Knight Arts Challenge People’s Choice Award

Who should receive $20,000 for their arts project? You decide!



Diliana Alexander, front right, with other members of the Indie Film Club Miami at O Cinema


Jan Mapou at Haitian-American Book Fair in the Little Haiti


The Motivational Edge's founder and CEO Ian Welsch


Puppeteer Jim Hammond


Actor, writer, director Teo Castellanos
South Floridians can decide which of five small arts organizations should receive $20,000 as the winner of the Knight Arts Challenge People’s Choice Award.

To vote, watch the nominees’ videos at KnightArts.org/peopleschoice and then text their individual number to 22333 through Nov. 15.

Knight Foundation launched the award to spotlight up-and-coming organizations, an integral part of the city’s growing cultural scene.

The nominees are:

Indie Film Club – a small collective of local filmmakers who want to expand an interactive film festival dedicated to cross-platform storytelling; (Text ARTS1 to 22333)

Mapou Cultural Center – A bookstore in Little Haiti that wants to expand its Haitian-Caribbean book fair by inviting more authors from Haiti, the U.S. and Europe; (Text ARTS2 to 22333)

Motivational Edge – An arts program for disadvantaged youth in Miami’s Allapattah neighborhood where students expand their horizons through creative writing and lyrical expression; (Text ARTS3 to 22333)

Puppet Network – A Broward-based organization that wants to engage more South Floridians in its Mexican Day of the Dead celebration, which includes a giant puppet parade, mask workshops and family designed altars to loved ones; (Text ARTS4 to 22333)

Teo Castellanos – The actor, writer and director who is producing a solo show based on the history of his brothers in Puerto Rico; (Text ARTS5 to 22333)

The Knight Arts Challenge, a project of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, is a community-wide contest funding the best ideas for bringing South Florida together through the arts. As a way to shine the spotlight on smaller groups, Knight Foundation is asking the public to vote by text for their favorite of the five nominees. The group that receives the most votes will get $20,000 in unrestricted funds to use for a project of their choice.

Each People’s Choice nominee is one of 66 finalists in the 2013 Knight Arts Challenge and is still eligible for a challenge grant from Knight Foundation. Winners of both the challenge and the People’s Choice Award will be announced Dec. 2.

“We want everyone in South Florida to know just how rich our cultural scene is – from the largest organizations to the very smallest. These efforts at the grass-roots touch so many of our lives, inspire our communities and help build the reputation of Greater Miami as a destination for art and culture,” said Dennis Scholl, vice president of arts for Knight Foundation.

“South Florida, we hope you’ll help us make a difference in the local arts scene. Learn more about these artists – and vote for the ones that moves you!” said Matt Haggman, Miami program director for Knight Foundation.

Voting by text is open through Nov. 15, 2013. Find out more at KnightArts.org/peopleschoice.

Photos by Mitchell Zachs