Catalyst for Change
The Levitt program is transformative. Abandoned, blighted places—whether a neglected and gang-infested park, a dormant downtown, a vacant lot or a toxic brownfield—are today vibrant, welcoming destinations where families, friends and people of all ages and backgrounds gather to discover new worlds, and each other, through free, live music.
In addition to the site itself, Levitt serves as a catalyst for change in the areas surrounding the venue, often prompting additional revitalization efforts from both the public and private sectors.
The impact of the Levitt program goes beyond the free concerts. Levitt demonstrates the power of creative placemaking—the integration of arts and culture into communities to spark economic growth, drive community engagement and enhance overall quality of life. Below are just some of the ways the Levitt program impacts communities:
- Green spaces are reclaimed
- Neglected spaces are activated
- Local economies are given a boost
- Communities are safer
- Social and economic barriers are broken
The Levitt effect is prompting city leaders and engaged citizens to come together, eager to bring the Levitt program to their communities. Think your city could benefit from the Levitt program?
Fosters Human Connections
Too often, the fast-paced demands of our daily lives afford us little opportunity to connect with others face-to-face, compromising the glue that binds a community and its people together.
Levitt’s free concerts, easily accessible locations and open lawn settings foster social interactions among people of all ages and backgrounds—strengthening the social fabric of our cities. There’s no front row, no back row, just a grassy open lawn filled with friends dancing, children playing and neighbors toasting. Levitt venues are places where people relax and enjoy the company of others. Where we embrace our shared humanity.
Ensures Access to Arts & Culture
At Levitt, we believe the arts aren’t a luxury, but a basic human need, just as essential as food and shelter.
Studies show that frequent engagement with the arts has remarkably positive effects on our individual well-being, as well as society as a whole. However, the average American’s ability to access the arts is dwindling. High premiums are placed on cultural activities like going to a museum or experiencing a live concert.
Levitt concerts feature first-rate, critically acclaimed artists, free of charge. This enables people from all walks of life—many of whom could not afford the cost of a concert for themselves or their families—to have those meaningful cultural experiences essential to a healthy, happy life.
Embraces the Local
Both permanent Levitt venues and the Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards are community-driven, inspiring engaged citizens and local leadership to come together and commit to creating a meaningful impact in their city. Once a Levitt location opens, people from throughout the community are invested in the success of the concert series, from concertgoers and volunteers to community partners and local sponsors. At the helm is a local nonprofit, either a Friends of Levitt for permanent Levitt venues or the local organization presenting the Levitt AMP Music Series, mobilizing support for the concert series and driving community engagement.
Levitt: A pioneer of creative placemaking.
What exactly is creative placemaking? For starters, let's explore the difference between spaces and places.
Places are alive. Places are where people want to live, work and play. Where people simply want to be—again and again. Places have character, and they’re a part of our traditions and memories. In contrast, spaces focus more on the physicality of a location—a point on a map that is less about people and more about its geography. Placemaking is about turning spaces into places by attracting a wide variety of people who just can’t wait to return.
>> Read more
Levitt: A third place generator.
When was the last time you met a friend at a sidewalk café?
Said hello to a neighbor at a local park? Struck up a conversation with a stranger at a farmers’ market? Chances are, no matter where you live, you’ve experienced one of these scenarios at a nearby "third place." Originally coined by sociologist Ray Oldenburg, the term classifies the realms of "non-home" and "non-work"—those informal, public gathering spots that represent the heart of a community’s social vitality.
>> Read more