On December 2, 2019, the Miami International GuitART Festival and FIU School of Music were recognized as one of the Knight Arts Challenge award winners at their 11th anniversary at a special event at the Pérez Art Museum Miami, followed by a communitywide celebration including performances in the adjacent Knight Plaza. Alberto Ibargüen, President and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and Victoria Rogers, Vice President/Arts for Knight Foundation, presented the award to the MIGF Director Mesut Özgen.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge funds ideas that brings South Florida together through the arts. The 2019 Knight Arts Challenge awarded 1.8 million to 44 Miami artists and projects aimed at exploring the authentic voices of South Florida and bringing art to neighborhoods from Key West to Palm Beach. The Knight Arts Challenge is a community-wide search to find and fund the best ideas for engaging and enriching Miami through the arts. This year’s 44 winners represent a broad variety of disciplines, including visual art, theater, music and dance.
“Arts and culture connect people to place and to each other. A dozen years ago, we perceived a trend and openness toward the arts in Miami and decided to accelerate and leverage it. We’ve invested $165 million since then,” said Alberto Ibargüen, Knight Foundation president. “Knight Arts Challenge winners and Champions reflect the quality, growth and promise of our goal to make art general in Miami.”
The MIGF/FIU will be awarded a $70,000 grant from Knight Foundation, as part of its Knight Arts Challenge, to celebrate Miami’s Latinx heritage by dedicating the Miami International GuitART Festival to Latin American music and creating cultural exchanges between Amazon and Miami guitar orchestras. One of the conditions of the grant is to find funds to match Knight’s commitment. Once we have raised the matching funds, the MIGF will present world-class artists from Latin America and all around the world, including the premiere of Brazilian composer Sergio Assad’s new concerto written for MIGF director, guitarist and composer Mesut Özgen in February 2021.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy.