The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced grants totaling more than $7.2 million to help arts and cultural institutions adapt, innovate, and promote equity both during and after the coronavirus pandemic.
Grants were awarded by the Miami-based foundation to organizations in Charlotte, North Carolina; St. Paul, Minnesota; San Jose, California; and Miami. In Charlotte, grants totaling $2.1 million were awarded in support of efforts to enhance community programming and engagement, including the launch of a digital-first museum, the establishment of an emerging playwright service organization, and the use of digital engagement tools to build new audiences. Recipients include the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture ($1 million), the Levine Museum of the New South ($600,000), Que-OS ($200,000), the Queen City New Play Initiative ($100,000), and JazzArts Charlotte ($250,000).
In Miami, nine organizations were awarded grants totaling $2.2 million for projects aimed at increasing diversity and advancing digital innovation. Recipients include Third Horizon ($750,000), Bookleggers Library ($250,000), Prizm Projects ($200,000), Nite Owl Theater ($124,800), and Miami City Ballet ($67,500). Earlier this month, the foundation announced the eighteen winners of Knight New Work 2020 grants and nineteen 2020 Knight Arts Champions, each of whom who will receive a $10,000 grant.
In St. Paul, grants totaling $2.2 million were awarded to seven organizations, including Playwrights' Center ($1.5 million) in support of its relocation to the city's Creative Enterprise Zone and efforts to expand programming to support the next generation of playwrights; FilmNorth ($200,000); Public Art Saint Paul ($75,000); and the Victoria Theater Arts Center ($100,000).
And in San Jose, grants totaling $750,000 were awarded in support of the expansion of digital strategies, the production of new content, and operational costs — including the commissioning of digital works, the production of digital media assets, online video campaigns, and the creation of a digital content hub. Recipients include the San Jose Museum of Art ($250,000), MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana ($250,000), the School of Arts and Culture ($150,000), and San Jose Jazz ($100,000).
"Time and time again throughout the pandemic, we have seen how artists and arts institutions use technology to build a bridge between their works and their audience," said Chris Barr, Knight's director of arts and technology innovation. "Many of these investments by Knight in Miami focus on supporting organizations and individuals that are using new and emerging technologies and platforms to connect with people when it is needed most."