John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

a photo of Summit Lake

Before the pandemic, the city of Akron, like many Rust Belt cities, was taking a close look at ways to engage the community, and draw in new residents.

A new Knight Foundation study took a deep dive into 26 metro areas, including Akron, to learn what increases residents’ connection to the city and improves quality of life.

united way logos
United Way of Summit County

Six Summit County entities have joined together to raise and channel much-needed funding into the community.

synapse art and science image

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced 36 finalists were chosen in the 2019 Knight Arts Challenge Akron.

The arts challenge seeks out ideas that connect people to each other and to place to ultimately strengthen communities. The winners get a share of $1 million to help them bring their ideas to life.

In three preceding challenges, Knight awarded nearly $3 million for 63 ideas in Akron.

Summit Lake

Akron’s Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition is making progress in its effort to revitalize declining neighborhoods.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation recently released a report on the progress made in Akron, Memphis, Detroit, Chicago and Philadelphia under the Reimagining the Civic Commons program.  Knight and several other foundations provided $20 million divided equally between the five cities.


Akron leaders from Summit County Think Tank Coalition and the Progressive Alliance Community Development Corp. are working with the Knight Foundation to shape Summit County’s 5th Better Block Festival on Copley Road.

The Copley Road Better Block will take place May 24-25 between Frederick Boulevard and South Hawkins Avenue.


The Knight Foundation will begin accepting applications, Monday, March 18 for the 2019 Knight Arts Challenge Akron. Now in its fourth year, the arts challenge has funded 63 ideas totaling nearly $3 million.

The goal is to use the arts to connect people to each other and to place.

photo of Akronicity

The Akron/Summit Convention and Visitors Bureau is promoting Akron’s history and culture through a new publication.

Akronicity focuses on the city’s industry, food, sports and nature, among other topics and stories.

It also features cultural icons from the city, including LeBron James, Chrissie Hynde and members of the bands Devo and The Black Keys.


Here are your morning headlines for Friday, October 27th:

Mark Arehart / WKSU

Thousands of people in Summit and Medina counties met in small groups Tuesday to talk about everything from homelessness and addiction to art and education. The gatherings are part of a community engagement series called On the Table.

photo of the Bud and Susie Rogers Garden

The Akron Art Museum is getting an $8 million gift from the Knight Foundation to add new works and better engage with visitors.

photo of North Hill Better Block

Three Akron neighborhoods are each getting $240,000 grants to develop ideas to attract business and residents.

Kenmore, Middlebury and North Hill were all identified earlier this year as areas that could be primed to grow with just a small push to get the housing and job markets moving again.

To do that, the grants from the Knight Foundation aim to give neighborhood development groups the resources to hire staff and explore civic engagement.

University of Akron Students Get New Way to Go Mobile

Sep 14, 2017
photo of University of Akron bike share

The University of Akron is giving its students access to bicycles to use on and off campus free of charge.

John MacDonald is the director of student recreation and wellness services at UA. He says a new program gives students freedom to go where they choose after signing out a bike.

Tallahassee table
Knight Foundation

Akron hopes to bring together the entire community over a meal this fall -- to eat and to figure out the most important issues to the community.

WKSU Awarded Exciting Knight News Match Challenge

Jan 3, 2017

In an effort to counter the effects of “fake news” and unchecked misinformation on social media and beyond, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has established the Knight News Match. WKSU has been named one of 57 specially-chosen non-profit news organizations to participate in this challenge grant program. The Knight News Match promises to match all individual donations up to $1,000 made to WKSU now through Jan. 19, 2017, with a cap of $25,000.


In a few years, millennials are projected to make up half of America’s workforce. And Northeast Ohio companies and non-profits are taking notice. As WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, people in the age-group born between the early 1980s and mid-to-late 1990s are being sought out to help guide public- and private- organization strategies into the coming decades. 

Luncheon in Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering buiilding
Tim Rudell / WKSU

The University of Akron’s Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering program got a boost today from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The Foundation is funding the W. Gerald Austen Chair in Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering to the tune of $3 million.

Karen Starr
Dale Dong / Knight Foundation

The winners of this year’s Akron Knight Arts Challenge are being announced tonight at the Civic Theatre downtown. It’s the second round of grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to help enrich Akron with  art.