Tonight at 8pm ET/5pm PT, tune in to a Levitt AMP virtual concert for a taste of what makes Monday nights so special in Utica, New York. Featuring performances by four talented artists—acclaimed singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Isaac French; new mellow rock collaboration Tree of Life, local rapper Leeky XIV featuring Eric Armitage; and award-winning blues legend Jimmy Wolf, this lively and eclectic evening celebrates the creative energy that’s transforming a ‘Rust Belt’ city in Upstate New York into a thriving hub for residents from across the globe. Tonight’s show is co-presented by the Levitt AMP Utica team and the nonprofit Utica Monday Nite, who’ve spearheaded the transformation of a littered triangular throughway in the heart of their city into a vibrant, inclusive and music-filled point of pride. Check it out tonight at levittamp.org/virtual!
Reviving a ‘Rust Belt’ community through inclusion and creativity
Located on the Mohawk River at the foot of the majestic Adirondack Mountains, Utica residents enjoy stunning geography, access to global culinary delights and neighbors from all over the world. Like many other former industrial hubs in the Northeast, Utica experienced decades of decline in the mid-20th century, losing about a third of its population after local factories closed. Yet new populations were soon to arrive with the 1981 founding of the nonprofit Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, which would change the face of the city by resettling more than 15,000 refugees from over 30 nations, increasing the city’s population to more than 60,000 and making the city home to the nation’s fourth largest concentration of refugees—including Somalis, Bosnians, Syrians, Sudanese and people from Myanmar. Today, nearly 20 percent of Utica’s population is foreign born with more than a quarter of the population speaking languages other than English (and over 40 languages spoken in the local high school!). People from all over the world have found a home and a welcoming space in Utica.
We’re filled with gratitude for all the selfless individuals working around the clock to keep our friends, family members, colleagues and neighbors safe during this global health crisis. Beyond our gratitude, these individuals also need our help right now. If you’re looking for ways to support and protect healthcare workers battling COVID-19 on the frontlines, please read on for suggestions. Continue reading
What is parking day?
Held the third Friday of every September (tomorrow!), Park(ing) Day transforms parking spaces across the globe into enlivened pocket parks or parklets—like succulent gardens, pop-up yoga sessions and dog-filled ‘barklets.’ For one day a year, Park(ing) Day inspires citizens, artists and activists to work together to reimagine urban communities with more open spaces.
Who/what brought this global urbanist holiday to life?
In 2005, San Francisco-based art and design studio Rebar converted a single metered parking space into a temporary mini park in the heart of the city’s downtown. The project was created in response to the fact that, at the time, 70 percent of the city’s public spaces were devoted to private vehicles. The Rebar team selected a parking space in a concrete-heavy area of the city, popped a few coins in the meter, rolled out living grass and added a bench and potted tree. Within minutes, the team saw curious passersby step into the space and interact with one another. “We created an opportunity for social interaction that wasn’t there before,” they remarked in a 2017 Citylab interview.
How do you celebrate?
Rebar’s original installation has gone on to inspire communities across the globe to participate in Park(ing) Day. To join the fun, contact your local American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) chapter to learn how you can get involved and experience a temporary parklet near you.
Happy Park(ing)—send us your parklet pictures!
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!
Sun-drenched late afternoons, trees dotted with colorful blooms, artist lineup announcements for the upcoming summer concert season—what’s not to love about this season of new beginnings? Across the country, permanent Levitt venues and Levitt AMP sites are preparing to fill the air with the joyous sounds of free, live music! Taking a cue from the shifting season, we’ve just launched the 2019 Levitt AMP Music Series website—your go-to resource for Levitt AMP artist lineups, concert schedules and more. Stay tuned for the first Levitt AMP artist lineup announcement, coming next week!
On this annual day of love, we’re celebrating love in its many forms! Looking around Levitt lawns, you see family members embracing, couples dancing, and friends and neighbors enjoying each other’s company. Perhaps that’s why so many Levitteers have opted to celebrate life’s milestone moments at Levitt concerts, surrounded by the joyous sounds of free, live music (and why this Gentlemen’s Guide to Proposing includes Levitt Pavilion Arlington on their list of suggested places to propose).
Whether you’re celebrating with friends, family, or that special someone, we hope you’re enjoying some ‘feel-good’ music and embracing the joy that today’s holiday brings. Happy Valentine’s Day!
This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, spread some caring and kindness! Whether you’re with friends, family, volunteering or taking some much needed time off, remember the legacy of MLK Jr. and how he transformed a nation half a century ago. Compassion in your interactions with others not only brightens your day, but makes the world a more gentle place!
Do you need some costumed cuteness to start your Halloween off right? Well, you’re in luck! Look no further than this adorable (hot) dog, struttin’ at the annual Strut Your Mutt event at Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks. However you choose to celebrate the holiday, we hope your day is low on tricks, high on treats and filled with clever costumes that make you smile!
Break out your favorite sweater—Autumn is here! It’s that wonderful time of the year where parks, streets and front lawns all over the country become covered in a gradient of yellow and red leaves, as the sun begins to set a little earlier and the air cools to a chill. While concert season is soon coming to a close, be sure to stay tuned for info on free Levitt concerts in 2019!
We hope you’re having a cozy fall season and have marked your calendars for the last few free Levitt concerts coming to your communities this year.
Springtime is upon us! It’s that wonderful time of the year where our shared spaces are transformed by gorgeous greenery, the sunshine lingers and flowers are in bloom, paving the way for a joyous summer ahead, filled with free Levitt concerts in 26 towns and cities!
We hope you’re having a revitalizing spring season and have marked your calendars for all the free, live music coming to your community.