A heads up to people who have, (or know people with), innovative ideas using technology to connect people with arts and culture, the Knight Foundation is looking for project ideas via the Knight Prototype Fund.
Unlike some of the other projects the Knight Foundation funds, these projects don’t need to be set in the communities it traditionally supports which is why I wanted to bring it to everyone’s attention. As the prototype term suggests, they expect some of the concepts to be in the early stages of development.
Applicants don’t necessarily have to work for an organization. We’re looking for ideas from arts organizations, artists, technologists, designers, educators, researchers and others inside or outside of institutions who are eager to experiment. We’re open to diverse approaches and perspectives on the use of technology to connect people to the arts, and seek to identify projects that have the potential to be replicated by others in the field.
What can we build to help arts organizations expand their use of technology? How can we use the qualities of new mediums to create unparalleled experiences? How can we replicate solutions, so that more in the field benefit? How can we learn more about the people we are trying to reach and design solutions that understand their needs? How can arts institutions provide magic outside of their four walls? How can cultural organizations breathe warmth into technology?
We hope to invest in projects that have provocative questions at their core that can only be answered through the act of making them a reality. Grantees will join together over a nine- month sprint to learn innovation techniques and test ideas.
They anticipate the average grant will be around $50,000. Deadline is March 6. They are hosting an online Q&A from 1 to 2 pm ET on February 21 (connection instructions at bottom of the page)
As an example of the type of thing the Knight Foundation has been doing lately, they partnered with the creators of Pokemon Go to see if similar games or tools could help build community.
It sounds like they would be open to projects that pushed the envelop even further as well as repurposing existing tools in a manner few people have considered.
One of the things I most appreciate about what the Knight Foundation proposes is that they are going to provide applicants with training in innovative methods as well as bringing them together to learn from each other. This acknowledges that innovation isn’t generated in a vacuum or emerge from a lone genius working in a garage, but rather builds on past work in new ways, often in collaboration with others.