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Escondido wins grant for three free outdoor concerts

The California Center for the Arts, Escondido (CCAE) has won a grant to present the Levitt AMP Escondido Music Series. The $25,000 in matching funds will bring free outdoor concerts  to Grape Day Park.

Last week the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation named Escondido as one of 15 small to mid-sized towns and cities across America to win a Levitt AMP Grant Award of $25,000 in matching funds. CCAE submitted its Levitt AMP proposal.

In June, 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.

Nonprofits that received a previous Levitt AMP grant were eligible to reapply. In an effort to inspire and engage communities across the country around the power of creative placemaking, the Levitt Foundation opened the selection process to the public to choose the top 25 Finalists.

The public voted on the submitted proposals over a three-week period in November, selecting their favorite projects online at levittamp.org.

“We are thrilled to announce the 2018 Levitt AMP Grant Awards winners. Each made a compelling case for how the Levitt AMP Music Series will create vibrancy in a public space and strengthen the social and economic fibers of their communities,” said Sharon Yazowski, Executive Director of the Levitt Foundation. “The Great Green Lawn at Grape Day Park is the ideal place for the Levitt AMP Escondido Music Series, bringing the diverse communities of the city together, shining a light on this historical landmark, and creating a welcoming destination for everyone in Escondido to enjoy.”

The 15 Levitt AMP winners hail from rural towns with populations of less than 10,000 like Whitesburg, Kentucky.; Galva, Illinois, St. Johnsbury, Vermont.; and Middlesboro, Kentucky.; to mid-sized cities like Berea, Kentucky.; Carson City, Nevada; Ocala, Florida.; Sheboygan, Wisconsin.; Stevens Point, Wisconsin; Utica, New York.; and Woonsocket, Rhode Island; to larger cities spanning the country including Escondido, California; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Trenton, New Jersey. Each winner will present ten free concerts featuring a diverse lineup of high-caliber entertainment as part of the Levitt AMP Music Series, for a total of 150 free Levitt AMP concerts across the U.S. in 2018.

According to the Levitt Foundation: “The California Center for the Arts, Escondido will present California’s first Levitt AMP Music Series at Grape Day Park, an underused historic green space in need of activation. Levitt AMP Escondido will bring new life to this central and accessible park, highlighting its potential while drawing together the city’s diverse communities to enjoy family-friendly entertainment alongside one another.”

The Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation is a private foundation that exists to strengthen the social fabric of America. Through its support of “creative placemaking,” the Levitt Foundation empowers communities to transform underused public spaces into welcoming destinations where the power of free, live music brings people together and invigorates community life. The Foundation funds permanent Levitt venues and the Levitt AMP Grant Awards, an annual grants competition. During the past decade, the Foundation has awarded more than $20 million in grants to support access to free, high-caliber live music experiences while bringing new life to public spaces.

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