Calling all civic innovators! The Knight Cities Challenge is open for applications. Now in its third year, this national grant program will award $5 million in 2016 to fund ideas that make our cities better places to live and work. Projects can focus on anything from a single block to a whole city, economic opportunity to community engagement in any one of the 26 cities where Knight Foundation invests, which include Myrtle Beach.
Past winners are a diverse bunch, too – last year’s grantees included everything from a project to make city pools in Philadelphia more fun and vibrant places to interact with neighbors to an experiment to increase voter participation in local elections in Minnesota.
The Knight Cities Challenge is a program of Knight Foundation. Knight’s roots in Myrtle Beach go back to The Sun News, one of many newspapers owned by brothers John S. and James L. Knight across the country. Today, their foundation continues the brothers’ legacy by investing in the arts, journalism and success of cities with papers previously owned by their company. Waccamaw Community Foundation is Knight’s local partner in grantmaking for the Myrtle Beach area, where they prioritize projects focused on the arts, entrepreneurship and smart design.
To apply for the Knight Cities Challenge, applicants only need to follow a few criteria. Their project must benefit one of the Knight communities – locally that means Myrtle Beach – and submit their ideas to www.knightcities.org by Thursday, November 3rd at 12 p.m. EST.
Projects should also focus on one or more of the following drivers of city success:
(1) Talent: Ideas that help cities attract and keep talented people.
(2) Opportunity: Ideas that expand economic prospects by breaking down divides and making new connections.
(3) Engagement: Ideas that spur connection and civic involvement.
Projects big and small are eligible for funding, and the initial application only consists of 3 questions, each to be answered in 100 words or less. Anyone can apply, whether or not they are affiliated with a nonprofit or other civic agency. You don’t have to be based in Myrtle Beach or a Knight community either – your project only needs to benefit a Knight community.
We encourage any and all to apply and submit their ideas on how to make Myrtle Beach a more vibrant community!
You can visit Knight’s “How It Works” page for more information on how to apply and FAQs. Visit www.knightcities.org to learn more about the program.
Pictured: Charlie’s Place, a local finalist in the 2015 Knight Cities Challenge.