21 Nov Black Belt Community Foundation Receives $90K, Multi-Year Grant to Present the Levitt AMP Selma Music Series through 2025
SELMA, Ala., (November 21, 2022)—The Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a social impact funder supporting nonprofits nationwide at the intersection of music, public space, and community building, announced that Black Belt Community Foundation (BBCF) in Selma, Alabama has been awarded a multi-year Levitt AMP Grant Award of $90K in matching funds to present a free outdoor music series at Riverfront Amphitheater in 2023, 2024, and 2025.
Reflecting the Levitt Foundation’s commitment that all Levitt projects be community-driven, the 2023–2025 grant recipients were selected following a public voting period and comprehensive internal review process. Combining 15 new and 18 returning grantees, the Levitt Foundation will award $3 million dollars to nonprofits serving small to mid-sized towns and cities across the U.S. as part of the Levitt AMP Music Series, featuring a diverse lineup of artists, music genres and cultural programming to create inclusive experiences that are welcoming to all members of the community.
“Since the Levitt AMP Grant Awards began in 2015, we’ve seen grassroots nonprofits inspire transformation in their towns and cities through free outdoor concerts—activating underused public spaces, ensuring access to the arts, sparking additional investments, and strengthening the social fabric of their communities. Positive change happens when people of all ages and
backgrounds come together and we’re thrilled to support changemakers like Black Belt Community Foundation,” says Sharon Yazowski, Executive Director of the Levitt Foundation. “The first Levitt AMP Selma Music Series will transform the Riverfront Amphitheater into a community gathering destination filled with music, food and culturally-inclusive arts experiences, while creating opportunities to support the local economy and fostering meaningful social connections.”
The Levitt AMP Grant Awards is an exciting, multi-year matching grant opportunity bringing the joy of free, live music to towns and cities with a population of up to 250,000 people. For the 2023– 2025 grant cycle, the Levitt Foundation expanded the Levitt AMP program from an annual matching grant of $25K into a three-year matching grant of $30K per year, for a total grant award of $90K per recipient. In April, the Levitt Foundation invited nonprofits to submit proposals that would reflect the three goals of the Levitt AMP awards: Amplify community pride and the city’s unique character; enrich lives through the power of free, live Music; and illustrate the importance of vibrant public Places.
From Main Street communities to rural towns in the heart of Appalachia to historic state capitals, the 33 Levitt AMP 2023–2025 grant recipients hail from across the country including rural towns with populations of less than 10,000 like Littleton, N.C.; Whitesburg, Ky.; Galva, Ill.; Earlham, Iowa; Shenandoah Junction, W.Va.; Soldotna, Alaska; and St. Johnsbury, Vt.; to mid-sized cities like Selma, Ala., Carson City, Nev.; Gallup, N.M.; Ocala, Fla.; Utica, N.Y.; and Woonsocket, R.I.; to larger cities spanning the country including Fort Smith, Ark.; Springfield, Ill.; Green Bay, Wis., Flint, Mich.; Trenton, N.J.; and Baton Rouge, La.
# # #
About the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation
The Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation is a private family foundation that exists to strengthen the social fabric of America. Through its commitment to creative placemaking, the Levitt Foundation supports the activation of underused public spaces—such as neglected parks, vacant downtown lots, and former brownfields—into welcoming, inclusive destinations where the power of free, live music brings people together to create more equitable, healthy and thriving communities. The Foundation’s primary funding areas include Levitt venues and the Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards. Both of these programs present free concerts in outdoor, open lawn settings featuring high-caliber talent in a broad array of music genres and cultural programming. Levitt venues and Levitt AMP concert sites attract people of all ages and backgrounds and reflect the character of their town or city, while benefitting from the framework and best practices of the Levitt program.
The Levitt Foundation invests in community-driven efforts that harness the power of partnerships and leverage community engagement. Levitt venue nonprofits and AMP grantees partner with other local nonprofits and community groups to inform programming, outreach and engagement, embodying the Foundation’s funding philosophy and core values to support projects that are inclusive, catalytic and dynamic, and create connectedness and joy. Reflecting its ongoing commitment to self-reflection and contributing to the creative placemaking field, the Levitt Foundation invests in research to evaluate the social impact of Levitt programs in communities, which in turn informs the Foundation’s evolving philanthropic practice. Learn more: levitt.org and follow us @levittfoundation on Facebook and Instagram and @levittfdn on Twitter.
About the Black Belt Community Foundation
For 18 years, BBCF has worked tirelessly to help Alabama’s most challenged, culturally-deep region realize its potential. BBCF has awarded more than six million dollars in grants to support more than 500 community-led initiatives across its 12-county service area in the Black Belt. BBCF supports local efforts that contribute to the strength, innovation, and success of all the region’s people and communities. https://www.blackbeltfound.org https://www.facebook.com/BBCF2004/, Instagram, Youtube Channel.
BBCF will present the first Levitt AMP Selma Music Series in the city’s Riverfront Park and Amphitheater, a rarely used public outdoor venue which rests on the banks of the Alabama River and overlooks the Historic Edmund Pettus Bridge, a transformative site during the Civil Rights Movement. The concert Series will cultivate culturally-inclusive arts opportunities and further efforts to bring people together from all backgrounds through live music.