62 Finalists Announced for the 2019 Knight Arts Challenge Detroit

Wayne State University, Playground Detroit, and Cinema Detroit are among those competing for funding
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Knights Art Challenge
Playground Detroit is one of the 62 finalists in this year’s Knight Arts Challenge. Pictured here is the creative agency and art gallery’s “A Difficult Pair” exhibition from 2018. // Photograph by PD Rearick

A contemporary puppet performance, an anthology of essays by Asian American activists, an immersive art installation, and a series of film screening events are among the 62 projects that have been named 2019 Knight Arts Challenge Detroit finalists. The full lineup released today by the Knight Foundation — a nonprofit that works to foster the arts in communities across the country — is full of hopeful creatives vying to receive a portion of this year’s $2 million funding from the organization.

“Each year, the hundreds of applications we receive become more ambitious and more reflective of the rich diversity of Detroit,” says Victoria Rogers, vice president for arts at Knight Foundation, which has funded nearly 280 projects since launching the challenge in Detroit in 2013. “This is the home of an artistic community that never sits still.”

This year’s finalists include film projects by Cinema Detroit, the Detroit Free Press, and Detroit Theater Organ Society; literary projects submitted by Wayne State University, Essay’d, and Maamoul Press; and visual arts projects by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Playground Detroit, and Detroit Chamber Wind & Strings. All applicants were required to submit a 150-word description of their ideas, which had to center around the arts and take place in Detroit and/or benefit the city. When applying, they were also required to assure that they could find funds to match the foundation’s award.

The full list of this year’s finalists and their projects can be viewed at knightfoundation.org. Winners will be announced at an Oct. 10 awards event at the Garden Theater in Detroit. Top winners of last year’s challenge in Detroit included the Arab American National Museum’s Arab American Arts and Cultural Festival and CAN Art Handworks/Carlos Nielbock’s Detroit Gallery of Metals. Each project received $100,000.


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