Category Archives: Beyond Levitt

Poetic musicians

Pictured above (left to right): Maya Angelou, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Alicia Keys and Jimmy Webb.

With rhythm—and frequently, rhyme—at the core of both poetry and music, it comes as no surprise that the worlds of these two prominent forms of self-expression have frequently overlapped.

In honor of National Poetry Month, today we’re celebrating five of the many talented artists who’ve been honored for their achievements in both fields! Continue reading

  • Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, Lancaster, Calif. Photo: rickz on Flickr
As our days are gradually filling up with more sunshine, people are spending time outside to enjoy beautiful greenery after the cold season. Some cities are seeing more visitors come through as blooming wildflowers turn their local areas into flower tourism destinations.

Similar to “leaf peeping,” or traveling to view colorful fall foliage, flower tourism attracts people to flower festivals and parks made vibrant during the springtime. Plus, many of these attractions are free and open to the public—even more incentive to enjoy the great outdoors. Check out some places transformed by spring showers and warm weather in our slideshow above. Hopefully you feel inspired to enjoy the natural beauty of the outdoors and visit a park near you!

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With the onset of spring on the horizon, fresh starts and new beginnings are on the mind. Today we’re turning our attention to abandoned railroad tracks around the globe that have been given new life as the cornerstones of urban parks.

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Pictured above (from left to right, top to bottom): Walter “Junie” Morrison, Clyde Stubblefield, Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thorton, Rufus “Tee-Tot” Payne’s memorial plaque and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

This past week we’ve lost two musical greats, each of whom left a lasting impact on music history, despite the fact that they spent much of their careers outside of the spotlight—Walter “Junie” Morrison (songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist, one-man studio band and funk master) and Clyde Stubblefield (James Brown’s ‘Funky Drummer’).

In honor of African American History month, today we’re celebrating the contributions of these musical masters, as well as a few of the many unsung African American talents who’ve helped pave the way for musicians of all backgrounds, changing the landscape of American music in the process. Continue reading


Here at Levitt, we’re reminded year after year that free, high-quality arts programming gives communities so much more than free entertainment. It empowers people of all backgrounds to come together and strengthen the social and economic fabric of their communities.

The collaborative work of creative placemaking pioneers—like the visionary folks at the National Endowment for the Arts—show us all just how catalytic a role the arts can play in strengthening communities. Continue reading

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Fresh from the excitement of this month’s Golden Globes ceremony, film critics and movie lovers watched the 89th Academy Award nominations announcement this morning with plenty of predictions. As some had anticipated, musical frontrunner La La Land made Oscar history with its record 14 nominations—tied with Titanic (1995) and All About Eve (1950).

Today we had our eyes (and ears) peeled to the Oscars’ musical categories, Best Original Song and Best Original Score. Listen to this year’s nominees below! Continue reading


Among the predictions for the 2017 Coachella festival lineup were a variety of well-known artists from popular music genres, from R&B royalty (Beyoncé) to rock innovators (Radiohead). Like every year, the lineup reveal was not without some surprises. Perhaps most unexpected was the addition of Hans Zimmer, the German-born composer who has scored over 150 movies since the 1980s. And yet a closer look at Zimmer’s career reveals how his ability to push musical boundaries makes him a fantastic choice for one of the most popular music festivals in the world. Continue reading

This past Sunday, Damien Chazelle’s film La La Land broke records at the 74th Golden Globe awards, taking home every award for which it was nominated—seven in total. While watching a love story between a struggling jazz purist (Ryan Gosling) and an aspiring actress (Emma Stone) unfold, the film’s viewers enjoy a playful explosion of color, iconic Los Angeles landmarks and some fabulous music composed by Justin Hurwitz (with lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul). Hurwitz’s whimsical work earned Golden Globe Awards for both “Best Original Score” and “Best Original Song.” Continue reading

  • Quebec Winter Carnival in Quebec, Canada. Photo: Jamie McCaffrey

Many people think of winter as a time to bundle up in front of the fireplace, pop in a favorite holiday record and sip a cup of hot chocolate indoors. Public squares and streets all over the world, however, are bringing people out of their homes—even in freezing temperatures—through creative placemaking. Whether it’s by hosting an ice-skating rink, setting up an annual holiday market, or illuminating buildings with festive light displays, placemaking during the cold season draws residents and visitors alike outside to enjoy the winter ambience. That’s why, even in cities known for their snowy seasons and frigid air, you’ll find public outdoor spaces alive with activity.

Check out these real-life winter wonderlands in the slideshow above, and tell us about your favorite outdoor public spaces to visit during the winter!

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This year has been the most impactful yet for the national Levitt network, with over half a million people in 22 towns and cities experiencing the joy of community and free, live music at Levitt venues and concert sites across America! Behind each Levitt show is the belief that free, live music has the power to bring people from all walks of life together. The Levitt Foundation team member picks for their favorite songs of 2016 exemplify the tremendous amount of great music from a diverse array of emerging and established artists that came out this year. Take a listen! 

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