Officials with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation are looking for ideas to make Aberdeen a better place to live and work. The Knight Cities Challenge invites innovators from 26 communities nationwide to apply for a share of $5 million to make their cities more successful.
Lilly Weinberg is the Program Director for Community Foundations at the Knight Foundation. She says those with the Knight Cities Challenge are looking for ways to help Aberdeen attract and keep talented people, expand economic opportunity, and spur connection and civic involvement. She says anyone can submit an idea.
“You don’t have to be a nonprofit to apply,” Weinberg says. “You can be an individual. You can be government. Often city governments are great partners because they’re looking for ideas that make their cities successful. We had a bunch of winners last year that were city governments. The university can apply.”
The application asks three questions to be answered in 100 words or less. Weinberg says they’re looking for new and innovative ideas.
“So if it’s an idea that’s already being done, or if it’s something that’s already been proven, that’s probably not going to get chosen,” Weinberg says. “We’re kind of looking for a twist.”
Weinberg says Aberdeen is smaller than other towns in the challenge. But she says that’s an asset, not a disadvantage.
“I think that Aberdeen is an amazing community where they can think more about what are the ideas that are relevant for rural communities,” Weinberg says. “What are the ideas that make cities successful in rural areas? And I think that’s something that’s unique, that Aberdeen provides.”
Aberdeen didn’t receive any funding from last year’s challenge, but Weinberg says applicants can re-submit their ideas.
Applications are due October 27th. Click here for more information.