Shine Music Festival concertgoer sending love to the band onstage (photo by Nikolai Puc’ Photography via Shine Music Festival)
In August, the Shine Music Festival—billed as a “booty shaking, progress making, radically accessible music event”—brought hundreds of concertgoers of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to Levitt Pavilion Denver’s expansive lawn to experience the healing power of music. Today we’re taking a closer look at this historic daylong celebration three years in the making and exploring some of the ways permanent Levitt venues across the country are working to improve the live music experience for people of all abilities.
A ‘radically-accessible’ music festival
Little did six-year-old Lacie and guitar-playing street performer Cliff Woodage know that their spontaneous jam session on the streets of Grimsby, England, would one day inspire a day of music, community and access across the Atlantic Ocean. When Shine Music Founder and ‘Inclusion Architect’ Shawn Satterfield stumbled across a 2018 YouTube video of Lacie, who is blind and autistic, hearing Woodage’s music on the street, Satterfield was struck by the young girl’s elated smile. “I know that smile” said Satterfield, “that’s the feeling I get when I’m at live music.” Time and again Satterfield had experienced live music’s ability to bring people together and create a palpable joy amongst artists and concertgoers alike. Reflecting on the barriers that often prevent people living with disabilities from experiencing that collective joy, Evergreen, Colo.-based Satterfield set to work bringing the Shine Music Festival to life—where people of all abilities could feel the shared joy of free, live music. Continue reading →
(Top left) Musical group Suenatron at Levitt Pavilion Arlington (Top right) The ¡Sabor! Latin Festival at Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks (Bottom) Sadie Marquardt with Empress Dance at the Taste of the Middle East Festival in Levitt Pavilion Denver
This past summer, Levitt venues across the country were a platform for cross-cultural celebrations and understanding, bringing different pockets of their communities together through cultural festivals and concerts. From Los Angeles to Bethlehem, Pa., Denver to Arlington, Texas, read how permanent Levitt venues created space to honor the diverse music and traditions of Latin, Middle Eastern, Tejano and Indigenous Mayan cultures.
A concert at Levitt Pavilion Dayton in Dave Hall Plaza
Happy Park and Recreation Month!
This July organizations across the country are celebrating Park and Recreation Month by using the hashtag #OurParkAndRecStory and sharing how green spaces have made their communities stronger, more vibrant and more resilient.
At the Levitt Foundation, ensuring access to green space is an essential part of our mission to foster equitable, thriving and sustainable communities. Through partnerships with nonprofits across the country, we support the activation of underused parks, vacant downtown lots, former brownfields and more to create green spaces where people of all ages and backgrounds can come together to enjoy both the beauty of nature and the power of free, live music through Levitt concerts.
This summer and fall, Levitt lawns across the country are once again filling with the sounds of free, live music. After a devastating pandemic year that forced us to be apart, Levitt venues and AMP grantees weren’t sure what to expect while planning their concert series, however record-breaking audiences have proven that people are ready to come back together and build community through the power of music. “People are just excited to be back,” said Lisa Wagner, executive director of Levitt Pavilion Dayton. “Greeting one another. Hugging each other. Picking up where they left off in many ways. There has been a real healing experience of what we missed in 2020.”
Healing is exactly what so many of us are needing following the past year. During that challenging time, the Levitt network pivoted to create virtual programming, mobile concerts, pop-up shows and more. These efforts not only helped people feel a sense of connection during a time of great uncertainty and isolation, but also gave artists an opportunity to share their music and brighten otherwise dark and challenging days.
Now that in-person Levitt concerts have returned, read on to learn more about the 2021 Levitt season and how you can experience some of these amazing free concerts, either in-person or virtually. Continue reading →
Using Levitt Pavilion Denver as a case study, a new white paper examines the role of community identity, collective memory, shifting perceptions and equitable belonging over time
What is, and what should be, the role of the arts in communities undergoing change?
A new white paper, Listening to the Music of Community Change: Findings froma Pre/Post Research Study at Levitt Pavilion Denver, examines to what degree the development of a new cultural asset like an outdoor music venue plays a role in perceptions of a neighborhood and park over time, using Levitt Pavilion Denver as a case study. The study’s release follows a pandemic-fueled wave of interest in public spaces and offers timely insights for civic leaders, practitioners and funders seeking to build more equitable and thriving public spaces.
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.
Today, we’re kicking off our 2019 Spotlight Series that will highlight the incredible talent gracing Levitt stages across the country. First up? Blues rock outfit Dragondeer, which is bringing their raw vocals, rambling harmonica solos and deep grooves to Ruby Hill Park, where they’ll kick off Levitt Pavilion Denver’s 2019 season! Levitt Denver concertgoers are in for a dynamite show that will have everyone swaying their hips and enjoying the nostalgia that comes along with warm summer nights. Continue reading →
Tonight, genre-busting troubadours Making Movies bring their eclectic fusion of rock, cumbia, and spoken word to Levitt AMP Trenton. Known for their contagious Afro-Latin rhythms, socially-conscious messages, and heartfelt performances, Levitt AMP Trenton concertgoers are in for a fantastic show tonight. The members of Making Movies are no strangers to Levitt. Tonight’s show will mark the band’s fifth appearance on a Levitt stage—with past performances in Sheboygan, Wis. (2018), Santa Fe, N.M. (2018), Denver (2017) and Memphis (2017). Continue reading →
Guatemala-born indie songstress Gaby Moreno will be bringing her warm, award-winning “Spanglish” vocals and guitar licks to Levitt Pavilion Denver this Thursday night. Her fusion of jazz, pop, R&B, Latin folk (and a whole lot of heart!) has delighted audiences across the globe, including those who attended her 2011 Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles performance. Her work has earned the respect of her peers, as well as a range of accolades—including a Latin GRAMMY Award, Emmy Award nomination and GRAMMY Award nomination.
Happy #GivingTuesday! We’ve feasted, we’ve shopped, and now…we give!
From organizations that protect our environment and those that fight hunger to organizations that give scholarships and those that provide accessible arts programming (like free Levitt concerts!), there are countless reasons to be thankful for our nation’s extensive network of nonprofits that do incredible work. Continue reading →