Knight Foundation


September 28, 2018

Knight Foundation works with partners who create or present art that engages, educates and delights residents in ways that reflect the rich diversity and identity of each community.

They endeavor to make art general in Knight communities by funding anchor institutions seeking wider audiences and by supporting grassroots initiatives of individual artists and organizations.

This two-pronged approach and their focus on specific communities increase the impact of their work.

They do not tell artists what to create or institutions what work to present. They fund artists and organizations that demonstrate the following strategic characteristics:

Artistic Excellence: through partners who create or present art that has the capacity to transform and inspire.

Authenticity and Inclusion: through partners whose artistic practices reflect the rich diversity of our communities, who promote diversity in arts leadership and who support universal engagement with the arts.

Technological Innovation: through evolving technology that helps people create, exhibit and understand art.

Knight’s arts program invests in artistic excellence, authenticity and inclusion and technological innovation in eight communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. The program funds the arts in two ways: Community Arts Grantmaking and the Knight Arts Challenge.
Community Arts Grantmaking: 
Supporting the vibrancy of the arts 

  • Focused in Charlotte, NC; Macon, GA; Philadelphia, PA; San Jose, CA
  • Gives $1 million in total, annually (approx. $250,000/city)
  • 2017 Applications are closed

Want to learn more about this grant? Check out this overview blog post by Amanda Thompson, Arts Program Officer at Knight Foundation and leading Knight’s Community Arts Grantmaking. And read these tips for applying.


Knight Arts Challenge 
Community-wide effort to find and fund the best ideas for the arts

  • Focused in Akron, OH; Detroit, MI; Miami, FL; St. Paul, MN
  • Gives $7.8 million in total, annually
  • 2017 Applications are closed

The Knight Arts Challenge funds the best ideas for engaging and enriching communities through the arts. In 2017, we’re giving away a total of $7.8 million to ideas in four cities: Akron, Ohio; Detroit; Miami and St. Paul, Minnesota. Want to learn more? Read this blog post about the challenge by Adam Ganuza, Arts Program Officer at Knight Foundation.



Knight Foundation strategy and programs are based on three core beliefs derived from their founders. The foundation believes in freedom of expression and in the values expressed in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, informed citizenry is essential for individuals and communities to make their own best choices and that journalism has a critical role to play in that democratic process, and equitable, inclusive and participatory communities.

Learn more from Knight Foundation’s Vice President for Arts Victoria Rogers provides an overview on the arts program strategy here.