Category Archives: Holidays

Commemorating Juneteenth through music, storytelling, and education

Top left: Ranky Tanky, bottom left: Charlton Singleton, bottom right: Soul Rebels

Top left: Ranky Tanky, bottom left: Charlton Singleton, bottom right: Soul Rebels

On June 19, 1865, Black Americans living in Galveston, Texas rejoiced when they learned that the Civil War had ended and slavery had been abolished throughout the United States, over two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. At first called “Jubilee Day,” the day didn’t become known as Juneteenth until nearly a century later after gaining momentum during the Civil Rights Movement. Juneteenth serves as the oldest and most important Black holiday in American history and has since gained considerable recognition beyond the Black community. It is a day to celebrate Black freedom, the continual efforts towards racial justice, and the integral part that Black people had and continue to have in our country. Particularly during the past year, as the death of George Floyd reinvigorated the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality and racism, Juneteenth and the people it represents have taken on greater urgency and more widespread significance.

This week, as a part of the 2021 Juneteenth celebrations happening across the country, we’re proud to share that both permanent Levitt venues in Bethlehem, Dayton, Denver, Los Angeles, Memphis, and Sioux Falls, and Levitt AMP concert sites in Springfield, Ill., and Fort Smith, Ark., are partnering with local organizations and businesses to host concerts and festivals filled with live performances featuring Black artists, including Tank and the Bangas, Ranky Tanky and Henry & The Reggae Rockers among many others, as well as educational activities and historical discussions about Juneteenth. Read below for details on these can’t-miss events celebrating the significance of this day. Additionally, as Juneteenth falls in the same month that celebrates Pride and Black music, we’re excited to see that a number of Levitt venues are embracing intersectional themes and activities to illustrate how music is a unifying force, a way for diverse identities and communities to relate to one another.

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As the global pandemic continues to impact the way we work, play, travel and gather, many of us are having to rethink our holiday plans this season. Fortunately, if you’re looking for some safe and festive family-friendly activities to spark your holiday spirit, we’ve got you covered! Here’s a list of free activities packed with holiday fun and creativity for you to enjoy with family and friends:

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Today marks the start of Memorial Day weekend, a time when we pay special tribute to our nation’s heroes and those who’ve lost their lives serving our country. This year, the national holiday carries added weight as we honor our nation’s frontline workers, who are risking their lives daily during the COVID-19 pandemic—which has taken nearly 100,000 American lives thus far.

While many of us are adjusting how we’ll celebrate the occasion given the ongoing public health crisis, there are still many ways you can celebrate Monday’s holiday with your friends, family and neighbors, from the comfort of your home. Continue reading

Brulé at Levitt Shell Sioux Falls

November is National Native American Heritage Month. In 1990, this national month-long observance was created to acknowledge and celebrate the rich histories, diverse cultures and noteworthy contributions of indigenous communities. By leveraging the power of community partnerships and creative placemaking—the integration of arts and culture to engage communities—permanent Levitt venues have had the privilege of collaborating with Native American artists and organizations to help bring indigenous arts and culture into the spotlight. Read on to learn about the inspiring partnerships and performers that have brought indigenous arts to three permanent Levitt venues this past summer.

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EarthDayHeaderToday is Earth Day, so we’re joining the global community in celebrating the planet we call home. And what better time of year to celebrate? With flowers blooming, hummingbirds buzzing and this season of growth in full force, we’re surrounded by reminders of our planet’s abundant gifts! In honor of today’s holiday, we’re shining the spotlight on a few of the many projects across the country that celebrate the vibrant intersection of greenspace, sustainability and art, re-energizing communities and the natural environment.

Across the U.S., barren concrete riverbeds, abandoned railroads, forgotten bridges and other forms of unused city infrastructure are being transformed into vibrant urban oases. Los Angeles, Atlanta and Washington D.C. are a few of the many cities where city officials, organizations and community members are working together to incorporate sustainability and public art into exciting greenspace revitalization projects. Continue reading

Love exploring this nation’s breathtaking natural landscapes? So do we! This weekend we’re all in luck. Tomorrow marks the start of National Park Week 2019 (April 20-28) and to celebrate, the National Park Service is graciously waiving entrance fees at all 61 national parks on Saturday, April 20.

So grab your hiking boots, water bottle and hiking buddy, and find a national park near you to enjoy during National Park Week!

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What better time to celebrate the valuable role public libraries play in communities than National Library Week (April 7-13)? These centers for community, culture and knowledge come in all shapes and sizes—from intimate local branches to monumental citywide destinations—and have the ability to enhance rural, urban and suburban areas alike. Perhaps this is why today you’ll find more public libraries than Starbucks branches in the U.S. (16,568 libraries compared to 14,718 Starbucks).

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Here at Levitt, we’re firm believers in the power of free, live music to transform communities—especially when those concerts are taking place in the great outdoors. Why? Countless studies remind us why we yearn to be outside. Time in nature allows us to press a ‘reset’ button, triggering a wide array of health benefits from lowering cortisol levels (stress), to alleviating pain, to improving our mental health. Which is why today, in honor of Black History Month, we’re honoring the contributions of three of the many pioneering African American conservationists who’ve made a profound impact on our country’s natural environments. Each has dedicated their time and unique talents to protecting green spaces and ensuring that people of all backgrounds can enjoy nature experiences for years to come. Continue reading