Knight Cities Challenge Opens for Applications from Boulder

BOULDER, Colo.—Oct. 1, 2015— What’s your best idea to help your city succeed? The Knight Cities Challenge opens today calling on innovators of all types in Boulder to answer this question.

Now in its second year, the national challenge is an initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The challenge seeks new ideas to make Boulder and the 25 other communities where Knight invests more vibrant places to live and work.  Winners will receive a share of $5 million and become part of a network of civic innovators; funding will be granted at all levels from small to large amounts. Applications will be accepted through Oct. 27 at knightcities.org. The challenge has two main guidelines:

  1. A submission may come from anywhere, but the project must take place in or benefit one or more of 26 Knight communities.
  2. The idea should focus on one or more of three key drivers of city success:
  • Talent: Ideas that help cities attract and keep talented people.
  • Opportunity: Ideas that expand economic prospects by breaking down divides and making new connections.
  • Engagement: Ideas that spur connection and civic involvement.

The challenge is open to anyone from anywhere: neighbors, architects, activists, artists, city planners, entrepreneurs, students, educators, city officials, as well as governments and organizations. More information is available on knightcities.org.

The initial application will be easy to complete. You don’t have to be a professional grant writer, but you should be ready with a plan to make your idea a reality.

“Through the challenge we want to find new voices and new ideas that capture the three key ingredients of city success—talent, opportunity and engagement. We see these as essential to the challenge and to building stronger futures for all of our cities,” said Carol Coletta, Knight Foundation vice president for community and national initiatives.

If you have questions about the challenge, you can join us for virtual office hours or in-person events in many of the 26 Knight communities to learn more. The schedule, which is regularly updated, can be accessed here. Currently, the following events are scheduled for Boulder:

Tuesday October 20, 8:30-9:30 am, Museum of Boulder Event Center 2205 Broadway, Boulder CO 80302

Knight Foundation’s  program director of community foundations Lilly Weinberg will be hosting a community information session about the Cities Challenge, free and open to the public.

Community members and entrepreneurs, as well as experts in urban planning, design, academia and government will help Knight review entries. Knight will announce finalists and winners in early 2016.

The 26 Knight communities include eight that have a resident program director: Akron, Ohio; Charlotte, N.C.; Detroit; Macon, Ga.; Miami; Philadelphia; St. Paul, Minn.; and San Jose, Calif. In 18 cities community foundations guide Knight’s grantmaking: Aberdeen, S.D.; Biloxi, Miss.; Boulder, Colo.; Bradenton, Fla.; Columbia, S.C.; Columbus, Ga.; Duluth, Minn.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Gary, Ind.; Grand Forks, N.D.; Lexington, Ky.; Long Beach, Calif.; Milledgeville, Ga.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Palm Beach County, Fla.; State College, Penn.; Tallahassee, Fla.; and Wichita, Kan.

In March 2015 Knight announced 32 winners of the first Knight Cities Challenge.

Have an idea? Visit knightcities.org to apply. The challenge closes on Oct. 27, 2015, at 12 p.m. ET.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.

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