Congratulations to the 2012 Knight Foundation Arts Challenge! Here is a list of projects of specific interest to the classical music community. Some involve classical music in a direct way, others offer programs that might help emerging artists, ensembles, or organizations to kick start their initial efforts establish their organization.
While it's disappointing that my young friends of classical group idea was not chosen to receive funding, the process of participating in the Knight Art Challenge was very valuable. I suggest that anyone in the arts community in Philadelphia consider entering their idea this fall: the final year it will be available in Philadelphia. The initial effort is VERY simple. Submit a one paragraph idea. That's it!! The hard part, especially for an individual, like me, was creating the detailed proposal and budget. At first, I was in a panic because I did not have a 501(c)(3) letter, which would be crucial to receiving the required matching funding, however, Knight has this covered through the use of a fiscal agent agreement that they setup. Knight also held a seminar for finalists to give initial guidance on filling out the proposal form and answer questions. Finally, the publicity and endorsement of being a Knight Foundation Arts Challenge finalist may be very valuable to your project or organization.
Be sure to check out this list and congratulate the winners:
Stories of Urban Youth Come to Life in “Hip H’Opera”
Summary: This project will 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. The five-year project, in partnership with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, included two years of collecting teens’ stories. Artists involved are Haitian composer Daniel Bernard Romain and lyricist and hip-hop choreographer Marc Bamuthi Joseph. The event will include education programs in arts careers, staging and set design to benefit hundreds of students.
New Form of Symphonic Pops Concert Celebrates World Music
Summary: To showcase diverse cultures, Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra will transform a symphonic pops concert into a festival of world music. Featuring guest performers from the Afro Pop, Arab Pop and Pop Latino traditions, this festival will use the orchestra’s unique multicultural spin on classical music to connect with new audiences and showcase a shared musical heritage. While diversity is a challenge for the classical music field, this project will help the orchestra engage Philadelphia’s diverse communities and reinvent the 21st century orchestra.
College Students Gain New Access to the City’s Arts Scene
Summary: To foster a lifelong appreciation of the arts, Campus Philly will offer free or discounted admission to venues and performances for college students. The Passport to the Arts will include diverse offerings, allowing students to explore emerging and alternative experiences in addition to mainstream events. With established college relationships and a database of 30,000 students, Campus Philly will use the passport to connect an extremely large and diffuse student population with Philadelphia’s cultural scene, generating an appreciation for and attachment to the city.
Local Artists Get Support From Mini Grant Program
Summary: To give a boost to local artists, this project will create a mini grant program to help finance their art making with awards ranging from $50 to $1,000. Most current grants are highly competitive and geared toward larger organizations, providing little to no small grant funding options for individual artists. For example, $100 could mean the ability to purchase supplies for a visual artist’s next great piece of work, while $500 could cover studio cost for a recording artist. The program will help keep local artists producing works that enrich the city.
Cutting-Edge Performing Arts Gain New Visibility Through Residency Program
Summary: To engage new audiences, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts will create a residency program in its black-box theater for innovative and emerging arts groups. In contrast to the center’s more traditional offerings, the new Innovation Studio will be a place to produce new, edgier programs and to provide the support and visibility local groups need to gain exposure and expand their audience base.
Weekly Drumming Lessons Inspire Local Youth
Summary: To empower and inspire Philadelphia’s youth, Musicopia will operate an expanded indoor percussion ensemble with participation in tri-state competitions. The program targets at-risk students across the city in hopes of inspiring participants to develop self-discipline, self-confidence and a desire to graduate from high school. With this grant, the program, one of the few of its kind in the region, seeks to double the number of students able to participate in the program.
Gospel Choirs, Composers and Jazz Ensembles Celebrate Dr. King
Summary: Orchestra 2001 will present a new music project celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., featuring collaborations with the St. Thomas Gospel Choir, composer Jay Fluellen, and young musicians and composers from West Philadelphia’s “Play On, Philly!” program. The concert will include the world premiere of a new clarinet concerto based on King’s life by Curtis Institute faculty composer Richard Danielpour, featuring clarinetist Anthony McGill, a Curtis graduate. Open rehearsals and educational activities will take place in four African-American communities with a final concert at the Kimmel Center during the week of Martin Luther King Day, 2014.
Choral Works for Nontraditional Spaces to Be Commissioned
Summary: To introduce a wider audience to contemporary choral music, The Crossing will establish a series of new works designed specifically for a nontraditional venue – the recently restored Crane Arts’ Icebox. The project seeks to engage active art-goers who frequent performing arts spaces, but who may not attend a church, the traditional home of choirs. Because The Icebox has such unique cathedral and acoustic properties, The Crossing will develop four significant choir commissions for it over two years, each of which will be designed aurally and physically for the space.
Creative Incubator Supports Emerging Creative Businesses
Summary: To promote economic stability for the city’s cultural community, the University of the Arts will offer support to emerging creative businesses with pre-seed funding, mentorship programs and workshops. The effort will expand its current programming to accommodate burgeoning creative businesses, providing access to workshops on business and entrepreneurship not normally available to the artistic community. Classes will help new companies develop business plans, offer free advice on strategies, marketing, legal questions and business critiques.
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