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Knight Arts Challenge Miami Program Assessment

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KnightArts / Dennis Scholl powerpoint for Grantmakers in the Arts 2012

KnightArts / Dennis Scholl powerpoint for Grantmakers in the Arts 2012

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  • The Knight Arts Challenge is an interesting outlier in terms of its underlying logic for arts funding by US foundations. The standard model for cultural grantmaking takes a “strategic” perspective—grants awarded are expected, cumulatively, to fulfill a stated strategic aim of the funder in addition to meeting the goals of the organization funded. This approach places the burden of identifying opportunities and needs in the field on the shoulders of grant-makers. The advantage of this form of proactive grantmaking is that it helps foundations direct resources toward particular issues they have identified as being of particular importance and progress is measured by metrics linked directly to resolution of those issues. A potential danger of this approach, however, is that it shifts the emphasis from the needs and interests of grantees in the field to those of the funder. The challenge model takes a different approach. It acknowledges a rapidly shifting cultural ecology in which foundation personnel are not always the best positioned to identify the most noteworthy and promising projects, creative individuals, or organizations. It explicitly downplays the need to focus grants around predetermined goals, acknowledging the fact that in the arts, as elsewhere, change and innovation happen in and through systems that are, by their nature, unpredictable, and diffuse.A final component of the challenge model lies in its assumptions about unsuccessful applicants. Traditional grantmaking does not ascribe a grantee benefit to the process of application itself or a failed application. This is consistent with the model of strategic philanthropy: if a grantee fails to win a grant, no activity takes place to advance the foundation’s objective. In contrast, the Knight Arts Challenge aims to invigorate the entirety of a community’s nascent arts life, and as such, it places a positive impact on the activation of ideas and activity in the community generated by the application process itself—regardless of the outcome for the individual applicant.
  • The Knight Arts Challenge is an interesting outlier in terms of its underlying logic for arts funding by US foundations. The standard model for cultural grantmaking takes a “strategic” perspective—grants awarded are expected, cumulatively, to fulfill a stated strategic aim of the funder in addition to meeting the goals of the organization funded. This approach places the burden of identifying opportunities and needs in the field on the shoulders of grant-makers. The advantage of this form of proactive grantmaking is that it helps foundations direct resources toward particular issues they have identified as being of particular importance and progress is measured by metrics linked directly to resolution of those issues. A potential danger of this approach, however, is that it shifts the emphasis from the needs and interests of grantees in the field to those of the funder. The challenge model takes a different approach. It acknowledges a rapidly shifting cultural ecology in which foundation personnel are not always the best positioned to identify the most noteworthy and promising projects, creative individuals, or organizations. It explicitly downplays the need to focus grants around predetermined goals, acknowledging the fact that in the arts, as elsewhere, change and innovation happen in and through systems that are, by their nature, unpredictable, and diffuse.A final component of the challenge model lies in its assumptions about unsuccessful applicants. Traditional grantmaking does not ascribe a grantee benefit to the process of application itself or a failed application. This is consistent with the model of strategic philanthropy: if a grantee fails to win a grant, no activity takes place to advance the foundation’s objective. In contrast, the Knight Arts Challenge aims to invigorate the entirety of a community’s nascent arts life, and as such, it places a positive impact on the activation of ideas and activity in the community generated by the application process itself—regardless of the outcome for the individual applicant.
