Four Submissions For Gary Though Knight Cities Challenge

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January 12, 2015 — Lakeshore Public Media Staff — The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced on Monday morning 126 finalists in the first “Knight Cities Challenge,” a national call for new ideas to make the 26 communities where Knight invests more vibrant places to live and work.

Four of those finalists are in Gary.

— “Creatives for the Good of Gary by Creatives for Good” would spur creative industries by partnering artists and creative professionals with local entrepreneurs and organizations to help build, brand and promote companies and nonprofits

— The Place Lab at the University of Chicago submitted the idea “Dreams of a Sleeping City.”    It would adapt vacant spaces in the city to serve as incubators for businesses that reduce blight and promote artistic expression while creating cultural districts..

— The University of Chicago also proposes setting up a soul food restaurant incubator that creates jobs, stimulates entrepreneurship and establishes an anchor institution for downtown revitalization.

— The Brunswick Garden Club proposes a Gary Community Orchard on a vacant lot where residents will produce and cultivate organic fruit, working side by side.

The “Knight Cities Challenge” received more than 7,000 submissions.  Winners, who will receive a share of $5 million, will be announced in spring 2015.

“The challenge has introduced us to a host of new ideas and people who want to take hold of the future of their cities,” said Carol Coletta, Knight Foundation vice president for community and national initiatives. “Through these new connections we hope to grow a network of civic innovators to take on community challenges and build solutions together.”

Open to innovators of all types, the Knight Cities Challenge asked applicants to answer the question: What’s your best idea to make cities more successful?

Applicants had to follow only two rules: 1) A submission may come from anywhere, but the project must benefit one or more of26 Knight communities. 2) The idea should focus on one or all of three key drivers of city success—talent, opportunity and engagement, as outlined above.

The challenge is part of a three-year, $15 million commitment that Knight Foundation announced in the fall of 2014.

Source: Knight Cities Challenge


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