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2017 Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards is Looking to Donate to Your City

Bring free outdoor concerts to your small to mid-sized town or city! Applications are now open to win a $25K matching grant through the Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards. (PRNewsFoto/Mortimer&Mimi Levitt Foundation)
Bring free outdoor concerts to your small to mid-sized town or city! Applications are now open to win a $25K matching grant through the Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards. 
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 , 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.