Author Archives: Nicole McGaffey

elizabeth-levitt-hirschWe’re thrilled to share that tomorrow night, a pioneering philanthropist whose vision, drive and heart strengthens communities across the nation will be awarded Liberty Hill Foundation’s 2018 Founders Award, Levitt Foundation Board President Liz Levitt Hirsch. She is an engaged changemaker in her city and country who embodies the theme of this year’s Liberty Hill gala, “Justice begins at home.”

The Liberty Hill Foundation has served as an epicenter for social justice in Los Angeles since 1976. Through innovative programming, they empower Angelenos to come together to make Los Angeles a national model for a peaceful and prosperous future. For more than 40 years, this inspiring foundation has hosted an annual gala, celebrating leaders on the frontlines of change. This year, Liz will be among the event’s two honorees. She’ll be honored alongside the iconic civil rights leader Congressman John Lewis, who’ll be receiving the Upton Sinclair Award for his lifelong commitment to advancing civil rights for all Americans. Continue reading

  • (Individuals listed from left to right in each photo)
    Barry Lichterman, Levitt Memphis Board Member & President Emeritus; Patti Diou, Levitt Arlington Executive Director

Today on our blog we’re looking back at one of our most festive 2018 gatherings to date, this year’s Levitt Celebration Dinner! Last month, Friends of Levitt leadership, staff and board members from Levitt cities came together in Los Angeles to celebrate the national Levitt network’s impact in communities. The energy in the room was palpable, as dedicated Levitt representatives from across the country exchanged ideas and shared their Levitt experiences with one another. Enjoy the slideshow!

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us! Get into the spirit for tomorrow’s holiday with The Kildares‘ festive curtain call performance at Levitt Pavilion Arlington in 2016. Enjoy The Kildares doing what they do best—seamlessly fusing cutting-edge rock and traditional Celtic music to create a lively, eclectic sound that’s uniquely their own. These innovative Celtic rockers are no strangers to Levitt stages, with one performance at Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks and EIGHT performances at Levitt Pavilion Arlington under their belts. In the mood for more celebratory music? You’re in luck. Check out our St. Patty’s day playlist, featuring a wide range of artists who’ve graced Levitt stages across the country!


Today’s Faces of Levitt video features Arlington, TX, resident and former WFAA news reporter, Jim Douglas. As a member of Levitt Pavilion Arlington’s Advisory Board, Douglas contributes his time and talents to a nonprofit he describes as “one of the best things that has ever happened to [his] city.” Check out his video to discover why he feels free, live music at Levitt Pavilion Arlington makes you “feel like you’re living in the America that we want to live in.”

Header-black_pantherOnly a week after its release, Marvel’s blockbuster hit Black Panther has already broken several box office records and is on track to continue doing so. In addition to introducing audiences to another Marvel superhero, the film honors the vibrancy of black culture in the people, places and music thoughtfully brought to life onscreen—which brings us to today’s post! As Black Panther invites its viewers into the fictional Afro-futuristic utopia of Wakanda (and briefly back to 1990s Oakland, Calif.), its visceral soundtrack leads the way. Today we’re bringing you 10 fun facts about the musicians, instruments and compositions that help set the stage for Black Panther. Continue reading

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“Everybody has the Blues. Everybody longs for meaning. Everybody needs to love and be loved. Everybody needs to clap hands and be happy. Everybody longs for faith. In music, especially this broad category called Jazz, there is a stepping stone towards all of these. This is triumphant music.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Opening Address to the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival

Last month we celebrated the legacy of Civil Rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a courageous African American visionary who challenged our nation to allow all citizens, regardless of skin color, to have the opportunity to reach their potential—as promised in the U.S. Constitution. He is one of the many African Americans who persisted in spite of tremendous adversity to help secure the civil liberties we enjoy today. His story is one of many. African Americans have made important contributions to all areas of American life. And this month, Black History Month, is an annual celebration of those contributions. As a funder of projects that build and strengthen communities through music, today we’re turning the spotlight on three African American jazz musicians who’ve used their talents to do just that. Continue reading

  • 1920 | Antwerp, Belgium – First Olympic flag, athlete’s oath and peace dove release

If you didn’t get up in the wee hours of the night to watch the opening ceremony of the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, you’ll have the chance to join in on the ancient tradition this evening! Ceremonies have been an integral part of the Olympics since the earliest games in ancient Greece, when the start and finish of each game were marked by a celebratory feast, song and poetry. While rooted in the tradition of those first Greek games, modern Olympics feature elaborate opening, closing and medal ceremonies—with opening ceremonies showcasing the host country’s culture, history and importance to the global community. Today, we’re exploring how Olympic ceremonies have evolved since the first modern Olympic Games in Athens were held in 1896 and highlighting some of the historic ceremonies that laid the groundwork for the global spectacles we enjoy today. Continue reading

Header_1_grammyThis past Sunday, nearly 20 million viewers tuned in to watch the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards live broadcast. Music giants across the industry flocked to Madison Square Garden in New York to honor their peers. This year, 15 GRAMMY nominations went to artists who had performed on Levitt stages and we were thrilled to see that two of those artists went on to take home those prestigious gilded gramophones!

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  • Levitt AMP Berea audience members rejoice under rainbow-filled skies.

As January comes to a close and we march toward the 2018 Levitt concert season, we’re looking back at the incredible 2017 season.

Last year, 450+ Levitt concerts took place in 22 towns and cities—bringing the power of free, live music to communities coast-to-coast. The joy we saw in the photos that poured in was too contagious not to share with you all!

So, if you’re looking for a quick mid-week pick-me-up, you’re in luck! Relive the joy of the 2017 Levitt concert season by checking out the brief slideshow we’ve put together!

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addressing the crowd at the 1963 March on Washington.

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day—a nationwide day of service celebrating a visionary who challenged the nation to recognize the inherent potential in each American citizen. As the most visible spokesperson and leader of the civil rights movement, Dr. King inspired millions of people to value every individual and recognize that our country would be stronger when everyone was given equal opportunity to maximize their potential.

Often times when we think of Dr. King, four words come to mind: “I have a dream…”
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