December 1, 2014

EXILE books in Miami Herald

47 win grants in 2014 South Florida Knight Arts Challenge

A poetry competition sponsored by a pro football player, a play based on the stories of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and a Miami-Havana exchange of visual artists were among the 47 ideas awarded a total of $2.29 million in the 2014 South Florida Knight Arts Challenge.

The big surprise Monday night at the Knight Arts Challenge’s annual celebration: the People’s Choice Winner. That $20,000 prize went to the Key West Art and Historical Society to fund an arts and history program in Monroe County schools, which competed with five other small arts groups for the prize chosen by text votes. (The Art and Historical Society also won a second award, $15,000, to create a kinetic art-on-bicycles parade.)

Now in its seventh year, the Knight Arts Challenge encourages groups large and small to submit arts-related ideas that benefit or take place in South Florida. The Knight funding commitment must be matched by outside funds.

Dennis Scholl, vice president/arts for the John and James L. Knight Foundation, noted that this year’s winners have a wider geographic range than in the past, “from Fort Lauderdale to Doral, Hialeah, Homestead, Key West — that is saying something, that the contest has inspired and excited people in all the neighborhoods in South Florida.”

More winners this year came from the literary world, including publishers Jai-Alai Books and Exile Books, mobile book source Bookleggers and the former Miami Dolphins player Jason Taylor Foundation’s poetry “Super Bowl.”

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