Do you own a smart phone? Do you know how to text? Would you like to help generate $20,000 for an important local arts organization? If the answer to these all questions is ‘Yes,’ then text VOTE4 to 22333 to support the Key West Art and Historical Society’s.

Cell phone users can help bolster the region’s arts and history for the sake of the children of Key West — by submitting a single text.

Key West Art and Historical Society, one of Florida’s oldest nonprofits, is one of six South Florida organizations competing for a prestigious $20,000 Knight Arts Challenge People’s Choice Award. They are the sole nominee based in the Florida Keys.

If awarded, the Art and Historical Society’s specific intention for grant monies is to fund an education outreach initiative that will bring the rich arts and history of the Lower Keys into classrooms. The goal is to help empower children to take ownership of the part of South Florida that they call home and to inspire the next generation of Hemingway’s, Mario Sanchez’s or Suzie dePoo’s.

“The idea is to take the art and history of the region into the schools, so the children understand the unique history of where they live and it empowers them to take ownership of where they live,” says Michael Gieda, executive director of Key West Art and Historical Society.

To win, The Society must bring in the highest number of votes — with votes submitted by text message. Key West Art and Historical Society’s individual code is VOTE4 to 22333.

The Knight Arts Challenge People’s Choice Award, presented in partnership with the Miami New Times, invests in artistic excellence by funding arts projects that engage Knight resident communities in collective cultural experiences.

Each People’s Choice Award nominee began as one of 75 finalists in the 2014 Knight Arts Challenge, a competition that rewards the best and most innovative ideas for the arts.

“Some of South Florida’s most exciting art is happening at the grassroots level, with small and emerging groups like those nominated for the Knight Arts Challenge People’s Choice Award,” said Dennis Scholl, vice president of arts for Knight Foundation, which, through its Challenge, funds projects that bring South Florida together through the arts.

“We see the award as a fantastic way for South Floridians to become more acquainted with the cultural assets we have in our own backyards.”

The Key West Art and Historical Society is asking the community to take a minute to text VOTE4 to 22333 and help promote and preserve our rich arts, historical and cultural heritage. Voting remain open through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 17 and winners will be announced on Dec. 2.

Locals still have a little over two weeks to positively impact the future of the current generation of Key West children.

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