By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Knight Arts Foundation has picked 55 projects as finalists for its Challenge Philadelphia grants. The winners will share some $3-million in funding.

Imagine a Philadelphia were Latin jazz concerts pop up in unexpected places on a portable stage, where restaurants and storefronts serve as art exhibit space, where artists create on floating workstations in the Schuylkill.

Those are a few of the ideas being considered for funding this year, the second of a three-year effort to make art more accessible.

Donna Frisby-Greenwood, Philadelphia program director, says they received ideas from all over. “We have lots of great ideas from small organizations, art collectives and individual artists,” plus quasi-governmental groups. The Center City District wants help putting a sculpture on the redone Dilworth Plaza and the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation wants to put on an international music and dance festival.

“Right now they’re all shoes, because they all made it to this phase so they all have an equal opportunity to become Knight Arts Challenge winners.”

Last year, 36 of the finalists were ultimately chosen. They include the outdoor simulcast of the Philadelphia Opera Company’s Carmen and free weekly concerts at the African American History Museum.

Frisby-Greenwood says the finalists will submit a full proposal outlining their ideas and the winners will be announced in April.

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