$2 Million Knight Arts Challenge Award Helps Bring Creative and Innovative Ideas to Life in Miami

Posted at 10:20 AM, Dec 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-03 10:20:13-05

24 artists and organizations in Miami are sharing their creative and innovation ideas with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Lee Pivnik is one of them. A Miami native concentrating on nature, culture and sustainability studies.

"The upcoming project with the Knight Foundation is called Habitat. So it looks at where we’re at in Miami right now. As a very risk adverse person, I have a lot of anxiety about being the generation that will continue to live here and so this project is my attempt to overcome that. So that would involve potentially growing trees and [doing] a house one day using other living systems," said Pivnik.

Pivnik's goal is to collaborate with other artists to help spread the word about climate change.

To date, the Knight Arts Challenge has invested about $34 million on more than 400 projects.

"These are projects that are authentic to the places where they come from. They are intended to help people reconsider their relationship to each other, reconsider their relationship with the city all with the goal having people feel more connected to the place," said Adam Ganuza with the Knight Foundation.

The foundation hopes the annual challenge will contribute to the advancement of South Florida’s arts and culture scene.

"The impact that we hope to create in Miami is what you’re seeing right now in Miami Art Week. It’s been through those investments in the arts and cultural life that we have a number of new museums that have popped up, new art groups have been able to emerge," added Ganuza.

Pivnik said the Knight Arts Challenge has helped him and dozens of other artists pursue their dreams.

"From the time that I've become involved with the Knight Foundation I feel over-caffeinated in my career where everything is coming together in an optimistic way and I'm eager to see what comes next with this grant," he said.

In 2017, Pivnik started the Institute of Queer Ecology. The collaborative is supported in part by the Knight Arts Challenge grant.

For more information about the Knight Foundation, click here.