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Philadelphians Invited to Take a New Knight Foundation Challenge

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Philadelphians are once again being invited to submit their most creative ideas for a chance to get them funded by the Knight Foundation. But the competition will be a bit tougher for local artists this year.

In the last three years, Knight gave away $9 million to fund more than 100 art projects that specifically benefited Philadelphia -- poetry slams, photography classes, mobile jazz concerts, light shows, pop-up opera.

That has ended, but Knight is launching a new challenge grant that will award a total of $5-million dollars to projects in 26 cities. Not only is Philadelphia included, Knight Foundation vice president Carol Coletta expects it to stand out.

"Philadelphia seems very good at producing the idea virus that everyone wants to copy," Coletta says, "and so we're hoping to see a lot of those kinds of ideas."

The rules are pretty much the same as in previous years.

"It's the simplest application you could ever imagine," Coletta says. "All you have to do is describe your idea and tell us what you want to learn from it, and that's all that's required in the first round of applications."

The application period opens Wednesday, October 1st and closes November 14th.

"We're looking for innovation," Coletta says. "We look for new people that are not on our radar screen and we look for ideas that we would never have thought of."

Projects should also focus on attracting and retaining talent, expanding economic opportunity, or creating a culture of civic engagement.

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