With the launch of its second Knight Cities Challenge, the Knight Foundation is looking for more great ideas to boost Lexington and 25 other communities, with a grant pool of $5 million to fund innovative projects aimed at civic improvement.
Submissions will be accepted from October 1 through October 27 for the challenge, which focuses on projects that are located in or benefit the home communities of 26 formerly Knight-owned newspapers, including the Lexington Herald-Leader. Submitted ideas can engage communities at any level, including through citywide, neighborhood or block-based projects, and should focus on the Foundation’s designated three key drivers of city success: attracting talented people, expanding economic opportunity and creating a culture of civic engagement.
In 2014, Lexington’s North Limestone Community Development Corp., known as NoLi CDC, was awarded $550,000 to support the transformation of the former Greyhound bus terminal on North Limestone into a hub for selling local produce and other goods, as well as an incubator for creative businesses. It was the second highest grant awarded through the Knight Cities Challenge in 2014, behind a $650,000 award to repurpose vacant space into a culinary incubator and cafe in downtown Gary, Indiana. In total, 32 winners were selected from more than 7,000 entries submitted for last year's challenge.
The Knight Foundation encourages submissions from anyone with a great idea, including local activists, professionals, hackers and architects. Applicants do not have to reside in a Knight community such as Lexington, but the project must be located in and benefit a Knight community.
Carol Coletta, vice president of community and national initiatives for the Knight Foundation, will host a reddit Ask Me Anything chat on October 2 at 7 p.m.to discuss details of this year’s challenge. A community informational session in Lexington is also scheduled for October 7, with more details on that session yet to be released. Questions about the events or the challenge itself can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications can be submitted online any time before the Oct 27 deadline at knightcities.org. Winners of the Challenge will be announced early next year.