things to do banner_no-text
Even in times of looming uncertainty, music has the power to relieve stress, improve our cognition and help us feel happy. It’s easy to take these benefits for granted, but now more than ever, it’s vital to recognize the people who make it possible: musicians.

Across the country, concerts, tours, and festivals have been postponed or cancelled, leaving many musicians facing a devastating financial reality. On average, live events account for about 70% of an artist’s income — up from about a third in the 1990s — making the current situation especially dire. Just as communities come together to enjoy music, we can also come together to support artists and show how much we value their music. Here are some things you can do right now to help.

Continue reading

Last updated May 4, 2020

As we navigate this unprecedented time, people are turning to the arts for comfort, healing and ways to connect. Across the globe, artists and arts organizations are responding to the COVID-19 outbreak with innovation and creativity—providing ways for us to continue celebrating our shared humanity, even when we’re physically separated from one another. In the coming weeks, we’ll be shining the spotlight on the creative sector’s response to this crisis—and how it’s helping to make this uncertain time more manageable for us all. Today, we’re highlighting a sampling of arts organizations bringing you, your friends, family and neighbors a dose of culture to enjoy from the comfort of your home. Continue reading

We at the Levitt Foundation hope this finds you safe and well. Our top priority is ensuring the health and well-being of the entire Levitt community, including Levitt Foundation staff (who are working from home – hello videochat!), our Friends of Levitt partners, Levitt AMP grantees, and the hundreds of thousands of friends, families, neighbors, artists, volunteers, community partners, vendors, sponsors and supporters who bring the Levitt program to life every year.

People are at the heart of Levitt’s mission: bringing people together through the power of free, live music. At a time when we’d normally be marking our calendars for upcoming Levitt concerts and readying our picnic baskets and lawn chairs, instead we’re practicing social distancing and avoiding community gathering spaces. While the coming weeks and months remain uncertain, the Levitt network remains strong and looks towards a future of continued community through music.

The Levitt Foundation has confirmed our commitment to Friends of Levitt nonprofit partners and Levitt AMP grantees, pledging our support regardless of how, or whether, their 2020 Levitt concert series takes place. In the event of any cancellations, the Levitt Foundation will support each of our Levitt venue partners and Levitt AMP grantees in their community-building efforts during this challenging time. For the most up-to-date information regarding the status of the Levitt concert series in your community, please visit the website and social media of your community’s Levitt venue or Levitt AMP concert series.

While we all love spending our summer evenings enjoying free music under the stars, the decision regarding each local concert series may be out of the Levitt venue’s and concert site’s control—should local, state or the federal government mandate the prohibition of public gatherings continue throughout the upcoming months. Following guidance from their local public health authority, Levitt venues and concert sites may need to cancel one or several Levitt concerts. If a Levitt concert, series of concerts, or the entire series is cancelled in your community, your Levitt venue or local Levitt AMP nonprofit will make the announcement.

As so many can attest, the COVID-19 pandemic is stressful for arts & culture organizations, with many facing uncertain futures in the wake of closures and event cancellations. For Levitt venues and Levitt AMP concert sites, their concert series involves months of planning, and concert cancellations and postponements hurt each nonprofit organization financially. Given these unprecedented times, we hope local funders, sponsors and individuals will continue to rally behind their community’s Friends of Levitt and Levitt AMP nonprofits and show their support for these organizations who work tirelessly year-round to create joyful, welcoming and high-quality arts experiences for everyone.

We look forward to the time when we can once again gather as communities, especially on Levitt lawns, to celebrate the power of free, live music—building community through music.

graphic4Sunday is International Women’s Day, a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political accomplishments of women. On this day—and all throughout Women’s History Month (happening now!)—we celebrate the achievements of women around the globe and spread awareness of gender bias and inequality. In this vein, today we’re shining the spotlight on a few fearless females who have used their musical gifts to break barriers and help forge a more just and equitable world. Continue reading

  • Grantees and Levitt Foundation staff pose for a group photo under the sun.

Last week, nonprofit leaders and arts advocates from 20 communities across the country joined us in Los Angeles for the 2020 Levitt AMP convening. A spirit of togetherness and collaboration permeated the event as this year’s cohort of Levitt AMP grantees explored the vision and values driving the Levitt AMP program through two days of conversations, presentations and interactive activities. Highlights included a powerful workshop on diversity, equity and inclusion led by an expert in the field; a brainstorming session on ways to make the concert series more eco-friendly; multiple panels where grantees shared their ideas and experiences; and a collective songwriting workshop led by GRAMMY-winning musician and activist Quetzal Flores that had everyone in the room unleashing their creativity (and singing voices!). Another impactful season of Levitt AMP concerts will be here soon, and we can’t wait to see how this incredible group of grantees will strengthen the social fabric of their communities through Levitt AMP in 2020!

replacement grammy blog header

“Music’s Biggest Night” unfolded this past Sunday even as a cloud of controversy and grief hung over the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles. Performances by artists of all stripes abounded, and by the end of the night, 18-year old pop star Billie Eilish had swept all four of the top-billed categories. Among the class of more than 80 newly minted GRAMMY winners, we’d like to extend a special congratulations to the  artists who have previously performed on a Levitt stage: Gary Clark Jr., Mariachi los Camperos, Sarah Watkins & Sarah Jarosz, Patty Griffin, PJ Morton, and Ranky Tanky!

Continue reading

MLK_levitt_loves_options4
Today we celebrate the life and legacy of ‘daring dreamer’ and visionary American civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drawing inspiration from his faith and the peaceful teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and activist Bayard Rustin, Dr. King devoted his life to the fight for equality for African Americans and all victims of injustice. In his brief 39 years, the Atlanta-born Baptist minister organized countless nonviolent protests—including the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Birmingham Campaign, the Selma to Montgomery marches and the March on Washington—and founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which played a key role in the Civil Rights Movement. Named TIME’s 1963 “Man of the Year” and honored with the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. King became an icon of hope whose actions helped pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In 1963, Dr. King shared his dream of a nation where his four children would “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” His courageous life continues to inspire and empower generations to bring his ‘daring dream’ to life.

Oscar song blog header

The 2020 Oscar nominations are in, and today we’re skipping straight to the music! Since the end of the silent film era, original music has been a staple of the movie-watching experience, and this past year of cinema introduced us to some truly memorable tracks. Read on to learn about each of the contenders for Best Original Song, and pick out your favorite ahead of the big day! Stay tuned for closer looks at some of the other movie-music categories in the near future. 

Continue reading

2019 EOY staff picks blog headerA new decade is on the horizon, and before it gets here, we’re taking a moment to look back at some of our favorite songs of 2019! Music is close to all of our hearts here at Levitt, and these Staff Picks reflect the diverse array of sounds and artists that helped inspire our work this year. Read on to discover some of our team’s favorite sonic flavors, or jump straight into our Staff Picks playlist on Spotify!
  Continue reading