A culinary incubator project in Gary has received a significant boost. Rebuild Foundation has been awarded a $650,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to support the development of ArtHouse: a Social Kitchen in a vacant downtown space.
March 31, 2015
Miami, Fla. — Thirty-two innovative projects will share $5 million as winners of the first Knight Cities Challenge.
An initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the challenge attracted more than 7,000 ideas to make the 26 communities where Knight invests more vibrant places to live and work. It asked innovators of all kinds to answer the question: What's your best idea to make cities more successful?
The 32 winners proposed a host of ideas, from training a new community of Detroit rehabbers who will work together to combat blight and reactivate vacant buildings, to creating a subscription service that celebrates Akron with a monthly boxed selection of local goods and experiences, from mobilizing city leaders to hold monthly ceremonies for St. Paul newcomers where they are presented with a warm winter hat, to fostering conversation among strangers by installing Charlotte's signature porch swings in public spaces.
“Not only did the Knight Cities Challenge uncover a wealth of new ideas to make our cities more successful, it will help strengthen a network of civic innovators who are taking hold of the future of their cities,” said Carol Coletta, Knight Foundation vice president for community and national initiatives. “These important connections will help create a pipeline for new approaches to city transformation and spark the type of collaboration vital to growing and spreading good ideas.”
All the winning projects focus on one or more of three drivers of city success: (1) Talent: Ideas that help cities attract and keep the best and brightest; (2) Opportunity: Ideas that create economic prospects and break down divides; (3) Engagement: Ideas that spur connection and civic involvement.
Winning projects are based in 12 of the 26 communities where Knight invests including: Akron, Ohio; Bradenton, Fla.; Charlotte, N.C.; Columbus, Ga.; Detroit; Gary, Ind.; Lexington, Ky.; Macon, Ga.; Miami; Philadelphia; St. Paul, Minn.; and San Jose, Calif. Two projects focus on multiple Knight communities.
The list of winners is below and at: knightcities.org/winners2015.
Open to any individual, business, government or nonprofit, the Knight Cities Challenge has just two rules: (1) A submission may come from anywhere, but the project must take place in or benefit one or more of the 26 communities where Knight invests and (2) the idea should focus on one or more of three drivers of city success: talent, opportunity or engagement.
The challenge launched in October 2014. Finalists were announced in January. The challenge will reopen for submissions in fall 2015.
For more on the Knight Cities Challenge, visit knightcities.org and knightcities.org/winners2015. Connect on the Knight Cities Challenge via @knightfdn and #knightcities on Twitter.
2015 Knight Cities Challenge Winners
Better Block International Hostel on AirBnB, $155,000 by Team Better Block (Submitted by Jason Roberts): Turning a vacant property into an AirBnB hostel and cultural hub in Akron's North Hill to tap the entrepreneurial potential of the neighborhood's growing Bhutanese population.
Unbox Akron, $52,168 (Submitted by Chris Horne): Fostering a stronger connection to the city by creating a subscription service that celebrates Akron with a monthly selection of local goods and experiences delivered in a box.
ReuseReCONNECT, $90,140 by Realize Bradenton (Submitted by Morgan Bettes): Engaging millennials in Bradenton by experimenting with pop-up events that temporarily transform outdoor spaces into places for conversations on local topics.
No Barriers Project, $67,100 (Submitted by Sarah Hazel): Bringing two diverse neighborhoods together in a public park that sits on their border by creating a new common space that uses light, sound and play to stimulate conversation.
“Porch” Swings in Public Places, $28,000 (Submitted by Tom Warshauer): Fostering conversation among strangers by installing Charlotte's signature porch swings in public spaces.
Take Ten Initiative, $74,000 (Submitted by Alyssa Dodd): Challenging municipal workers to take 10 minutes each week to connect with a city resident and report on their thoughts and ideas.
Minimum Grid: Maximum Impact, $199,195 by MidTown Inc. (Submitted by Anne King): Establishing a comprehensive network of bicycle and pedestrian connections among the entertainment and business district of Uptown and the 24 diverse neighborhoods of MidTown.
RE:Brand Detroit: Innovating Detroit Neighborhoods , $164,810 by Brand Camp University (Submitted by Hajj Flemings): Changing the narrative of underserved neighborhoods by developing compelling branding and digital presences for neighborhood businesses that better tell their stories.
Brick + Beam Detroit, $87,424 by Michigan Historic Preservation Network (Submitted by Emilie Evans): Creating a new community of Detroit rehabbers who will work together to combat blight, reactivate vacant buildings and improve their city.
The Buzz, $84,055 by Detroit Future City (Submitted by Erin Kelly): Pairing barbers with landscape contractors to transform overgrown vacant lots through facilitated design workshops that teach mowing and pattern-making techniques.
Detroit Homecoming, $100,000 by Crain's Detroit Business (Submitted by Eric Cedo): Engaging Detroit expats with a new digital community designed to keep them connected to Detroit and its opportunities.
LIVE Detroit, $40,000 by LIVE Detroit (Submitted by Rachel Perschetz): Attracting and retaining residents by creating a center for information about Detroit neighborhoods and city life that showcases the best of Detroit.
ArtHouse: a Social Kitchen, $650,000 by Rebuild Foundation (submitted by Lori Berko): Repurposing a vacant space in downtown Gary as a culinary incubator and caf? designed to reinvigorate downtown while creating jobs and opportunities for residents.
Northside Common Market, $550,000 by North Limestone Community Development Corp. (Submitted by Richard Young): Repurposing a vacant bus station into a market for locally grown food and locally made goods and a creative business incubator that will serve as a neighborhood hub.
Operation Export Macon, $75,000 by College Hill Alliance (Submitted by Joshua Lovett): Fostering city pride and helping attract newcomers to Macon by sending one man in a roaming trailer to nearby cities, to showcase the city's best food, goods and experiences.
Macon Civic Spaces, $124,300 (submitted by Geoffrey Boyd): Creating an umbrella organization to bring together individual park volunteer groups to create a network of advocates, interested in improving and maintaining local parks as vibrant community engagement venues.
The Science Barge, $298,633 by CappSci (Submitted by Nathalie Manzano-Smith): Creating a public focal point for Miami's climate issues with the Science Barge, a floating, urban sustainable farm and environmental education center powered by renewable energy.
The Urban “Consulate,” $150,000 (Submitted by Claire Nelson): Promoting cross-city cultural and civic exchange by setting up a network of new “consulates” initially located in Detroit, Philadelphia and New Orleans that offer events and an entr?e into local culture.
The Swings: An Exercise in Musical Cooperation, $325,000 by DailyTousLesJours (Submitted by Mouna Andraos): Bringing people together to connect and engage in four Knight resident cities (Charlotte, Macon, Philadelphia and San Jose) with a musical swings installation