Knight Foundation Awards COVID-19 Response Grants to 15 Local Nonprofits

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Knight Foundation Awards COVID-19 Response Grants to 15 Local Nonprofits

$270,000 awarded in grants preserve the arts community in Columbia

Columbia, S.C. -The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, a longtime philanthropic partner to the Columbia community, has awarded $270,000 in grants to 15 local nonprofit art organizations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Knight Foundation is committed to ensuring Columbia has a vibrant, equitable and inclusive public life and riverfront.

“The Knight Foundation is pleased to offer much-needed assistance to the art organizations of Columbia. They have been and will continue to be such an important part of the livability and vibrancy of the City,” says Lilly Weinberg, Knight Foundation Director of Community and National Initiatives. “Artists provide necessary connections among people and places, and it is vital that they be able to continue their work engaging the community through shared cultural expression.”

The selected nonprofits, all located in Richland County, are:

  • Auntie Karen Foundation
  • Columbia Baroque Soloists
  • Columbia Children’s Theatre
  • Columbia Choral Society
  • Columbia Marionette Theatre
  • Girls Rock Columbia
  • One Columbia
  • Palmetto Mastersingers
  • Palmetto Opera
  • Sandlapper Singers
  • SC Appleseed Justice
  • Tapps Arts Center
  • Trustus Theatre
  • Workshop Theatre
  • 701 Center for Contemporary Arts

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 fund was 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 on 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 and year-round giving platform, On the Table, Connected Communities grants, the One SC Fund, annual scholarships and more. For more information about the Foundation, visit or call 803-254-5601.

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