As you know, we submitted several proposals to the Knight Arts Challenge, nine in total. All nine were turned down. The Knight Foundation received nearly 1000 ideas and I am sure they picked some awesome ones. We look forward to congratulating all the winners.
However, this does not stop us at all. I am going to post all nine ideas here on our blog because we still plan to carry them all out, eventually! It may take us a bit longer, it may cost a bit more, but these are all plans that we think would be very beneficial to our arts and community. So, I am going to put them all here so you can have an idea of some of our goals. Your input and ideas are always welcome, so please feel free to post in the comments.
1) Life Is Art South Florida Featured Art Fair Series
Life Is Art proposes to produce a series of art fairs throughout the year to promote the arts in south Florida, including a special event during the massive Art Basel week in early December. The reason for the grant is to keep the costs low to participating artists and to attendees. Each fair will take place in a different part of the area.
The arts are growing fast in south Florida, but much of the amazing local talent is being left behind. Also, research shows that the arts provide significant economic impact.
Each show will be significantly promoted through efficient marketing and public relations practices to maximize the exposure of the artists and use of the funds. The use of community resources and in-kind local sponsors will also be utilized to the fullest extent.
Every show will be open-call, juried by a group of experienced jurists and art professionals. Many art forms will be included, e.g. visual, performance, dance, music, film, design, etc.
2) After school cultural tour youth art program
Appreciation of the arts starts young. This proposal is to create an after school program for area youth to get them interested and excited about the arts. On a regular basis (depending on funding level and availability) we will organize an outing to a local gallery, museum or other cultural institution for young people and their parents. Target would be at least once per week.
At each event there will be interesting interactive activities related to the venue, and a chance to meet and speak with local artists, curators, gallerists, and other art professionals. The work at the institution will presented in a manner to make it interesting and exciting to young minds.
Enrollment will be open to any student, given size limitations of the location. Special effort will be given to promote the program to disadvantaged youth. This will allow the youth to not only learn a love of the arts, but also to be introduced to the cultural diversity of the area.
3) South Florida Online Arts Wikipedia
Where do you go when you want a comprehensive guide to the arts in south Florida? What does Google love? What is SEO and why does the south Florida arts community need it?
If you want to be seen in the 21st century, you MUST be seen on the web. South Florida needs a website that maximizes our arts exposure on the web. Nothing does that better than a Wikipedia.
By providing a platform where artists, arts business, and arts organizations can manage their own representation in one, comprehensive website, we can provide a one-stop easy-to-use location for people to learn about the south Florida arts scene. It also provides a simple method for the participants to manage entry.
The Wikipedia software is extremely Google-friendly (and other search engines), meaning that our arts people will show up more likely on arts related searches from around the world, improving the visibility of what we have to offer.
The funding provides this free or low-cost to all the arts people in south Florida.
4) South Florida Arts Council
There are many organizations and individuals working towards the betterment of the arts in south Florida. There seems to be a lot of overlap and lack of coordination between these efforts, though. An overarching professionals group could help everyone coordinate activities and share resources. “Got Milk?”
The idea is to create an organization that assists all the organizations in south Florida do what they do better. In addition, resources could be pooled to create larger campaigns.
This would be a membership organization, but the price of membership would be kept as low as possible, and based on a sliding scale based on an individual’s or organization’s ability to pay.
The goal would be to include all the organizations and institutions in south Florida, as well as individual artists, curators, and collectors. Many other areas have on arts council, it is time south Florida did, too.
5) South Florida Music Showcase
There have been a few abortive attempts to host a music event showcasing the talent in south Florida, but none of them have really gone anywhere. So much amazing music has come out of and into Miami in the past 100 years, that it is a shame we do not respect our local scene more.
There is still a large pool of amazing talent in south Florida. What we really need is a good three-day festival featuring the great bands, musicians, DJs, and performers of our area. Throw in a few big names to get the media on it, and you would have a show.
Funding would be used to subsidize gate prices for the early years in order to generate more interest. Significant effort would be put into marketing and promotion in order to ensure good crowd.
Music of all genres would be included in order to allow as many local musicians to participate as possible. Not only could we have festival style, but we have so many clubs and bars that we can include. So good for the local economy, as well as the arts.
6) South Florida Arts Presentation Venue
ArtCenter South and Bakehouse Arts Center are both great institutions. But, as the south Florida arts scene grows, these two organizations are not enough to serve the needs of a growing number of artists. We propose to open a new space that is not only dedicated to providing low cost studio/gallery space for artists, but also to market those artists, as well as artists from across south Florida.
Included would be a number of personal studio/gallery spaces that artists could lease for low cost, as well as larger gallery/performance spaces wherein big shows would take place to showcase not only the artists in the onsite studios, but artists from all over south Florida.
This space could be used to not only showcase visual artists, but artists of all disciplines, music, dance, performance, fashion, etc. This space would be focused on using all media available to promote participating artists to the greatest extent.
7) This is SoFla! Long-term Introductory Residency Program for Non-residents
This program has been suggested to us by several people, artists and arts lovers. Host a long-term residency program for out-of-town artists to introduce them thoroughly to the south Florida arts scene.
The idea is reasonably simle. Target mid- or full- career artists from around the world who are influential in their local region. Invite them for two-year residencies in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Include free or reduced-cost living space and gallery-studio space. Work with local organizations to integrate the visiting artists in with the local artists so they are fully introduced to the south Florida talent.
Host an opening/receiving reception welcoming the artists-in-residence to the area, introducing them to the local arts community. The goal of this program is that by immersing artists from around the in the south Florida arts scene, they will then take that information back to their home with them and spread the word about our wonderful art scene.
8) South Florida to the World – Worldwide Artist Program
A program to support taking south Florida artists to arts communities around the world that could not otherwise afford it, hosting them at art fairs and holding events featuring the south Florida artists.
There are many extremely good artists in south Florida. But, because our scene is still immature, many of them are not making the money that they deserve, and so cannot travel to other cities to represent the south Florida art scene.
The idea is to take groups of deserving artists to other cities to represent them in arts events at those cities. Also to produce art shows featuring the artists in conjunction with arts organizations, galleries or museums in those cities. Think, “Magic City Featured Art Show in Paris”, with 8 to 10 artists from south Florida.
The funds would be used to subsidize the artists attendance, as well as publicize the program and events, and to cover production costs to produce superlative events to showcase the artists.
9) The Knight ARTS Awards – Featuringâ€¦ ART!
The Knight Arts Challenge is a wonderful program. The awards ceremony is an excellent event that hosts many of the local arts luminaries. There is one thing that the ceremony is missing. Actual art.
Why is there no art represented at the awards ceremony? It would be a perfect opportunity to showcase some of our local talent. Life Is Art proposes to fix this. We will produce an arts showcase to go along with the awards ceremony. It will include local artists of many disciplines, including visual, performance, musical, design, dance and theatrical.
The art showcase would take place alongside and in conjuction with the awards ceremony, making a real arts awards event. Imagine visual arts filling the foyer and the performing arts taking place before and after the actual awards.
Funding requested for this proposal = $0.00. That’s right, we are asking for no money, just permission to turn the arts awards into an awesome arts event.
Life Is Art, Inc.