Levitt Pavilions Kicks Off National Campaign Inviting Cities and Financial Partners Across America to Build Up, Get Down
Mortimer Levitt Foundation grants over $10 million to support Levitt program
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- For the first time ever, Levitt Pavilions, a national nonprofit that enhances the quality of life in American cities by transforming neglected public spaces into welcoming music destinations, is inviting cities to Build Up, Get Down. This historic campaign invites civic leaders, engaged citizens and major corporations across the nation to join forces and build their own Levitt Pavilion. Through the Mortimer Levitt Foundation, Levitt Pavilions is the only venture philanthropy model of its kind, partnering with cities to provide financial assistance and a support system to build and sustain a Levitt music venue in their area.
By the end of 2012, the Mortimer Levitt Foundation will have granted over $10 million to support the Levitt network, which currently includes six Levitt music venues across the country. Each Levitt Pavilion is a beautiful outdoor gathering space, offering 50 FREE concerts each season that feature top musical artists. More than half a million concertgoers experience the magic of Levitt each year.
At the heart of Levitt Pavilions is a passion to re-invigorate America's public spaces and create opportunities for everyone to experience the performing arts in a community setting. The need for more "third places"—those informal gathering spots outside the realms of home and the workplace—has become increasingly clear in today's world and guides Levitt Pavilions in its community-driven efforts.
"With the economic pressures people are feeling, it's extremely important to come together as a community," said Ms. Liz Levitt Hirsch, board president of Levitt Pavilions. "We believe music, combined with an atmosphere where everyone feels welcome, can be a source for social change that contributes to the strength of a community."
The success of Levitt's six existing pavilions—in Los Angeles and Pasadena, Calif.; Memphis, Tenn.; Arlington, Texas; Bethlehem, Pa.; and Westport, Conn.—has piqued interest throughout America. Other cities hoping to develop a Levitt Pavilion include Tempe, Ariz.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; and Denver, amongst others. As true community-driven projects, each Levitt music venue is managed and programmed by local Friends of Levitt nonprofit organizations responsible for managing the pavilion, programming the 50 free concerts each season, and raising funds to support operations and programming.
As a lifelong partner, Levitt Pavilions partners with civic and community leaders providing best practices and ongoing support for all activities, and together with the Mortimer Levitt Foundation, it provides significant seed funding and guidance to get the pavilion up and running.
Levitt's innovative venture philanthropy model has shown significant social and economic impact on the local level. Once-abandoned public spaces have been revitalized, making them safer and more inviting for the community as a whole. Levitt's state-of-the-art pavilions and high-quality music programming attract people of all ages and walks of life eager to experience the joy of free, live music in a communal atmosphere. And new economic activity surrounding Levitt music venues has been on the rise—for example, in Arlington, Texas, more than half a dozen new restaurants have opened for business in Levitt's vicinity since the pavilion opened in 2008.
"Levitt Pavilions is a true lifelong partner," said Sharon Yazowski, executive director of Levitt Pavilions. "We see the tremendous impact Levitt venues have on their cities and are fully committed to their long-term success."
To learn more about Build Up, Get Down, please call 310.275.5628.
For media inquiries, please call 213.446.0774.
Vanessa Butler, 213.446.0774
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