LOS ANGELES, July 19, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Calling all small to mid-sized towns and cities across America: show us how you'll transform an underused public space through the power of free, live music!
The Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards is an exciting matching grant opportunity, created by the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a pioneer in the creative placemaking movement. Up to 15 nonprofits serving small to mid-sized towns and cities will receive $25K each in matching funds to produce their own Levitt AMP [Your City] Music Series—an outdoor, free concert series featuring a diverse lineup of high caliber entertainment. And just like in previous years, the public will decide the Top 25 finalists through an online voting process taking place this November. So get ready to rally your family, friends, colleagues and neighbors to vote and bring free, live music to your community!
"We're thrilled to once again bring the joy of Levitt to more towns and cities across America," says Sharon Yazowski, executive director of the Levitt Foundation. "Levitt concerts create a shared sense of community and connectedness that is incredibly important in today's world. We've seen how past Levitt AMP winners are making a meaningful impact across America, bringing people together of all ages and backgrounds and reinvigorating underused public spaces."
The Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards, now in its third year, is an annual creative placemaking grants competition to activate dormant public spaces through free concerts. The acronym "AMP" speaks to the goals of the program:
- Amplify community pride and the city's unique character
- Enrich lives through the power of free, live Music
- Illustrate the importance of vibrant public Places
While Levitt's celebrated program of permanent outdoor music venues, each presenting 50+ free concerts annually, is tailored to large metro areas with populations of over 400,000 (due to financial sustainability and audience development considerations), the Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards are specifically designed to meet the needs and capacity of small to mid-sized towns and cities, with each Levitt AMP winner presenting 10 free concerts.
This year's winners include seven returning Levitt AMP grantees from 2015*, and eight new grantees:
Asbury Park Music Foundation, Asbury Park, NJ
Brewery Arts Center, Carson City, NV
Rector & Visitors of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA*
Delta State University Foundation, Cleveland, MS*
Denison Main Street Inc., Denison, TX*
Downtown Frederick Partnership, Frederick, MD*
Arts Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
Jacksonville Main Street, Jacksonville, IL
Discover Downtown Middlesboro Inc., Middlesboro, KY*
Midvale Arts Council, Midvale, UT
City of New Albany's Tourism Department, New Albany, MS
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Foundation, North Adams, MA
John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI*
Trenton Downtown Association, Trenton, NJ*
Cornell's R2G Utica Urban Studio, Utica, NY
Past winners are eligible to reapply for a 2017 Levitt AMP grant.
Since these are matching grants, each applicant must secure a dollar for dollar match of $25K from other sources such as foundations, businesses, municipalities, individual donors, etc. Up to half of the matching requirement may be in-kind, such as donated sound equipment or contributed marketing. Yazowski says the matching grant requirement reflects the Foundation's overall commitment that Levitt projects be "community-driven with local support."
In addition to the monetary award, Levitt AMP grant recipients will receive the Levitt AMP Toolkit containing valuable resources to help them effectively produce their concert series.
The most competitive submissions will depend upon a variety of factors, including:
- The characteristics of the public space where the free concert series is to be presented—preference will be given to spaces that are easily accessible to a range of socioeconomic groups.
- A programming philosophy that is inclusive, family-friendly and represents a wide range of music genres.
- A proven track record presenting professional quality concerts or community events, or partnering with an individual or organization that has done so.
Online applications are due October 10. Learn more and view the 2016 Levitt AMP Music Series, currently underway: levittamp.org.
Online public voting will determine the Top 25 finalists in November. The Levitt Foundation will then review the Top 25 applications in December and the 2017 Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards winners will be announced January 5, 2017.
About the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation
The Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation is a private foundation that exists to strengthen the social fabric of America. Through its support of creative placemaking, the Levitt Foundation empowers communities to transform neglected public spaces into welcoming destinations where the power of free, live music brings people together and invigorates community life.
The Foundation's primary funding areas include permanent Levitt venues and the Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards, an annual grants competition. During the past decade, the Foundation has awarded more than $18 million in grants to support access to free, high caliber live music experiences while bringing new life to underused public spaces.
The Levitt network of permanent outdoor music venues and AMP concert sites collectively serves more than half a million people annually through 400+ free, family-friendly concerts in 22 towns and cities. As an example of the high caliber talent presented across the Levitt network, the 2016 GRAMMY nominees included 21 artists who have performed on Levitt stages in recent years.
Permanent Levitt venues are located in cities as diverse as Los Angeles and Pasadena, Calif.; Westport, Conn.; Bethlehem, Pa.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Arlington, Texas. Each permanent Levitt venue is programmed, managed and supported by its own 501(c)(3) Friends of Levitt nonprofit organization, presenting 50+ free concerts every year featuring acclaimed, emerging talent to seasoned, award-winning performers in all music genres. Due to accelerating interest from cities and engaged citizens, the permanent Levitt venue program is growing. Developing Levitt locations across the country include Denver (opening 2017), Houston (opening 2019), and Sioux Falls (opening 2019) amongst other cities. Learn more: http://www.levitt.org.
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SOURCE Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation