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Applying for a Knight Arts Grant?

Feb 11, 2014 | Updated Apr 11, 2014

Tis the season to apply for money
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Strike the grant-strings, don't feel funny
Fa la la la la, la la la la

The Knight Foundation, Miami's most generous philanthropic organization, and arguably the biggest contributor to our cultural renaissance, is currently accepting "Ideas" for its 7th annual Knights Arts Challenge. The premise is simple: pitch them an idea for an arts project, could be anything, and as long as it serves the better good of South Florida, and the Knight Foundation likes it, they'll open up their $2 billion coffers and help fund your dream.

The Knight Arts Challenge is a "matching" grant, meaning that if they give you $10,000, you have to fundraise $10,000, and then you can actualize your dream with a healthy $20,000. But, according to them, don't let the matching part bring you down -- at least not now.

For now, just apply by Feb 24.

You have nothing to lose. It's free. And it's easy.

Just fill out an application.

Pitch them like a Hollywood producer or New York agent.

Be concise and clear. You only have 150 words.

After attending a Knight Q & A meeting, that was the thesis.

Be direct. Right to the point. Clear and concise. Every word counts.

Maybe workshop your pitch before submitting it.

As a graduate of FIU's creative writing program and a Professor for six years, if anyone wants their Knight "idea" work-shopped for free, send me a message and it will be my pleasure to help. Sometimes I write for Fortune 500 companies and earn over $100/hr for my services. I'm a strong editor. Just don't hit me up last minute, there's no guarantee of my availability. This is also the first year I'm applying for a Knight grant.

I have an amazing idea. However, expectations are not high: they only accept 2 percent of applications so the odds are not in our favor, but hey, there's nothing to lose.

What Goes Around, Comes Around

I've been critical of the Knight Foundation. There's a little nepotism in their ranks. For a process so competitive, numerous people and organizations (no need to mention names) have received multiple grants over the years. Then there was the Jonah Lehrer fiasco.

Still, regardless of any criticisms, they could do what they want with their money. Obviously the Knight Foundation is awesome for Miami. We're blessed to have them. Without them, this city would likely devolve into a fun-in-the-sun-Vegas style Ibiza, fueled by a constant untz untz untz and sponsored by silicone implants. But with the Knight Foundation -- oh, yeah -- with them we have more culture than ever, and culture is the only thing that can bridge this city's diversity moving into the 21st century. There's no guarantee how long Knight will give away money in Miami, but let's hope it will be for a long time. In the meantime, like a reliever in the bullpen, let's warm-up our pitching arms...