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knightartsphilly

 

Fifty-five ideas for the Philadelphia arts have been chosen as finalists in the 2012 Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia. 1,267 applicants answered our question: “What’s your best idea for the arts in Philadelphia?” A diverse group, including individual artists, artist collectives, community groups, jazz and classical music organizations, theater companies and educational institutions, offered a wide array of innovative ideas.

We believe the arts can engage and enrich communities and that great ideas can start anywhere – from individual artists and artist-driven organizations to some of the city’s premier cultural institutions. That’s why the three-year, $9 million community-wide contest is open to anyone with a great idea for the arts.

Read on below for the full list of finalists and their ideas.  Winners will be announced in the spring. Applications for the third year of the challenge will open in the fall. (See our first year winners here.)

Congratulations to the finalists and thanks to everyone who submitted an idea!

Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia 2012 Finalists

Artists and Musicians of Latin America

To cultivate new audiences for Latin Jazz by presenting “pop-up” performances of local artists using a portable stage

Arden Theatre Company

To diversify artistic offerings by presenting theater performances alongside the dozens of gallery events during Old City’s monthly First Fridays

Art Sanctuary

To celebrate two art forms that use the human voice to tell profound stories by creating a “Hip H’Opera” using the stories of urban life

Asian Arts Initiative

To provide everyday artistic experiences in Chinatown and South Philadelphia by creating site-specific works for nontraditional places like restaurants, storefronts and public plazas

Bearded Ladies Cabaret

To attract new audiences to theater – and use the medium as a way to explore politics, gender, sexuality and identity – through a series of original, late night cabarets

Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra

To showcase diverse cultures by transforming a symphonic “pops” concert into a celebration of world music

Brandywine Workshop

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of this printmaking institution by commissioning 10 emerging and established artists to create prints

Campus Philly

To foster a lifelong appreciation of the arts by offering free or discounted admission to venues and performances for college students

Catzie Vilayphonh

To promote storytelling within the Lao-American community through a writing, performing and filmmaking workshop

Center City District

To help transform historic Dilworth Plaza by commissioning internationally recognized sculptor Janet Echelman to create an artwork inspired by the site’s historic association with water and steam

Center City Opera Theater

To attract more Hispanics to the opera by launching a Spanish-language opera festival featuring a new piece by a Philadelphia-based Hispanic composer

Center for Emerging Visual Artists

To bring visual art to a wider audience by placing locally produced art in public advertising spaces in the same neighborhood where the piece was produced

Chestnut Hill Friends Meetinghouse Project

To spark dialogue about contemporary art by incorporating the work of internationally acclaimed light artist James Turrell into a new Quaker meetinghouse that is open to all

Community Cultural Exchange

To bring the South Street business district together through music and culture by introducing family-friendly street performances to the area

COSACOSA art at large

To transform overgrown and abandoned spaces into “sacred” art parks for the community by engaging residents to create visual and sound gardens in the Nicetown-Tioga neighborhood

Crane Arts

To raise the international profile of local artists by organizing an artist and exhibition exchange between Crane Arts and London’s V22 Collection

David Clayton

To help residents fully experience the city’s two main waterways by creating a floating workstation along the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers where artists can interpret and explore the surroundings

Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

To use world rhythms – from cowbells to congas, beat-boxing to Bhangra – to learn about cultures at an interactive music and dance festival

Erica Hawthorne

To give a boost to local artists by creating a mini grant program to help cover their costs with awards ranging from $50 to $1,000

Fleisher Art Memorial

To engage the community in hands-on art making by expanding the reach of a mobile studio where participants create projects inspired by their neighborhoods

Franklin’s Paine Skatepark Fund

To help transform neighborhoods by turning blacktop lots into art-laden skate parks

Geoffrey Johnson

To foster appreciation for public art by covering publically displayed statues in the city for a month – and then unveiling them with fan fare at a festival

