Knight Arts Challenge

A photo of Annie with her painting

Sixteen ideas that can engage residents and enrich Akron through the arts have been chosen as winners in the fourth Knight Arts Challenge.

Applicants answer a simple question: what’s your best idea for the arts in Akron?

This year, Knight awarded nearly $600,000 to bring to life ideas that range from an exploration of the community’s history of disability to a presentation of Baroque music integrating puppets and visuals.

The Jam Company

Saxophonist and Kent State University music teacher Chris Coles has spent the past two years creating a performance piece that he hopes will raise awareness about racial injustice. Nine Lives Project tells the story of the 2015 shooting in Charleston, S.C., where a white supremacist killed nine black parishioners at Emanuel AME Church. Coles says it was a turning point in his life.


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.

Knight Awards dance presentation
Tim Rudell / WKSU

Arts projects in Akron are splitting  $743-thousand as part of the latest Knight Arts Challenge Awards. The winning projects were announced Tuesday night. 

photo of Mac Love

The Knight Cities Challenge has announced its latest round of grants. About a half-million dollars will be coming to Akron with the goal of unifying neighborhoods.

The Knight challenge is focused on 26 cities, including Akron. Applicants are asked for ideas to help their cities attract talent, spur civic engagement or break down barriers to economic opportunities.

photo of Wandering Aesthetics logo

An Akron theatre company will premiere a series of vaudeville performances in September thanks to a Knight Foundation grant.

Wandering Aesthetics has raised nearly half of the money required for its $75,000 matching grant, which will be used for a project it calls “Bigger than a Breadbox.”

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.