit News

Beginning Monday, Detroiters can apply for a share of $3 million in Knight Arts Challenge grants, money awarded to "projects that bring the city together through the arts." The application deadline is April 13.

The challenge, a project of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, is open to anyone. The only rules are: the idea must be about the arts; the project must take place in or benefit Detroit; and the grant recipients must find funds to match Knight's commitment.

"Detroit artists continue to surprise us with their innovative ideas. We can't wait to see what year three of the challenge will bring," said Katy Locker, Detroit program director for Knight Foundation.

The Knight Foundation will host a launch party and hold community sessions to answer applicants' questions. The launch party will be held at 6 p.m. March 24 at Bert's Marketplace in Eastern Market, 2727 Russell, Detroit. Community sessions will be held at: 6 p.m. March 23 at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn; noon March 24 at Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; and 6 p.m. March 26 at Mexicantown Mercado in Southwest Detroit.

"Whether you are an arts organization or a small collective, a longtime Detroiter or a more recent arrival, we want to hear from you," said Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation's vice president for arts. "Our goal is to seek out the best grassroots ideas for bringing Detroit together for the arts."

The Knight Foundation has received more than 2,200 ideas from the Detroit community since the challenge was launched two years ago. Some 114 projects have received nearly $5 million in funding, including Ballet Foklorico Moyocoyani Izel. The Ballet was a 2014 Knight Arts Challenge grantee, winning $30,000 for its project to share the traditional dances of Mexico's La Huasteca region by partnering with a local dance group and professionals in Mexico to teach the choreography to Detroiters. The organization also was a winner of the Challenge's $20,000 People's Choice Award.

Ballet Foklorico Moyocoyani Izel will be performing around Detroit in the coming weeks, including at the Opera House for the "Frida" opera and at the Detroit Institute of Arts in celebration of the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera exhibition.

For updates on the Challenge grants, follow @knightarts and #knightarts on Twitter, @knightfdn on Instagram and Knight Foundation on Facebook.