The Knight Foundation Cultural Opportunity Fund provides Minnesota performing artists and ensembles the opportunity to receive financial support to produce an event in the Ordway’s Concert Hall.

How it works

Develop an idea for a concert, film screening, author reading, workshop, recording, or lecture—you name it, so long as it’s venue-appropriate—and submit an application online. All submissions will be reviewed for feasibility, and evaluated by a panel of judges who will be looking for clearly articulated outreach strategies—you are responsible for attracting people to your event!— and organizational capacity to execute a successful event, as well as productions that help fulfill the organization’s mission, or advance the artist’s career.

The submission period for 2024 is now closed.

Click link to submit final reporting: Knight Fund Post-Show Report

Knight Fund Guidelines

Who is eligible?

  • Minnesota performing artists and ensembles who book the Concert Hall for a rental engagement.
  • Priority is given to proposals from emerging and mid-range performing arts organizations / ensembles, with an emphasis on cultural and artistic diversity.
  • Applicants must be based in Minnesota to be eligible.

How do I apply?

  • Proposals will be accepted mid-November–February annually and may be submitted online.
  • Proposals will be reviewed by a committee of Arts Partnership staff, and awardees notified in mid-March.
  • Funds will subsidize rent and direct expenses incurred by the Ordway only and be allocated to applicants for their first booking in any one season (actual subsidy amounts are subject to funding availability). 
  • The Arts Partnership may adjust subsidy amounts based upon available resources.

  • In no case will subsidy amount exceed the total direct expenses incurred by the applicant.

  • The Arts Partnership will administer the allocation of funding and its decisions will be final.

  • Funds will be distributed as credits on engagement’s final settlement statement with the Ordway.

  • Applicants may submit 1 application per Fiscal Year only.

  • Performing artists/ensembles receiving funding will submit a report to the Arts Partnership within one month of final performance date using report template provided.

  • The Arts Partnership will survey participating performing artists/ensembles to record qualitative observations and report on possible areas for improvement in future collaborations.

  • Performing artists/ensembles receiving this subsidy must acknowledge the support of the Knight Saint Paul Cultural Opportunity Fund in collateral materials and on their website.

For Knight Fund Awardees

Acknowledging the Knight Foundation

Knight Fund subsidy awardees should acknowledge the Knight Foundation with the following language and logo recognition: This performance is made possible in part by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Knight Foundation


Download Knight Foundation logo

Post-Show Reporting

Please submit a Knight Fund post-show report to the Arts Partnership within one month of final performance date.

Frequently Asked Questions

What performance dates are available for Knight Fund recipients?

Ordway and Knight Fund recipients will work together to find dates that are mutually agreeable once the awards have been made.

How many dates will be available to me in the Concert Hall if I receive funding?

The Concert Hall is a busy space. It is unlikely that more than one (1) consecutive date will be available to rent unless the rental is occurring in July or August. Rehearsals in the space are most often restricted to same day only.

Does the Concert Hall have marley?

No, it does not.

What type of event is the Concert Hall ideally suited for?

The Concert Hall is perfectly suited to classical and popular music, family events, lectures, workshops, and recordings. It does not have fly space, marley, wing space or side lights so it is not well-suited for dance.

When will award notifications be made?

Notifications to all applicants will be sent by mid-March annually for awards to be used the following Fiscal Year.

How much supporting or backstage space does the Concert Hall have?

Use of the Concert Hall includes a Green Room (capacity of 40 – 50 people), 4-dressing rooms, and 2-changing rooms (capacity of ~15 people each) in the lower level of the facility.

How much does the typical event in the Concert Hall cost?

The typical cost to rent the Ordway Concert Hall is between $7,500-$10,000. Subsidy funds may only cover a portion of the total Venue expenses.

Will the Arts Partnership promote and market this event?

No, marketing and promotion are entirely the responsibility of the recipient.

Will the Arts Partnership help with Production planning?

Event needs should be fully formed before applying. Production management is not provided by the Arts Partnership.

Have a question that’s not answered here?

Email [email protected]

Past Knight Foundation Cultural Opportunity Fund Recipients

  • Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs
  • Cantus
  • Casa de España en Minnesota
  • ComMUSICation
  • Funny Asian Women Kollective (FAWK)
  • Gaelynn Lea
  • Giving Voice Chorus
  • Great Northern Union Chorus
  • Highland Friendship Club
  • International Friendship through the Performing Arts
  • Iny Asian Dance Theater 
  • JazzMN Orchestra
  • Kao Kalia Yang 
  • Latvian Song and Dance Festival
  • Lori Dokken
  • Lower Phalen Creek Project
  • Minnesota Boy Choir
  • Minnesota Music Coalition
  • Northern Voice Festival
  • One Voice Mixed Chorus
  • Oratorio Society of Minnesota
  • Pan Asian Arts Alliance
  • Saint Paul Ballet
  • Saint Paul Conservatory of Music
  • Source Song Festival 
  • TaikoArts Midwest
  • The Lied Society
  • The Rose Ensemble
  • Third Place Gallery
  • Twin Cities Iranian Culture Collective
  • VocalEssence
  • Wat Promwachirayan (Wat Thai of MN)
  • WE WIN Institute, Inc
  • YouthPrise