• 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!

Grammy winners 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 four artists who have previously performed on a Levitt stage: Gary Clark Jr., Patty Griffin, PJ Morton, and Ranky Tanky!

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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.

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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. 

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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!
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$25K matching grants will bring free outdoor concerts to 20 small to mid-sized towns and cities across America

Today, the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation awarded $500,000 in matching grants to 20 nonprofits serving small to mid-sized towns and cities across America to produce free outdoor concerts as part of the sixth annual Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards. Reflecting the Levitt Foundation’s commitment to creative placemaking projects generating community support, the Levitt Foundation once again opened the Levitt AMP selection process to the public to choose the top 25 finalists. Continue reading

 
(Left to Right) Top Row: Brothers Osborne, Flor De Toloache, Gary Clark Jr., Rosanne Cash, Southern Avenue, Tank and the Bangas; Middle Row: Catherine Russell, Dick Oatts, Larkin Poe, Mariachi Divas, Yola Carter; Bottom Row: Ranky Tanky, Maren Morris, P.J. Morton, Patty Griffin, Third World, The String Theory.

(Left to Right) Top Row: Brothers Osborne, Flor De Toloache, Gary Clark Jr., Rosanne Cash, Southern Avenue, Tank and the Bangas; Middle Row: Catherine Russell, Dick Oatts, Larkin Poe, Mariachi Divas, Yola Carter; Bottom Row: Ranky Tanky, Maren Morris, P.J. Morton, Patty Griffin, Third World, The String Theory.

The 2020 GRAMMY nominations are in, and 17 artists who have performed on Levitt stages in the past are up for awards! There’s a lot to be excited about among this crop of nominees — Tank and the Bangas, who performed at Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles and Levitt AMP Chattanooga in 2017, are competing in the prestigious category of Best New Artist alongside the likes of Lizzo and Billy Eilish, and Gary Clark Jr., who performed at Levitt Shell Memphis in 2011, scored four nominations for his monolithic rock album This Land. Read on for a full list of past Levitt performers in contention for 2020 GRAMMY Awards, and catch the ceremony on January 26, 2020!

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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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