Dorothy Shinn

Fifty-eight finalists have been named for the first Knight Arts Challenge Akron, chosen from more than 540 submissions representing a broad range of themes and mediums.

The projects aim to provide high-quality experiences and promote awareness of the arts. The Knight Foundation said in a statement that “the ideas reflect Akron’s diversity, imaginative thinking and desire to engage new audiences in the development of the region’s cultural voice.”

A panel of local artists and arts advocates will review the proposals and announce winners in April. Here are some of the finalists; find the entire list at http://knightarts.org.

• Akron Art Museum: Art rental program, where any resident with a library card can check out works to display at home.

• Akron Street Art Project: New organization focused on public art.

• BLU Jazz+ Akron: Master class workshops for local musicians.

• Center for Applied Theatre and Active Culture/New World Performance Laboratory: Launching PLAY! the Akron International Festival of Alternative Theater.

• Developing Alternatives for Women in New Communities (DAWN): Helping Bhutanese refugees better make and market their knitted works.

• Downtown Akron Partnership: Projecting 3-D animation on downtown buildings.

• Dylan Yellowless: Girls Rock Camp for girls ages 10-16 write and perform songs.

• East Akron Neighborhood Development Corp.: Teens transform vacant lots through public art.

• GroundWorks DanceTheater: Proposes a flexible space for arts programming for individual artists and small to mid-size organizations by rehabbing a former manufacturing space in downtown.

• Highland Square Neighborhood Association: Film festival of local works the night before Porch Rokr.

• International Institute of Akron: Creating a storybook with works from the Nepalese, Burmese, Karen and Mon refugee communities.

• Kasota Artist Management: The Akron Train, turning refurbished rail cars into housing, galleries and studio spaces.

• Ma’Sue/The Oatman Players: Producing “The Black Essentials Series” of African-American theatrical works.

• Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition: Murals, lighting and sculpture for underpasses and tunnels along the Towpath Trail.

• Proyecto Raices: Creating Somos Akron, a theater piece that incorporates Hispanic music and dance performed by local children.

• Wandering Aesthetics: Providing a platform for Akron’s artists through the Breadbox, a quarterly cabaret show of local talent that will travel to different neighborhoods.

• Theron Brown: Launching a downtown jazz festival.

• University of Akron Myers School of Art: “Art Bomb Brigade,” a traveling group of artists that engages neighborhoods in painting murals.

Friday

Opening — The Akron Art Museum, 1 S. High St., opens The Island of Misfit Toys, a special exhibition that showcases artwork from local schoolchildren and professional artists. On view through Feb. 28. www.akronartmuseum.org.

Saturday

Hudson Art Hop — Holiday Art Hop from noon to 6 p.m. For a list of artists and shops, go to www.hudsonarthop.com/.

Wednesday

Opening — The Canton Museum of Art, 1001 Market Ave. N., opens Moving toward the Light: The Monumental Watercolors of Joseph Raffael. Reception will be held 6-8 p.m. Dec. 10. 330-453-7666, www.cantonart.org.

Dorothy Shinn writes about art and architecture for the Akron Beacon Journal. Send information to her at the Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309-0640 or dtgshinn@att.net.