Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance (HDR) is pleased to announce that Harrisonburg has been selected as one of 15 communities to receive a $90,000 grant to host a free, three-year outdoor music series at Turner Pavilion in 2023, 2024, and 2025 courtesy of the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a social impact funder supporting nonprofits nationwide at the intersection of music, public space, and community building.
“Our community truly rallied behind this opportunity, which is why our city quickly rose to the top of the voting chart and stayed there,” says Andrea L. Dono, HDR’s executive director. “We applied for this grant opportunity because community members told us during our recent downtown master planning process that they want more and more family-friendly and multicultural programming. This is an amazing opportunity for us to align the community’s wishes and our Downtown 2040 vision!”
Reflecting the Levitt Foundation’s commitment that all Levitt projects be community-driven, the 2023–2025 Levitt AMP [Your City] 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 Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance,” says Sharon Yazowski, Executive Director of the Levitt Foundation. “The first Levitt AMP Harrisonburg Music Series at Turner Pavilion will foster community pride and a sense of belonging for all, while continuing to inspire a reimagining of the city’s downtown.”
Now that Harrisonburg has been named a Levitt AMP Community, HDR is in the process of bringing together event sponsors and a volunteer committee that will be co-chaired byby Red Wing Roots Festival organizer Jerimiah Jenkins, and local artist and collaborator on the Living Room Series at Court Square Theater, Quillon Hall.
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. The Levitt Foundation will provide HDR with an annual matching grant of $30,000, for a total grant award of $90,000. HDR will need to raise $30,000 in matching funds for the 2023 music series.
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. Thanks to overwhelming community support, Harrisonburg was listed in first place during the majority of the voting period during the voting round of the selection period.
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. The full list of Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards recipients can be found at https://levitt.org/amp/#Communities.
HDR is a nonprofit dedicated to building downtown Harrisonburg as a destination where businesses thrive and people enjoy memorable experiences. To learn more, visit downtownharrisonburg.org.