GoKash Productions

To promote original plays through a free theater festival dedicated to the contemporary African-American experience

Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation

To engage new audiences in the visual arts by launching With Art Philadelphia, a two-year joint marketing program that includes late-night happenings for younger audiences at local museums

Iron Age Theatre

To create new performing arts experiences through a series of live-streamed, mini movies that patrons can watch throughout the city by scanning QR codes on their cellphones

Katarina Dudas

To develop the next generation of visual artists by pairing children with local artists to create site-specific environmental art in the Kensington community

Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

To engage new audiences in the performing arts by creating a residency program in the Kimmel Center’s black box theater for innovative and emerging art groups

Little Berlin

To help transform the East Kensington neighborhood by turning an empty lot into an event space for musicians, art fairs and children’s workshops

Moore College of Art & Design

To introduce the work of local visual artists and filmmakers to a wider audience by establishing an urban drive-in movie theater on the Parkway

Music Row Philadelphia

To support emerging musicians and create a destination for live music by fostering the growth of music venues along Girard Avenue

Musicopia

To empower and inspire Philadelphia’s youth by providing them with weekly drumming lessons and performing opportunities

Norris Square Neighborhood Project

To preserve local Latino culture in North Philadelphia by creating a sound booth to record stories that will be featured in podcasts

Orchestra 2001

To celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by presenting a new concerto based on the civil rights leader’s life and featuring local performers

Partners for Sacred Places

To expand the capacity of the city’s theater community by providing a new space for theater designers and visual artists at a decommissioned church

Philadelphia Art Alliance

To re-imagine public space and civic life by organizing an all-night, free arts festival based on the Nuit Blanche/Bring to Light events in Paris, New York, Miami and other cities

Philadelphia Photo Arts Center

To encourage broader audience participation in the city’s visual arts by expanding “Philly Photo Day,” where the community is invited to take and submit a picture that is ultimately used in an exhibition

Philadelphia Theatre Company

To use the theater as a way to examine the United States’ education system with a work that actor/journalist Anna Deavere Smith will create during a two-year residency

Philadelphia Youth Media Collaborative

To support the emerging creative underground in Philadelphia by establishing a festival that highlights the next generation of filmmakers, visual artists, musicians and performers

Phillyjazz.org

To foster the development of local jazz artists by formalizing mentor relationships between established and younger musicians, where the elders teach life lessons, and emerging artists offer tips on using new media

RAIR, Inc.

To create awareness about sustainability through art and design by establishing a yearlong series of projects that allow local artists to experiment with recycled materials

Scribe Video Center

To explore the city’s relationship to mass transit by publicly displaying multiple digital video works in high traffic public sites

Sean Stoops

To support an innovative form of 3D storytelling by creating a series of outdoor video art events screened on local buildings

Sharon Torello

To engage younger audiences in classical music through the creation of a group with membership benefits that include discount ticketing and unique social gatherings

Sojourner Ahebee

To further cultural understanding by facilitating youth-led poetry workshops for Liberian teenage girls in Philadelphia and Liberia

Swim Pony Performing Arts

To weave the arts into the community by presenting revamped versions of plays in non-traditional spaces, including Eastern State Penitentiary and the Land Conservancy of Elkins Park

The Brothers Network

To introduce more diverse audiences to the performing arts by creating a multidisciplinary festival that features black male choreographers, filmmakers, actors, writers and composers

The Clay Studio

To explore the relevance of handmade ceramic objects in the 21st century by providing a handmade mug to people leaving coffee shops with disposable cups and encouraging them to post about their experiences on the Web

The Crossing

To introduce a wider audience to contemporary chamber music by establishing a series of new works designed specifically for a nontraditional venue – the recently restored Crane Arts’ Icebox.

