Nov. 1 is the deadline for your 150 word application to the Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia. Already submitted your idea?  Don’t forget – you can submit as many great ideas as you want!

Knight Foundation is bringing new support for the arts in Philadelphia through a community-wide contest that funds the best ideas for the arts in the city.

Applications were accepted through midnight Nov. 1, 2010 at KnightArts.org.

Anyone can enter the Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia – established arts institutions, independent artists of all types, businesses, service organizations, and any individual who has a great idea for the arts. The initial two-question application  is designed to be simple to encourage applicants who aren’t traditional grant seekers.

We’re looking for the most innovative ideas in the arts that both inspire and enrich Philadelphia’s communities.

There are only three rules for the Challenge:
1) The idea must be about the arts.
2) The project must take place in or benefit Philadelphia.
3) The grant recipients must find funds to match Knight’s commitment.

The Knight Arts Challenge began in 2008 in Miami, where the initiative is now in its third year.  Philadelphia is only the second city in which Knight is offering this program. Knight Foundation will offer up to $9 million there over three years.

Learn more by reading the news release. Sign up for updates with the web form to the right, and follow us on Facebook.

STATUS UPDATE: The contest is now closed.

42 Responses to “Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia: Applications Due Nov. 1”

  1. I hope we qualify. My friend Paula Mandel and I founded the Stained Glass Project, “Windows that Open Doors”. We are artists, all volunteers, who work with Germantown High youngsters who made 18 stained glass windows for a school in KwaNgcolosi South Africa. the windows were exhibited in Philadelphia’s Visitor Center. They were hand carried to South Africa this summer. The program needs financial support for our next project to make windows for the first integrated school in New Orleans starting in October. We need more equipment and supplies to continue.

  2. Dweeby says:

    PICK ME!!! PICK ME!!!!

  3. Rachelle says:

    Could we intertwine arts and spirituality in our proposal?

    • Marika Lynch says:

      There are only three rules to the challenge:
      The idea is about arts.
      The project takes place in or benefits Philadelphia.
      You find other funding to match the Knight Foundation grant.
      Apply and see if it’s a fit! Applications open Oct. 5th.

  4. Todd Matte says:

    This is very exciting and generous!! I cant wait to see all the great ideas. And I am a huge fan of people who put money behind our cities amazing kids and their unbelievable amounts of creativity!

  5. Sandra Milevski says:

    120X120, a year-long arts and cultural whirlwind in 2012, will celebrate the 120th anniversary of the Philadelphia Latvian Society through 120 arts/culture initiatives, our own and those of organizations using our space and enlivening the scene north of Vine Street. We look forward to applying and thank Knight for this fabulous initiative!

  6. Is is necessary to find matching funding before applying for this grant? I am in the process of applying for other grants for this project but haven’t heard back yet. When is the deadline?

    • Marika Lynch says:

      Great question. You will have approximately one year from the time you receive the grant to match our funding. If it is a multi-year project, you will have about a year to match each year’s grant amount. The first round grants will be announced in the spring of 2011.

  7. Jennifer Schick says:

    Are the funds restricted in any way? Can they be used for general operating, start up funding, capital campaigns, etc?

    • Marika Lynch says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      The funds aren’t restricted in any way. There are just three rules for the challenge:
      1) The idea must be about the arts.
      2) The project must take place in or benefit Philadelphia.
      3) The grant recipients must find funds to match Knight’s commitment.

  8. Jane Kanp says:

    This is an incredible opportunity for the arts community in Philadelphia! In order to plan for our fiscal year, when would the grant be received if funded? For instance, if we are notified in Spring 2011, would the funds be released before or after June 30th? This will help us in choosing a project.



    • Marika Lynch says:

      Hi Jane,
      It would be tight.
      There is a possibility for a June release, however the payout depends on your ability to match funds prior to Knight Foundation issuing a payment, plus a slight delay for internal processing.

  9. Amanda says:

    In regards to securing matching funds, would increased gifts from current donors count towards your matching fund goal?

  10. Laura says:

    Do the matching funds need to be raised after a grant from Knight is awarded or can an organization already have partial funding of a project in hand (from another foundation) when submitting the grant application to Knight?

    • Marika Lynch says:

      We prefer new funds to be raised for the match. This would generally assume that the fundraising would begin once they know they have been awarded a Knight Arts Challenge grant.

