Knight Foundation Awards Grants to 6 Local Nonprofits

$306,150 awarded in grants to inspire growth and create informed and engaged communities

Columbia, S.C. (February 21, 2019) - The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, a longtime philanthropic partner to the Columbia community, has awarded $306,150 in grants to six local nonprofits whose projects support the Knight Foundation’s criteria of attracting and nurturing talent, enhancing economic opportunity, fostering civic engagement within the community, and creating a more dynamic public space for local residents to enjoy. The selected nonprofits are located in Richland County and their projects are featured below:

    • Columbia Design League’s Play with Your City: Reimagining Lady Street is a design competition involving architects, planners, designers, and artists. The goal of the competition is to brainstorm and inspire permanent improvements for the underutilized 3-block corridor of Lady Street.
    • With the completion of the newly renovated Boyd Plaza, the Columbia Museum of Art will present an inaugural year of free programming, encompassing all art disciplines and showcasing the Museum’s long history of community collaboration.
    • Columbia Film Society’s North Columbia Radio Station is a collaboration that will create an internet-based community radio station based in North Columbia. The radio station plans to offer local programming including news, culture, and entertainment through live feeds and podcasts.
    • Inspired by author Rebecca Solnit’s “City of Women,” Historic Columbia Foundation’s Columbia - City of Women project, a partnership with WREN, will incorporate maps, websites, and tours to facilitate community dialogue and honor women who have expanded women’s roles in society.


  • Southern Guitar Festival’s Design UnderstandAct is a 3-day fully-funded intensive summer training program for diverse high school students to learn how institutions and systems affect how change occurs. The program is designed to empower the students to take positive action within their own communities.


  • University of South Carolina Educational Foundation’s SC Collaborative on Race and Reconciliation includes a number of youth-oriented projects that address diversity, equity, and inclusion within their communities. Projects include a social justice book club, a residential summer leadership program, and specialized workshops at the 2019 Equity Summit.

The Knight Foundation has invested more than $841 million in community initiatives since its creation in 1950. Knight invests in the success of 26 cities where brothers John S. and James L Knight once published newspapers, including Columbia. Since their funds were established at Central Carolina Community Foundation in 1993, Knight has invested over $2 million in the Columbia area, helping to drive economic success. Knight Foundation’s work across the nation helps cities attract and retain talented people, expand economic opportunity, and create a culture of civic engagement. The Knight Foundation believes that successful communities are equitable, inclusive, and participatory.

“The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is a national foundation with deep local roots in Columbia,” says JoAnn Turnquist, president & CEO of Central Carolina Community Foundation. “We are thankful for Knight’s investment and support of our community.”

For more information on the Knight Foundation, visit

About Central Carolina Community Foundation

Central Carolina Community Foundation, the Midlands' center for philanthropy, is a nonprofit organization serving 11 counties in the Midlands by distributing grants and scholarships and linking the resources of donors, nonprofits and area leaders to communities in need. Major initiatives include the Midlands Gives online giving challenge, Connected Communities grants, the One SC Fund, the Best of Philanthropy Awards, annual scholarships, and more. For more information about the Foundation, visit or call 803.254.5601.



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