The Fabric Workshop and Museum

To create a new sculpture series by artist Daniel Arsham at the museum that will debut along with a live performance and explore the boundaries between the galleries and theater

The Hacktory

To promote the use of technology in the arts by developing a corps of interactive artist teachers who will share their knowledge and expertise in programming and engineering with Philadelphia artists

The University of the Arts

To promote economic stability for the city’s cultural community by offering support to emerging creative businesses with pre-seed funding, mentorships programs and workshops

The Village of Arts and Humanities

To develop young people’s awareness of the city’s vibrant cultural scene through interactive scavenger hunts led by local artists

The Wilma Theater

To enhance training for local actors by creating a series of master classes

University City District

To establish a new outlet for public art that showcases temporary installations to the city’s tens of thousands of daily commuters

Vic Reznik

To help promote the city’s cinematic identity by commissioning emerging filmmakers from Philadelphia to produce shorts for a new, local film festival

16 Responses to “55 finalists named in Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia”

  1. Henry says:

    It’s too bad Knight wastes so many people’s time by claiming to fund individuals, when it’s obvious, by this list that they overwhelmingly favor funding organizations.

    There’s only a few individuals among the finalists — and two I recognize as people running organizations.

    It would be nice, in the future, if Knight was honest about who they fund .

    • Donna Frisby Greenwood says:

      We had a phenomenal group of applicants this year and our readers panel reviewed each submission carefully. We’re seeking the best ideas for the arts, and those came from individuals and artist-run organizations as well as larger institutions. This year’s list of finalists includes such individual as Catzie Vilayphonh, David Clayton, Erica Hawthorne, Geoffrey Johnson, Katarina Dudas, Sean Stoops, Sharon Torello, Sojourner Ahebee, Vic Reznik, and collectives and smaller organizations such as Little Berlin, Bearded Ladies Cabaret, Iron Age Theatre, Swim Pony Performing Arts, The Brothers Network, GoKash Productions, and Crane Arts, among others. We encourage all types of applicants to submit ideas for the third year of the contest in the fall.

      • Herman DeJong says:

        Dear Donna Frisby Greenwood,
        May we tell you more about “The ArtWay” proposal.
        We are not looking for funds at this time but some encouragement from the media is much needed,
        Thanks,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Herman

      • Henry says:

        Out of 1200 applicants, you chose 9 individuals as finalists.

        80 percent of the finalists are organizations.

        I think that speaks for itself.

        I’m not saying individuals shouldn’t apply, but the bias towards organizations is self-evident.

        • Katie says:

          YEP. I think it would be nice for the Knight Arts people to make two different awards- one for established and atleast partially if not totally funded oganizations (ie University of the Arts???), and one for artists who can’t get funding for their ideas. That way we (individual artists) wouldn’t keep being dissappointed by these results.

    • bennie says:

      I completely agree with your assessment. It’s a disappointing joke.

  2. Judy Engle says:

    Kudos to all the finalists and special congrats to Catzie and David. All the ideas are really impressive and I hope I can participate as a volunteer on some of the projects.

  3. The Community Cultural Exchange (CCE) is so excited to be a part of the Knight Arts Challenge alongside all of these amazing ideas!! The CCE Loves Philly!!!

  4. Adam D says:

    It must have been a seriously hard task to get the list down to 55 entries. I am sure the contest will have nothing but positive results on the arts in Philadelphia…congratulations to all the winners..

  5. Mitch Deighan says:

    After reading the various comments, I got the urge to provide some background on the “Music Row Philadelphia” entry. The idea came from music-venue-extraordinaire Dan McShane, whose “The Fire” at 4th & Girard has been a living expression of Dan’s passion for cultivating musical talent, especially grass-roots-Philly talent. “The Fire” helped to nurture John Legend and Amos Lee and many others, in addition to introducing Philly to a vast array of bands from all over the country and sometimes Europe. Dan has spun urban gold from straw and his vision for Music Row along east Girard Avenue is more of the same. Dan’s idea provides a new focus for Northern Liberties’ northern border, pointing the way towards a vast world of Philly opportunities while providing a new urban destination.

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