Knight Arts Challenge South Florida 2014 Finalists Announced

Categories: Art

Laura Morcate
O, Miami is one of this year's 75 finalists.
The mission of the Knight Arts Challenge, according to the Knight Foundation, is to "bring South Florida together through the arts." But judging from this year's finalists to receive funding, announced this morning, the foundation's aim in 2014 is more specific: to bring South Florida artists together to foster even more creative output.

Seventy-five individuals, groups, organizations, and even a couple government entities are up for grants from Knight this year, located anywhere from Key West to Lake Worth. And if there's a theme to the ideas pitched by the finalists, it's one of collaboration and community building between artists.

Many of the Miami-based projects are focused on giving artists more to work with. Art Center/South Florida, for example, wants to provide more opportunities to work; its goal is to offer arts residencies aboard the Maribel, a wooden boat built in Art Center's founding year of 1984.

BFI (Bas Fischer International) wants to offer more inspiration, proposing a gallery swap program that would trade works by Miami artists with works by other art galleries from afar.

And more proposals aim to offer artists access to more and better tools to evolve their craft. Bleeding Palm, the artists behind 2012's Adventures of Christopher Bosh in the Multiverse, hope to open a nonprofit animation studio to make equipment available to Miami's would-be pro animators. Books Are Nice Inc and Creative Creative aim to offer a center for printing and binding books. Miami artists the TM Sisters hope to launch an equipment co-op for artists at the Downtown Art House, with cameras, power tools, and large-scale printers for local artists to use.

If all of these projects come to fruition, Miami would be a nationally recognized cultural capital in no time. But being named a finalist for the Challenge grant is just an early step. The foundation will announce which projects it'll fund on December 1. In order to receive that funding, winners must match it with their own fundraising efforts.

Starting this fall, South Floridians will be doing some choosing of their own; Knight is once again offering a $20,000 People's Choice Award to the project that receives the most votes from the public. Last year, actor, director, and playwright Teo Castellanos took home the 20 Gs.

Check out the full list of finalists after the jump.

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