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Levitt loves musicians.
They nourish our souls, fuel our imaginations and get us movin’ and groovin’. Whether in person or virtually, musicians—like Levitt—bring people together of all ages and backgrounds, creating moments of joy and shared connection for us all. Continue reading

This summer, Levitt AMP communities coast to coast are bringing the joy of free, live music straight to you with the Levitt AMP Virtual Music Series! The 20-concert series co-presented by the Levitt Foundation launches tonight at 8pm EDT/5pm PDT with a one-of-a-kind evening curated, produced and presented by the Levitt AMP Galva team. The virtual show will include intimate performances and interviews with acclaimed homegrown artists Chicago Farmer and Edward David Anderson, along with footage from a newly released mini-documentary about the Levitt AMP Galva Music Series—giving viewers a taste of what makes the rural town of Galva, Ill., such a vibrant place to call ‘home’ and why supporting the area’s creative economy is so vital.

A community-driven effort, decades in the making

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Nestled in Northwest Illinois, the 2,500-person community of Galva is one of many small rural communities that make up Henry County. Once home to an utopian-esque Swedish settlement, this historic and culturally-rich county has been shaped by agriculture, industry, Swedish artisan craft traditions, and, more recently…live music.

Bringing free, live music to Galva became a reality in 2018 with the inaugural Levitt AMP Galva Music Series, yet this community-wide effort has been decades in the making. For the past 30 years, the dedicated volunteers of the Galva Arts Council (GAC)—many of whom are still active—have worked together to position art as a community-building tool and have built a culture of volunteerism, laying the groundwork for the Levitt AMP Music Series to succeed. With robust experience rallying support for community arts experiences, like the launch of the GAC’s Coffeehouse Music Series in 1992, series organizer and Henry County native John Taylor saw the GAC as a natural fit to lead the Levitt AMP effort. Continue reading

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As we kickoff the month of June, virtual music, arts and cultural experiences continue to serve our communities with opportunities for connection, healing and creativity. In this spirit, check out a new round of free virtual concerts presented by permanent Levitt venues featuring artists like Jackie Venson, The City Champs and Gina Chavez. Celebrate the start of summer with these diverse performances you can stream from the comfort of your home.

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The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing reminder that there are many ways to stay connected while remaining physically distant. One new idea that we love is enlivening your porch (or balcony, front yard or stoop) as part of Porch Placemaking Week—which begins tomorrow, May 30 through June 5! Brought to life by The Experiencity Project in partnership with CoDesign Studio and the Town Team Movement (with support from global placemaking leaders like Project for Public Spaces and Places for Good), this weeklong celebration of place will ignite a network of small and large self-organized projects across the globe, with the shared goal of building safer, more connected communities.  Continue reading

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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

Zoom has quickly become a facet of everyday life for many people, both for work and for connecting with friends and family. When your home backdrop needs a refresh, a virtual background is the perfect way to enhance your ambience — and where better to virtually be than an outdoor Levitt venue? Save these iconic photos of Levitt venues to your computer (or phone) for your next video call. 

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Left to right: Wildermiss, Charlie Wood, Carson McHone

May is here, and with it another round of virtual concerts from permanent Levitt venues! Following a full day of live-streaming during #GivingTuesdayNow, another fantastic batch of shows is on the horizon — read on to discover the artists Levitt venues are bringing to your screen this month. Continue reading

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Humans are hardwired to respond to music. Imagine watching a thriller film without a tension-building soundtrack—would it be nearly as suspenseful? Or imagine trying to lull a baby to sleep with a driving rock song—would it be nearly as calming as a mellow lullaby? Music impacts how we feel and function by triggering our brains and bodies to become more alert or more relaxed. This makes music a powerful tool for regulating stress levels and feeling calm during challenging times.

With today’s ongoing public health crisis bringing a range of new challenges, we’d like to share five ways music can be woven into your daily life to help lower stress, boost your mood, provide comfort and promote better sleep. Continue reading

music lessons blog headerMusical instruments are a fantastic way to channel your creative energy while staying at home, but they’re most enjoyable (both for you and, ahem, those you live with) when you actually know how to play them. If you’ve been noodling around on that dusty guitar or keyboard for a few weeks, now is the perfect time to start taking lessons. Ads for celebrity-taught music classes on platforms like Masterclass have been highly visible across the internet lately, but there’s also a wealth of musical knowledge right in your community: local musicians! In addition to enriching your musical knowledge, taking lessons from a local artist is also an excellent way to support their wellbeing. 

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The devastation of COVID-19 has impacted just about every aspect of day-to-day life, including the way we’re called to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. With fewer cars on the roads and planes in the sky, many of us are seeing improved air quality and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. These changes are temporary and have come at a tremendous cost, but they speak to our collective power to impact the health of our planet.

While we’re physically separated right now, there are plenty of ways we can come together this Earth Day to celebrate and protect this remarkable planet. Here are five ways you can take action from your home.   Continue reading