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Contest Offers Cash For Ideas About Improving Tallahassee

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People with ideas for improving Tallahassee are invited to enter a national challenge that will end with cash prizes from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The foundation is offering the contest in 26 cities where the Knight Company has owned newspapers.

The Knight Cities Challenge is now accepting applications. A pot of $5 million is up for grabs to fuel ideas that can help Tallahassee attract and retain talent, create economic opportunities or spur civic engagement.

Chicago artist and city planner Theaster Gates says open challenges like this can lead to unexpected partnerships that improve cities.

“What the challenge does it allows lots of different people in the country to kind of focus their energy on a place," he says. 

And Jim Gray, the mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, says challenges like these are vital to helping cities thrive within a changing paradigm.

“The model was people went to where the jobs were. But today the model is jobs are going to where the people are, where the talent is, and where there’s a premium on quality of life and quality of place," he says. Lexington has received Knight Foundation grants in the past. 

The simple online application asks, “What is your idea for advancing talent, opportunity or engagement in Tallahassee?” And, “What do you expect to learn?” The deadline for idea submissions is Nov. 14.