  • The Knight Arts Challenge is an interesting outlier in terms of its underlying logic for arts funding by US foundations. The standard model for cultural grantmaking takes a “strategic” perspective—grants awarded are expected, cumulatively, to fulfill a stated strategic aim of the funder in addition to meeting the goals of the organization funded. This approach places the burden of identifying opportunities and needs in the field on the shoulders of grant-makers. The advantage of this form of proactive grantmaking is that it helps foundations direct resources toward particular issues they have identified as being of particular importance and progress is measured by metrics linked directly to resolution of those issues. A potential danger of this approach, however, is that it shifts the emphasis from the needs and interests of grantees in the field to those of the funder. The challenge model takes a different approach. It acknowledges a rapidly shifting cultural ecology in which foundation personnel are not always the best positioned to identify the most noteworthy and promising projects, creative individuals, or organizations. It explicitly downplays the need to focus grants around predetermined goals, acknowledging the fact that in the arts, as elsewhere, change and innovation happen in and through systems that are, by their nature, unpredictable, and diffuse.A final component of the challenge model lies in its assumptions about unsuccessful applicants. Traditional grantmaking does not ascribe a grantee benefit to the process of application itself or a failed application. This is consistent with the model of strategic philanthropy: if a grantee fails to win a grant, no activity takes place to advance the foundation’s objective. In contrast, the Knight Arts Challenge aims to invigorate the entirety of a community’s nascent arts life, and as such, it places a positive impact on the activation of ideas and activity in the community generated by the application process itself—regardless of the outcome for the individual applicant.
  • The Knight Arts Challenge is an interesting outlier in terms of its underlying logic for arts funding by US foundations. The standard model for cultural grantmaking takes a “strategic” perspective—grants awarded are expected, cumulatively, to fulfill a stated strategic aim of the funder in addition to meeting the goals of the organization funded. This approach places the burden of identifying opportunities and needs in the field on the shoulders of grant-makers. The advantage of this form of proactive grantmaking is that it helps foundations direct resources toward particular issues they have identified as being of particular importance and progress is measured by metrics linked directly to resolution of those issues. A potential danger of this approach, however, is that it shifts the emphasis from the needs and interests of grantees in the field to those of the funder. The challenge model takes a different approach. It acknowledges a rapidly shifting cultural ecology in which foundation personnel are not always the best positioned to identify the most noteworthy and promising projects, creative individuals, or organizations. It explicitly downplays the need to focus grants around predetermined goals, acknowledging the fact that in the arts, as elsewhere, change and innovation happen in and through systems that are, by their nature, unpredictable, and diffuse.A final component of the challenge model lies in its assumptions about unsuccessful applicants. Traditional grantmaking does not ascribe a grantee benefit to the process of application itself or a failed application. This is consistent with the model of strategic philanthropy: if a grantee fails to win a grant, no activity takes place to advance the foundation’s objective. In contrast, the Knight Arts Challenge aims to invigorate the entirety of a community’s nascent arts life, and as such, it places a positive impact on the activation of ideas and activity in the community generated by the application process itself—regardless of the outcome for the individual applicant.
  • The Knight Arts Challenge is an interesting outlier in terms of its underlying logic for arts funding by US foundations. The standard model for cultural grantmaking takes a “strategic” perspective—grants awarded are expected, cumulatively, to fulfill a stated strategic aim of the funder in addition to meeting the goals of the organization funded. This approach places the burden of identifying opportunities and needs in the field on the shoulders of grant-makers. The advantage of this form of proactive grantmaking is that it helps foundations direct resources toward particular issues they have identified as being of particular importance and progress is measured by metrics linked directly to resolution of those issues. A potential danger of this approach, however, is that it shifts the emphasis from the needs and interests of grantees in the field to those of the funder. The challenge model takes a different approach. It acknowledges a rapidly shifting cultural ecology in which foundation personnel are not always the best positioned to identify the most noteworthy and promising projects, creative individuals, or organizations. It explicitly downplays the need to focus grants around predetermined goals, acknowledging the fact that in the arts, as elsewhere, change and innovation happen in and through systems that are, by their nature, unpredictable, and diffuse.A final component of the challenge model lies in its assumptions about unsuccessful applicants. Traditional grantmaking does not ascribe a grantee benefit to the process of application itself or a failed application. This is consistent with the model of strategic philanthropy: if a grantee fails to win a grant, no activity takes place to advance the foundation’s objective. In contrast, the Knight Arts Challenge aims to invigorate the entirety of a community’s nascent arts life, and as such, it places a positive impact on the activation of ideas and activity in the community generated by the application process itself—regardless of the outcome for the individual applicant.
  • The Knight Arts Challenge is an interesting outlier in terms of its underlying logic for arts funding by US foundations. The standard model for cultural grantmaking takes a “strategic” perspective—grants awarded are expected, cumulatively, to fulfill a stated strategic aim of the funder in addition to meeting the goals of the organization funded. This approach places the burden of identifying opportunities and needs in the field on the shoulders of grant-makers. The advantage of this form of proactive grantmaking is that it helps foundations direct resources toward particular issues they have identified as being of particular importance and progress is measured by metrics linked directly to resolution of those issues. A potential danger of this approach, however, is that it shifts the emphasis from the needs and interests of grantees in the field to those of the funder. The challenge model takes a different approach. It acknowledges a rapidly shifting cultural ecology in which foundation personnel are not always the best positioned to identify the most noteworthy and promising projects, creative individuals, or organizations. It explicitly downplays the need to focus grants around predetermined goals, acknowledging the fact that in the arts, as elsewhere, change and innovation happen in and through systems that are, by their nature, unpredictable, and diffuse.A final component of the challenge model lies in its assumptions about unsuccessful applicants. Traditional grantmaking does not ascribe a grantee benefit to the process of application itself or a failed application. This is consistent with the model of strategic philanthropy: if a grantee fails to win a grant, no activity takes place to advance the foundation’s objective. In contrast, the Knight Arts Challenge aims to invigorate the entirety of a community’s nascent arts life, and as such, it places a positive impact on the activation of ideas and activity in the community generated by the application process itself—regardless of the outcome for the individual applicant.
  • The Knight Arts Challenge is an interesting outlier in terms of its underlying logic for arts funding by US foundations. The standard model for cultural grantmaking takes a “strategic” perspective—grants awarded are expected, cumulatively, to fulfill a stated strategic aim of the funder in addition to meeting the goals of the organization funded. This approach places the burden of identifying opportunities and needs in the field on the shoulders of grant-makers. The advantage of this form of proactive grantmaking is that it helps foundations direct resources toward particular issues they have identified as being of particular importance and progress is measured by metrics linked directly to resolution of those issues. A potential danger of this approach, however, is that it shifts the emphasis from the needs and interests of grantees in the field to those of the funder. The challenge model takes a different approach. It acknowledges a rapidly shifting cultural ecology in which foundation personnel are not always the best positioned to identify the most noteworthy and promising projects, creative individuals, or organizations. It explicitly downplays the need to focus grants around predetermined goals, acknowledging the fact that in the arts, as elsewhere, change and innovation happen in and through systems that are, by their nature, unpredictable, and diffuse.A final component of the challenge model lies in its assumptions about unsuccessful applicants. Traditional grantmaking does not ascribe a grantee benefit to the process of application itself or a failed application. This is consistent with the model of strategic philanthropy: if a grantee fails to win a grant, no activity takes place to advance the foundation’s objective. In contrast, the Knight Arts Challenge aims to invigorate the entirety of a community’s nascent arts life, and as such, it places a positive impact on the activation of ideas and activity in the community generated by the application process itself—regardless of the outcome for the individual applicant.
  • The Knight Arts Challenge is an interesting outlier in terms of its underlying logic for arts funding by US foundations. The standard model for cultural grantmaking takes a “strategic” perspective—grants awarded are expected, cumulatively, to fulfill a stated strategic aim of the funder in addition to meeting the goals of the organization funded. This approach places the burden of identifying opportunities and needs in the field on the shoulders of grant-makers. The advantage of this form of proactive grantmaking is that it helps foundations direct resources toward particular issues they have identified as being of particular importance and progress is measured by metrics linked directly to resolution of those issues. A potential danger of this approach, however, is that it shifts the emphasis from the needs and interests of grantees in the field to those of the funder. The challenge model takes a different approach. It acknowledges a rapidly shifting cultural ecology in which foundation personnel are not always the best positioned to identify the most noteworthy and promising projects, creative individuals, or organizations. It explicitly downplays the need to focus grants around predetermined goals, acknowledging the fact that in the arts, as elsewhere, change and innovation happen in and through systems that are, by their nature, unpredictable, and diffuse.A final component of the challenge model lies in its assumptions about unsuccessful applicants. Traditional grantmaking does not ascribe a grantee benefit to the process of application itself or a failed application. This is consistent with the model of strategic philanthropy: if a grantee fails to win a grant, no activity takes place to advance the foundation’s objective. In contrast, the Knight Arts Challenge aims to invigorate the entirety of a community’s nascent arts life, and as such, it places a positive impact on the activation of ideas and activity in the community generated by the application process itself—regardless of the outcome for the individual applicant.
