Knight Foundation, ArtsNow bring arts challenge session to Kenmore

Knight Foundation is asking the question, “What is your best idea for the arts in Akron?” and they’re looking for answers in Kenmore.

On Tuesday, July 20, East Avenue Market along with ArtsNow will host Akron’s first Knight Arts Challenge Community Workshop, where arts idealists can talk to past arts challenge winners, ask questions and brainstorm and bounce ideas. The event will take place 5-7 p.m. at So Fresh Used Auto Sales at 2290 East Ave.

The Knight Arts Challenge Akron is a $3 million, three-year initiative to draw the best and most innovative ideas out of local organizations and individuals seeking to engage and enrich the community through the arts. Whether you’re an independent artist, business, established arts institution, organization or individual, no idea is too large or too small, as long as it follows three basic rules:

  1. Your idea is about arts.
  2. Your project takes place in or benefits Akron.
  3. You find other funding to match Knight Foundation’s grant.

Kenmore produced two 2019 Knight Arts Challenge finalists: Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance for the Big Boulevard Sign Build to transform Kenmore’s historic business district through artistic business signage, and Friends of Chestnut Ridge Park/Akron Parks Collaborative for their Many Voices, One Akron residency program.

This year, the Knight Arts Challenge is interested in how artists and art organizations are creating works that attract audiences, enhance in-person experiences, document creation, or amplify reach to people who wouldn’t otherwise experience the art. Audio, video, websites, mobile apps, augmented reality and virtual reality are all potential tools.

“Through the Knight Arts Challenge, we want to support artists and art organizations who are showing the way forward as cities reopen, and encourage them to embrace new forms of expression that mirror ways audiences are engaging with art,” said Victoria Rogers, Knight’s vice president for the Arts. “We look forward to adding new artists and ideas to help bring their incredible works of art to life.”

During the July 1 to 31 application period, Knight will host two virtual town hall meetings on July 1 and July 26, and members of the Knight Arts team will be available for virtual office hours to answer questions about the application process or to provide feedback on pitching ideas. To reserve a time, or to learn more about the Knight Arts Challenge, visit

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