The Levitt Foundation, a social impact funder supporting nonprofits in music, public space, and community building, has awarded Wilmington’s Cityfest, Inc. a multi-year Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Award of $90K for a free outdoor music series. The event will be held at the upcoming Urban Art Exchange Amphitheater in 2023, 2024, and 2025.
The grants were selected following a public voting period and internal review process to ensure that they are community-driven. The Levitt AMP Music series will award $3 million to nonprofit organizations serving small and mid-sized towns and cities. The series features a diverse lineup of artists, genres, and cultural programming to create an inclusive experience for viewers.
Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki and Cultural Affairs Director Tina Betz thanked the Levitt foundation for their continued support of Wilmington’s commitment to enriching the city. These efforts largely center around Wilmington’s love of music and rich history. The Mayor also congratulated Betz on her hard work on this project.
Sharon Yazowski, Executive Director of the Levitt Foundation, shared her thoughts: “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 Cityfest…The Levitt AMP Wilmington Music Series at the Urban Artist Exchange [UAE] Amphitheater will bring a dynamic addition to the city’s East Side, presenting stellar live music as part of the area’s cultural renaissance and creating a pulse point where community members gather.”
One Cityfest initiative, the Urban Artist Exchange Neighborhood Revitalization Project, has been in progress for over a decade from initial conversations in 2006 to a fully functioning artist community, teen apprenticeship program, and nearly complete outdoor amphitheater. Cityfest will present its inaugural Levitt AMP Wilmington Music Series at The Urban Artist Exchange Amphitheater upon its completion. Located on Wilmington’s East Side, the music series hopes to reshape the community’s identity by investing in the arts.
Mayor Purzycki recounts: “When we first entered into the agreement that created the Urban Artist Exchange, Tina Betz and I imagined UAE would be a distinctive destination known for welcoming creative people and using the arts to transform the East Side physically, socially, and culturally. I noted several months ago that this incredible space has already exceeded all expectations, and we are just getting started. This multi-year matching funds award from the Levitt Foundation to present a free outdoor music series at the beautiful new amphitheater just confirms that our original transformational vision was on target, and I, for one, can’t wait to see what the future holds for this site.”
The Levitt AMP Grant Awards brings the joy of free live music to cities of up to 250,000 people through a multi-year matching grant opportunity. The Levitt Foundation expanded the program for the 2023-25 grant cycle into a three-year matching grant of $30k per year. In April, the Levitt Foundation reviewed proposals from nonprofits that reflected 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.