In 2012, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced an initiative to establish a series of crowd-sourced grant-making contests to fund the best art ideas from cities across the country.
The annual contest, previously piloted in Miami, would be localized to reflect the distinct and unique art communities in each participating city, with coordination through Knight Foundation’s national and local art teams.
The Detroit Challenge was initially proposed as a three-year commitment. Van Dyke Horn was contracted to oversee and execute the program’s media launch, as well as all outreach and communications services throughout the various phases of the annual campaign.
Each year, the Challenge invites artists to make a 150-word pitch for their best arts idea, which has only three rules:
1. The idea must be an art-centered project
2. The project must take place in Detroit
3. The artist(s) must raise funds to match Knight Foundation’s grant