We are excited to announce that we are among 144 finalists for the Knight Cities Challenge! The annual grant competition is one of the largest and most innovative in the country, with $5 million allocated to test ideas to attract and retain talent, expand opportunity, and promote robust engagement in the 26 cities in which the Knight brothers once owned newspapers. With over 4,500 competing submissions, we are already in the top 3% of ideas!
Yellowbrick Street Team was formed in the wake of the Focus Forward initiative by the Wichita Community Foundation, in which nationally-renowned data analyst and native Wichitan James Chung diagnosed four challenges facing Wichita: Entrepreneurship, Business Cycle, Human Capital, and Perception. Our founder saw a direct link between these four challenges and Wichita's urban design, organizing the group in the summer of 2016.
We believe we are well-suited to receive a Knight Cities Challenge grant because the work of the Knight Foundation is ingrained into our mission. We focus in particular on pushing back against the Perception Challenge, in which Chung referenced the Knight Soul of the Community study to illustrate that Wichita has a self-esteem issue and suffers from poor social capital. The Soul of the Community study remains a guiding framework for each of our projects; all projects must improve social offerings, openness, or aesthetics - the three components of city life most closely correlated with place attachment.
The opportunity to be awarded a Knight Cities Challenge grant is exciting for many reasons, but most importantly because of what it will enable us to do in the city we love. Not only will we be able to expand our capacity to execute more projects that connect, engage, and inspire Wichitans, but we will be able to build out systems to better evaluate our impact and share our message.
We could not have made it this far without the incredible support of so many Wichitans. This is a transformative opportunity for our group - and, we think, all of Wichita - and we appreciate any additional support we receive.
Volunteer for projects by clicking here.
Make a pledge for matching donation here. Please note that there is no commitment for pledges - if we win a Knight Cities Challenge grant, we will follow up to accept your pledge; if we don't win, you are not obligated to donate.
To learn more about the Knight Cities Challenge and view a full list of finalists, including two others from Wichita, see the press release from the Knight Foundation: