On January 17, 2024, Inside Philanthropy published a feature covering the Levitt Foundation’s announcement of its $150 million spend down. Reporter Wendy Paris spoke with Levitt Foundation Board President, Liz Levitt Hirsch; Levitt Foundation CEO, Sharon Yazowski; and Levitt Foundation Executive Vice President, Vanessa Silberman, to reflect on the origins and evolution of the Levitt Foundation, and its growing impact across the country:

It was hard going at first, as creative placemaking was not a trend at the time. The Pasadena Levitt Pavilion opened in 2003, and [Liz] Levitt Hirsch evolved into a kind of donor-activist, traveling to cities, proselytizing about the benefits of free community concerts, and meeting with community organizers, leaders and assorted potential stakeholders. “Back then, nobody had heard of the Levitt Pavilion, and the reach of the internet was not what it is today. I was out trying to market this concept, essentially,” Levitt Hirsch said. 

She said she believes her parents would approve [of the spend down]. “One of the joys of being a spend-down foundation is being able to realize this impact in our lifetime. I get to see the intentions of my family being carried out, and the joy and positive change being created by expanding our grantmaking.”

Read the full article (links to PDF): “Grand Finale: A Family Foundation Focused on Free Concerts Announces its Spend Down,” Inside Philanthropy

View the article on the Inside Philanthropy website here.