NEW ALBANY, MS – Sponsored by Levitt Pavilions, the national nonprofit behind the largest free concert series in America, the City of New Albany hopes to qualify as one of the 15 winning organizations competing in the Levitt AMP Grant Awards.
What is the grant about?
The Levitt AMP Grant Awards are an exciting matching grant opportunity created by Levitt Pavilions to serve small to mid-sized towns and cities up to 400,000 people. Fifteen nonprofits, or municipalities partnering with a nonprofit, will receive up to $25,000 each in matching funds to produce their own Levitt AMP Music Series—an outdoor, free concert series featuring a diverse lineup of professional musicians. New Albany’s series, if selected, will be held at Park Along the River beginning in late spring and ending mid-summer.
New Albany’s proposal was one of forty proposals selected from twenty-two states. There were a total of four proposals accepted from Mississippi: Oxford, New Albany, Cleveland and Clarksdale.
Applying for the Levitt AMP Music Series Grant was suggested by downtown business owner, Mary Jennifer Russell, who has long been active in bringing music and other quality of life events to New Albany. The city of New Albany partnered with the Downtown Main Street Association to submit the proposal.
“I believe that in order to increase the quality of life in New Albany and help us attract and retain quality, engaged residents, more nighttime and cultural activities are a must,” says Mary Jennifer. “This opportunity provided by Levitt can help us fill that need in our community and further our brand as a city that is a great place to live and a great place to visit.”
“New Albany Main Street Association is excited to partner with the City of New Albany to further develop musical events for local residents, and tourists visiting our community,” says Vickie Duke, New Albany Main Street Manager.
How did New Albany get accepted for the competition?
The acceptance of the proposal was determined by a number of factors, including accessibility, location, and the general quality of life reputation of the city.
“There were a lot of questions asked in the proposal,” reports Sean Johnson, the city’s marketing director. “But the questions all pointed to a conclusion, a narrative. I believe what they are looking for are communities with make ups like ours…good communities that are trying, and succeeding, in increasing the quality of life for all of their citizens.”
Johnson said that the successes of community events like Rivefest, Down from the Hills, Folk Art on the River, Arts, Beats & Eats, the Farmer’s Market and others were used as examples.
“What is great about many New Albany events is that they bring in people from all walks of life. Everybody will dance to “The Slide” when Sam Mosley plays; everybody shows up at Riverfest. We do have an extremely inclusive population in New Albany where folks just come out and celebrate community. It’s what a lot of folks like about New Albany and we’re hoping that the Levitt folks like it, too,” says Johnson.
What can I do to help New Albany be one of the 15 winners?
A successful campaign for New Albany depends on community participation to get as many online votes as possible to bring the concert series to town. Community support, as measured by the number of online votes received, will be one of the key factors when Levitt Pavilions selects the 15 winners.
Online public voting is now open and ends Nov. 30 at 5 p.m. Pacific Time. The Top 25 finalists will be selected through online public voting. Levitt Pavilions will then review the proposals of these 25 finalists and the 15 Levitt AMP winners will be announced on January 5, 2016.
Supporters are asked to visit https://grant.levittamp.org/voter-registration-page/ to register and vote. Then share this article with your friends and encourage them to vote for New Albany.
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