Fraleigh Dance named a finalist for Knight Cities Challenge

The finalists for the Knight Cities Challenge were announced Tuesday and a State College organization has made the list.

The challenge is sponsored by the Knight Foundation, a private, independent foundation created by former newspaper publishers and brothers John and James Knight. The foundation invests nationwide in community engagement and improvement by funding journalism, the arts and innovation, but focuses on 26 communities where the Knights once published newspapers.

Now in its third year, the Cities Challenge is funded by a $15 million commitment made by the Knight Foundation in 2014. The 2017 application asked innovators: What’s your best idea to make cities more successful? The answer provided by Fraleigh Dance of State College was good enough to land it on the list of 144 finalists.

Fraleigh Dance owner Robbie Fraleigh couldn’t be reached for comment, but via the company’s Facebook page said, “Our best idea for State College is the only outdoor social dance festival in the Mid-Atlantic. Through which we’ll be launching the State College dance scene into visibility, vibrant, every-night-of-the week opportunities in the downtown area.”

“The finalists use creativity and inventiveness to tackle community challenges and realize new opportunities, proposing ideas that are unique to their city, but also hold lessons and inspiration for civic innovators across the country,” George Abbott, Knight Foundation director for community and nation initiatives, said in a statement.

Fraleigh Dance is competing for a share of $5 million awarded by the challenge to the multiple winners. The list of winners is expected to be announced in the spring.

Leon Valsechi: 814-231-4631, @leon_valsechi