Yesterday, Levitt Pavilions and the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation awarded $250,000 in matching funds to 10 nonprofits serving small to mid-sized cities across America to produce free outdoor concerts as part of the first-ever Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards. In an effort to inspire and engage communities across the country around the power of creative placemaking, Levitt opened the selection process to the public to choose the Top 20 Finalists.

In July, Levitt Pavilions—the national nonprofit behind the largest free concert series in America—invited nonprofits, and municipalities partnering with a nonprofit, to submit project proposals that would reflect the three goals of the Levitt AMP awards: Amplify community pride and the city’s unique character; enrich lives through the power of free, live Music; and illustrate the importance of vibrant public Places.

The public voted on the proposals over a four-week period in November, selecting their favorite projects online at http://amp.levittpavilions.org.

“We are thrilled to announce the Levitt AMP Grant Awards winners,” says Sharon Yazowski, Executive Director of Levitt Pavilions. “Each made a compelling case for how the Levitt AMP Music Series will activate a public space and strengthen the social and economic fibers of their communities. We’re incredibly excited to partner with each of the 10 winners and ensure their Levitt AMP Music Series is a success.”

The 10 winners hail from historic small towns like Cleveland, MS; Middlesboro, KY; Sheboygan, WI; and Denison, TX; to mid-sized cities spanning the country in Anchorage, AK; Trenton, NJ; Bellingham, WA; Charlottesville, VA; Lafayette, LA; and Frederick, MD. Each winner will present 10 free concerts featuring a diverse lineup of high caliber entertainment in 2015 as part of the Levitt AMP Music Series, for a total of 100 Levitt AMP concerts.

Below is the full list of Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards winners (in alphabetical order):
Anchorage, AK
ADP (Anchorage Downtown Partnership) Community Services will present the Levitt AMP [Anchorage] Music Series to infuse energy into Town Square Park, bringing momentum to the city’s revitalization efforts and enriching residents’ lives.

Bellingham, WA
The Downtown Bellingham Partnership will present the Levitt AMP [Bellingham] Music Series in two locations—at the underused Maritime Heritage Park and on Bay Street, expanding upon their efforts to use the arts to revitalize and improve their downtown.

Charlottesville, VA
WTJU radio station will enliven IX Art Park, the recently launched public art park in the heart of Charlottesville’s Strategic Investment District near UVA, bringing together the city’s diverse populations and enriching community life through the Levitt AMP [Charlottesville] Music Series.

Cleveland, MS
Delta State University Foundation will present the Levitt AMP [Cleveland] Music Series to invigorate the underutilized Green Space on the Crosstie Walking Trail at College Street, honoring the Delta’s rich musical legacy in conjunction with the historic launch of the GRAMMY Museum Mississippi.

Denison, TX
Denison Main Street Inc. will strengthen its city’s social and economic vitality by expanding the much loved Music on Main concert series in Heritage Park, a centrally located series that celebrates inclusivity, engagement and accessibility through music, to become the Levitt AMP [Denison] Music Series.

Frederick, MD
The Downtown Frederick Partnership will present the Levitt AMP [Frederick] Music Series to activate the underused Carroll Creek Park Amphitheater and celebrate local culture, providing residents with a place to gather and enjoy a diverse mix of talented emerging artists.

Lafayette, LA
The Lafayette Public Trust Financing Authority will bring new life to The Park at the Horse Farm with the Levitt AMP [Lafayette] Music Series, reinvigorating this beloved undeveloped piece of Cajun Country recently saved from commercial development by a community-wide effort.

Middlesboro, KY
Discover Downtown Middlesboro will transform a centrally located vacant gravel lot on Cumberland Avenue into a gathering space, using the Levitt AMP [Middlesboro] Music Series to bring residents together and augment the city’s community-driven revitalization of downtown.

Sheboygan, WI
The John Michael Kohler Arts Center will bring life to a new public space on the site of a former Boston Store, using the Levitt AMP [Sheboygan] Music Series to bring diverse audiences together and create a vibrant, public space in the city’s downtown core in need of rejuvenation.

Trenton, NJ
Trenton Downtown Association will use the power of the Levitt AMP [Trenton] Music Series to enliven the unused and historic Capitol Green public space, igniting community pride in the State’s Capital and encouraging residents to engage with the city’s rich cultural and historical offerings.

In addition to the monetary award of $25K each in matching funds to produce the 10 free concerts, Levitt AMP winners will receive the Levitt AMP [Your City] Toolkit containing valuable resources to help them successfully produce their concert series. Funding for the Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards is made possible by the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a private family foundation. Learn more: http://amp.levittpavilions.org

About Levitt Pavilions
Levitt Pavilions is a national nonprofit organization that exists to strengthen the social fabric of America. Levitt partners with cities to transform neglected public spaces into welcoming destinations where the power of free, live music brings people together and invigorates community life.

Levitt Pavilions is a national network of outdoor music venues presenting the largest free concert series in America. Levitt’s celebrated signature program of 50+ free concerts annually at each Levitt venue is tailored to large cities with metro populations of over 400,000 (due to financial sustainability and audience development considerations). Signature locations include Los Angeles and Pasadena, California; Westport, Connecticut; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Memphis, Tennessee; and Arlington, Texas—collectively serving more than half a million people annually through 300+ free, family-friendly concerts. Each Levitt venue is 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 Levitt program is growing. Developing Levitt locations across the country include Denver (opening 2016) and Houston (opening 2017), amongst other cities. Learn more at http://www.levittpavilions.org and http://www.amp.levittpavilions.org

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