It is impossible to find a nonprofit organization that has had a greater impact on the Miami art scene than the Knight Foundation. It has donated a total of $86 million over a six-year period to provide funding to several key arts institutions and offer support to local artists looking to enrich Miami’s culture.
One area where the Knight Foundation has had significant impact is in the Wynwood District. The Knight Arts Challenge led to the creation of an incubator for various Arts groups in 2009. It was opened inside the Light Box at Goldman Warehouse. Local arts groups were given performance space, gallery space and a shared office.
The Knight Foundation has helped foster the transformation of the Wynwood District into a hub for the arts. This personified with the presence of Art Basel Miami Beach, which uses the Wynwood District as one of its venues to showcase hundreds of works of arts to tens of thousands of visitors from around the globe. Benefiting from the presence of Art Basel Wynwood has become a must-see destination for art lovers everywhere.
One of the most recent developments will be the addition of more than a dozen artist-designed crosswalks to the Wynwood District. The first crosswalk, designed by Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez, will be installed in front of the Wynwood Walls. 15 crosswalks are planned and each one will showcase original artwork from Miami-area artists. This is one more step in transforming a former industrial area into a pedestrian-centric neighborhood.
The Knight Foundation has played a major role in making all of these developments possible. It first demonstrated a serious commitment to supporting the Miami Arts with a generous $20 million donation in 2008 to fund endowments at the Miami Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the New World Symphony.
The Knight Foundation’s support also continues through the annual Knight Arts Challenge contest, which provides funds to the best ideas designed to enhance the arts in Miami and South Florida. This challenge has helped spur many of the positive developments for the art community in Wynwood and will continue to influence it in the near future.