The Knight Cities Challenge opens today, calling on innovators in Palm Beach County to propose projects that would “expand economic prospects by breaking down divides and making new connections.”
A West Palm Beach proposal, “The Sunset Rises Again,” last year won a $171,650 grant from Knight Cities. The project involved engaging the community in reviving the historic Sunset Lounge as a focal point for turning the city’s Historic Northwest neighborhood into a cultural destination.
Now in its third year, the national challenge is an initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The challenge seeks new ideas to make Palm Beach and the 25 other communities where Knight invests more vibrant places to live and work. Winners receive a share of up to $5 million and become part of a network of civic innovators; funding will be granted at all levels from small to large amounts. Applications will be accepted through Nov. 3 at knightcities.org.
The challenge has two main guidelines:
- A submission may come from anywhere, but the project must take place in or benefit one or more of 26 Knight communities.
- The idea should focus on one or more of three key drivers of city success:
- Talent: Ideas that help cities attract and keep talented people.
- Opportunity: Ideas that expand economic prospects by breaking down divides and making new connections.
- Engagement: Ideas that spur connection and civic involvement.
The challenge is open to anyone from anywhere: neighbors, architects, activists, artists, city planners, entrepreneurs, students, educators, city officials, as well as governments and organizations. More information is available on knightcities.org.
You don’t have to be a professional grant writer, but you should be ready with a plan to make your idea a reality.
If you have questions about the challenge, you can join Knight for virtual office hours or in-person events. The schedule can be accessed here.
Currently, the following event is scheduled for Palm Beach:
- Friday Oct. 14, 4-6 p.m., Sunset Lounge, 609 8th St., West Palm Beach. Knight Foundation’s Program Associate Michelle Huttenhoff will host an informational session with last year’s Palm Beach winner.
Community members and entrepreneurs, as well as experts in urban planning, design, academia and government will help Knight review entries. Knight will announce finalists and winners in early 2016.