"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Levitt Foundation

Location: Nationwide

Website: levitt.org

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.

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 picnicking. Levitt venues are places where people relax and enjoy the company of others. Where we embrace our shared humanity.

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. Both permanent Levitt venues and the Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards are community-driven, inspiring engaged citizens and civic 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 Friends of Levitt for signature Levitt venues or the local organization presenting Levitt AMP, mobilizing support for the concert series and driving community engagement.

Why We Matter:

Through both permanent Levitt venues and the Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards, Levitt harnesses the power of free, live music to strengthen American community life one city, and one concert, at a time. 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, strengthen social bonds and enhance overall quality of life. Below are just some of the ways the Levitt program impacts communities:

Green spaces are reclaimed.

Neglected public spaces are activated.

Local economies are given a boost.

Communities are safer.

Social and economic barriers are broken.

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