Knight Foundation celebrates new commitment to the South Florida arts

Lourdes Lopez of The Miami City Ballet

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation celebrated its new $23 million commitment to the South Florida arts with a night of performances, music and storytelling at the New World Symphony campus.

More than 500 people attended the event that kicked off with award-winning actor and playwright Tarrell Alvin McCraney’s reflections on Hamlet, and continued with percussionist Alfredo Chacon and the announcement of the 2012 Knight Arts Challenge winners.

Knight Foundation’s new support will lift both established institutions and grassroots organizations as a way to weave culture into South Floridians’ everyday lives. It includes funding for the continuation of the Knight Arts Challenge, a contest open to the entire South Florida community that for five years has encouraged and allowed artists to experiment and innovate. Institutions receiving funding include the Miami City Ballet, Wolfsonian-FIU, the Cleveland Orchestra, an arts education initiative benefiting the Design and Architecture High School and New World School of the Arts, the Miami International Film festival and the Borscht Film Festival.

Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation with Cathy Leff, Wolfsonian-FIU

“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 Alberto Ibargüen, president of Knight Foundation. “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.”

The support brings Knight Foundation’s total investment in South Florida’s diverse and dynamic cultural community to $86 million in six years.

photos by Patrick Farrell

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