  11. Helen Haynes says:

    How about a project that links the city to the suburbs and vice versa.

  12. We are developing a play, and the subject of the play is not about the arts, but the play is an artistic endeavor and includes actors and playwrights who are artists. The play will be performed in Philadelphia. and it is about two historical women, one white and one African American who crossed racial boundaries and made a difference–Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary McLeod Bethune. Would this project qualify for this grant or does the subject have to be about the arts?

    • Marika Lynch says:

      Hi Janette, The play doesn’t have to be about the arts – just the project in general.
      Thanks for asking!

  13. hinda schuman says:

    the application at the earliest stage asks for 1,000 characters to describe the idea.
    is there a way to submit images as part of the 1,000 characters – as one image is worth 1,000 words……. etc.

    • Marika Lynch says:

      Great question Hinda, though we only accept the written word in this phase of the application.

  14. Enid Horowitz says:

    When you say Philadelphia, does that include Greater Philly, i.e., Montgomery, Bucks, Delaware and Chester counties?

    • Marika Lynch says:

      Hi Enid, We mean Philadelphia County. If your project takes place in — or benefits — Philadelphia County, we want to hear from you.

  15. Hannah Jacobson says:

    Will the I need to secure the matching grant prior to submitting for yours???

    • Marika Lynch says:

      Hannah, You’ll have a year to secure the matching funding.

      • David Bradley says:

        Ms. Lynch,

        I believe individuals are eligible, is that correct? If so, can matching funds come from gifts from others (which wouldn’t be charitable donations) or personal resources that hadn’t been dedicated to the project?

        Many thanks!

        • Marika Lynch says:

          Hi David, Yes individuals are eliglble. You can provide your own matching funds, or secure them from another organization or group of people. Best of luck! Marika

  16. Les Krawitz says:

    Does an organization have to be a 501C3 in order to obtain funding or can a program receive funding and based on its success then move forward to become a non-profit organization?

  17. P.Colter says:

    Ms. Lynch,

    Because I am asking for funding for a project that supports several types of arts, what would your suggestion be in selecting a catorgory for my application?

    Thank you so much for this great initiative.

    • Marika Lynch says:

      P, Go ahead and pick the category you think best fits – it won’t affect your application.

  18. Jolie Chylack says:

    Dear Ms. Lynch,

    I have two proposals which I would like to submit however there is one project that I personally prefer over the other. Would you consider funding two projects for the same applicant or shall I submit the idea I like best and hope that you like it as well?

    Additionally, when will we learn if the Knight Foundation would like a full proposal and what will the submission deadline be for the second round?

    I really appreciate this amazing opportunity from the Knight Foundation. Thank you for your time!

    • Marika Lynch says:

      It’s possible that two of your projects might win, though rare. You’re welcome to submit as many as you like.
      Knight Foundation will notify finalists in December, and full proposals will be due in January.
      Deadline is coming up, Nov. 1!

  19. Robert Jiranek says:

    Equestrian polo, arguably , is a form of ballet. In Fairmont Park lives WTR and the Cow Town polo players recruited from Philadelphia’s inner city. In Southside Virginia we seek to replicate the model and would welcome mentorship from the WTR Group of players. Would the Knight Foundation consider funding an outreach effort by the WTR Group?

    • Marika Lynch says:

      Hi Robert, Take a look at our three rules. If you think it fits, apply. It only takes a few minutes to fill out the application.

  20. sabina clarke says:

    My questions are: was it necessary to include that I have been working for years on both categories submitted ? Also should I have included the press attention received by our body of work to date in both categories such as articles published, exhibitions mounted and electronic and print media attention? Funding would give us the opportunity to bring these stories to the public and make a significant contribution to the Philadelphia arts scene. Thanks!

  21. Victoria says:

    Looking forward to the results! How do we find out if we’ve made it to the next round?? Just wait to be contacted?? Thank you!!!!


  1. ARTS: One more push for Knight Arts :: Critical Mass :: A&E Blog :: Philadelphia City Paper - November 1, 2010

    […] been prodding you all month to sit down and type up the quick, 150-word application for Knight Arts’ citywide contest to pour $9 million into the the best project ideas from local creatives. […]

Please see our Privacy Policy

TRUSTe online privacy certification