  • The Knight Arts Challenge is an interesting outlier in terms of its underlying logic for arts funding by US foundations. The standard model for cultural grantmaking takes a “strategic” perspective—grants awarded are expected, cumulatively, to fulfill a stated strategic aim of the funder in addition to meeting the goals of the organization funded. This approach places the burden of identifying opportunities and needs in the field on the shoulders of grant-makers. The advantage of this form of proactive grantmaking is that it helps foundations direct resources toward particular issues they have identified as being of particular importance and progress is measured by metrics linked directly to resolution of those issues. A potential danger of this approach, however, is that it shifts the emphasis from the needs and interests of grantees in the field to those of the funder. The challenge model takes a different approach. It acknowledges a rapidly shifting cultural ecology in which foundation personnel are not always the best positioned to identify the most noteworthy and promising projects, creative individuals, or organizations. It explicitly downplays the need to focus grants around predetermined goals, acknowledging the fact that in the arts, as elsewhere, change and innovation happen in and through systems that are, by their nature, unpredictable, and diffuse.A final component of the challenge model lies in its assumptions about unsuccessful applicants. Traditional grantmaking does not ascribe a grantee benefit to the process of application itself or a failed application. This is consistent with the model of strategic philanthropy: if a grantee fails to win a grant, no activity takes place to advance the foundation’s objective. In contrast, the Knight Arts Challenge aims to invigorate the entirety of a community’s nascent arts life, and as such, it places a positive impact on the activation of ideas and activity in the community generated by the application process itself—regardless of the outcome for the individual applicant.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Assessment OverviewDoes the Challenge: 1. Generate ideas? 2. Generate support? 3. Fuel creative zeitgeist? 4. Nurture impactful projects?
    • 2. Assessment OverviewDoes the Challenge: 1. Generate ideas? 2. Generate support? 3. Fuel creative zeitgeist? 4. Nurture impactful projects?
    • 3. Tapping Into Miami’sCreative Community • Low barrier to entry • Catalyst versus generator • Strong visual arts response • “Here Comes Everybody” ethos
    • 4. Draws in NewPhilanthropic Support • An incentive to fundraise and to give • Insufficient data • Organizational capacity • Guidelines a bit blurry
    • 5. Fuels Miami’sCreative Zeitgeist • Miami is a growing cultural center, its dynamism recognized both within the city and outside • Causality is difficult to attribute • Challenge is seen as a positive influence by those closest to it • Long-term…
    • 6. NurturesImpactful Projects Positive non-financial impact on grantees: • Ownership • Knight imprimatur • Increased profile and visibility • New partnerships developed • New learning opportunities
    • 7. NurturesImpactful Projects • Impact of Challenge overall of more interest to Foundation than impact of individual projects • Project impact deepest among start-ups, individuals, & smaller (or less prominent) organizations • Systemic impact – investing in most promising ideas for longer term & forming learning communities
    • 8. Wider Implications • Strategic vs. Responsive • Organizations vs Ideas • Place in overall ecology • Role of losers • Breadth of eligibility criteria
    • 9. Lessons Learned Designing Contests for Impact
    • 10. #1 LESSONSupplementalTools notSubstitutes
    • 11. #2 LESSONCreating ValueBeyond theWinners
    • 12. #3 LESSONSourcing &MintingNew entrants
    • 13. #4 LESSONDisruptingInternalHabits
    • 14. #5 LESSON Spotting Emerging and Involving the7. Opening TrendsCommunity
    • 15. #6 LESSONOpening &InvolvingCommunity
    • 16. MULTIMEDIA REPORTwww.knightarts.org/report

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