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Chattanooga Wins Grant for Free Concert Series at Bessie Smith Center

This article was originally published on timesfreepress.com

Chattanooga, is one of 15 cities across America to win a $25,000 grant  to present 10 free concert series as part of the Levitt AMP Music Series, which is funding 150 free concerts across the country.

The music series, funded by the Levitt Foundation, will be held on the lawn of the Bessie Smith Cultural Center in the historic Martin Luther King district, shining a light on its renowned musical heritage.

"We are very excited to receive this grant from the Levitt Foundation," said  Bob Doak, president of the Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bureau said. "It will provide a wonderful opportunity to animate the lawn at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, creating an additional vibrant place for our community and visitors to enjoy free, live music."

Each winner will present 10 free concerts featuring a diverse lineup of high-caliber entertainment.

The Urban League of Greater Chattanooga submitted the Levitt AMP proposal for Chattanooga. Over a three-week period in November, the public voted for their favorite projects.

"We are proud of the efforts of our community in helping the city receive this grant and we look forward to enriching the lives of those who come together for this concert series," said Warren E. Logan, Jr., president & chief executive officer of the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga.

In July, 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 place-making, the Levitt Foundation opened the selection process to the public to choose the Top 25 Finalists.

"We are thrilled to announce the 2017 Levitt AMP Grant Awards winners. Each made a compelling case for how the Levitt AMP Music Series will activate a public space and strengthen the social and economic fibers of their communities," said Sharon Yazowski, executive director of the Levitt Foundation. "The lawn at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center is the ideal place for the Levitt AMP Chattanooga Music Series, celebrating the site's historic significance and highlighting the space as a destination for everyone in Chattanooga to enjoy."

The 15 Levitt AMP grant winners for 2017 include:

1. Berea, Kentucky

2. Carson City, Nevada

3. Chattanooga

4. Denison, Texas

5. Greensboro, North Carolina

6. Hattiesburg, Mississippi

7. Jacksonville, Illinois

8. Middlesboro, Kentucky

9. Ocala, Florida

10. Santa Fe, New Mexico

11. Sheboygan, Wisconsin

12. St. Johnsbury, Vermont

13. Stevens Point, Wisconsin

14. Trenton, New Jersey

15. Utica, New York