• 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.

    But don’t just take our word. Check out what others are saying regarding the impact of the Levitt program in their communities, and share your story here.

  • Exponential Impact

    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

This all begins by asking a simple question: How can we create the best place for the people who use it everyday? Yet placemaking is not about developing a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, it’s an array of ideas, programs and activities, each carefully planned and executed to meet the diverse, real needs of a community. In other words, placemaking transforms a space that might have been used by none or just some, into a place that can be truly enjoyed by everyone.

Creative placemaking takes that one step further and focuses on integrating arts and culture into places to drive community engagement, spark economic growth, and enhance overall quality of life in the spaces that need it most. At the Levitt Foundation, we are at the forefront of this movement. We empower communities to harness the power of a welcoming outdoor venue filled with free, live music—a universal language and, we believe, a universal need—to set the foundation for an unforgettable and unifying community destination.

To stay up to date about placemaking projects around the country, visit our blog. <<

 

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

Ironically, as our country becomes increasingly metropolitan, the number of third places (think town squares, village greens, and public band shells) is shrinking. Once plentiful, these local hubs played an important role in uniting communities, providing easy opportunities to meet friends, say hello to neighbors, and interact with strangers. Yet in the last several decades, many of these places have become underused or disappeared completely, causing people to feel more isolated and unengaged.

At the Levitt Foundation we recognize the value of third places and their ability to sustain healthy communities. We know that without active public places, the social glue that binds a city and its people together starts to disintegrate, and the livability of neighborhoods slowly declines. Which is why each pavilion or AMP site in the Levitt network has the hallmark of a great third place: an open, inclusive setting where people of all persuasions can mix, mingle, and collectively share in a great experience. With more great third places in our country, we can strengthen American community life. <<