For the past five summers, Thursday nights in the town of Sheboygan, Wis., have become synonymous with community and free, live music under the setting sun. “It’s this feel-good moment of coming together, as everyone knows that’s the night of the Levitt AMP Sheboygan Music Series!” says Angela Ramey of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (JMKAC), the nonprofit behind Levitt AMP Sheboygan.
And so it’s fitting that tonight, Thursday June 25, marks Levitt AMP Sheboygan’s entry into the 2020 Levitt AMP Virtual Music Series with the exhilarating brass and street funk fusion of Chicago-based LowDown Brass Band, plus an opening set by Florida-based R&B soul artist CeCe Teneal. The concert, recorded live last summer during the Levitt AMP Sheboygan Music Series, was a natural choice for Ramey and her fellow Levitt AMP Sheboygan organizers. “It was such a joyful and uplifting night of music that was truly a shared experience between the artists and our audience,” explained Ramey. “There was something for everybody.”
What better way for a work of art to reach the most people than through being free to view, open to the public and in an open-air setting? Many cities recognize the value of creating murals throughout their neighborhoods, engaging residents in art-making and boosting community pride during the process. It’s also an inexpensive creative placemaking option that works with the landscape already in place—all it needs is some creativity and paint.
With inspiration drawn from their surrounding communities, murals can vividly depict motivations and aspirations of the artists and community members who created them, as well as provide enjoyment for people simply viewing them. Take a look at some of these inspiring murals adorning Levitt cities across the country! Continue reading →
Change embodies creative placemaking focus for Foundation
Last month, we announced some exciting news—the work of our national nonprofit, Levitt Pavilions, will be carried out by the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation going forward, furthering our mission to strengthen communities across the country through free, live music.
Since 2005, the Levitt Foundation has awarded more than $20 million to its nonprofit partners and grantees to support free concerts in communities large and small. As Liz Levitt Hirsch, president of the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, explained, “This exciting change signals our resolve to direct the majority of the Foundation’s philanthropy towards creative placemaking programs that focus on free concerts in public spaces. With funding now geared to one main cause, it made sense to place the operations of our national organization under one roof and to function as the Levitt Foundation, thus sunsetting Levitt Pavilions.” Continue reading →
When was the last time you had a conversation with a stranger?
If you’re like most of us, you probably had to think for a bit to come up with an answer. When you live in a big city like Houston or Los Angeles, it can be hard to start conversations with people you don’t already know, even when they’re officemates or people out walking their dogs on the street that you see every day.
In case you didn’t know, Levitt Pavilions is based in Los Angeles. While we don’t see snow in the city, many of us are originally from cold weather climates (Wisconsin, Minnesota and Nebraska) or have spent significant time in places that can get very, very cold. So when we see creative placemaking projects that involve snow, we get really excited. OK, I get really excited. I suddenly have an urge to throw a snowball, lick an icicle, grease up a metallic disc sled or watch Home Alone. Continue reading →
The “upcycled” doors of Cleveland’s St. Clair. (via cleveland.com)
We keep hearing buzz about places like Cleveland, Omaha and Houston, where cool arts projects are redefining perceptions of what the cities are and can be. Cleveland’s St. Clair Avenue actively engages in neighborhood-wide “upcycling,” creating funky arts and crafts from discarded materials while generating business from the products. Green in the City, an Omaha-based design competition, will create a multipurpose community space and outdoor theater in that city. And Houston’s “rockabilly oasis” of Mid-Main boasts a First Thursday that not only attracts people to the neighborhood for an evening of music, art and libations, but also donates 5% of the evening’s proceeds to local nonprofits.