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Public can help Utica Monday Nite in grant pursuit

Posted 11/7/19

Utica Monday Nite is once again in the running to bring a 10-week free, live music series to Kopernik Park next summer.  Sponsored by the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a national foundation …

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Public can help Utica Monday Nite in grant pursuit

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Utica Monday Nite is once again in the running to bring a 10-week free, live music series to Kopernik Park next summer. 

Sponsored by the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a national foundation dedicated to strengthening the social fabric of America through free live music, Utica Monday Nite hopes to qualify as one of the Top 25 finalists competing for a 2020 Levitt AMP Your City Grant Award.

The Levitt AMP Your City Grant Awards is a matching grant opportunity created by the Levitt Foundation to serve small to mid-sized towns and cities with populations up to 400,000. Grant recipients will each be awarded $25,000 in matching funds to produce their own Levitt AMP Music Series — a free, outdoor concert series featuring a diverse lineup of professional musicians.

Utica Monday Nite submitted the proposal for Utica. The proposal was posted on the Levitt AMP website for public voting today.

A successful campaign for Utica Monday Nite requires 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 considered when the Levitt Foundation determines the 2020 Levitt AMP Grant Award winners.

Supporters are asked to visit levittamp.org/vote to register and vote. Online public voting ends Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. Once the Top 25 finalists are selected through online public voting, the Levitt Foundation will review the Top 25 finalists’ proposals and select the 2020 Levitt AMP winners — which will be announced on Dec. 20.

If awarded, this will be the fifth year that the concerts will be held at Kopernik Park in Oneida Square. The music series features local and regional opening acts, youth intermission acts and high caliper national headliners — all for free. The series also brings the arts and placemaking to the park during the series and beyond with the weekly Kids Art Circle, arts activities and an upcoming art/cultural installation on the bollards along the perimeter of the park.

The series is a creative training ground for youth with its Levitteen Intern program and opportunities for young singers, musicians and dancers to perform in front of hundreds of people. In 2019, the series hired 165 musicians, artists, youth performers, photographers, videographers, graphic designers, marketing professionals and interns. Inclusive outreach efforts for the series results in a tremendously diverse audience each week and a space where all are welcome.

The concerts averaged 700 people per concert for the 10 weeks, with numbers topping 1,000 for the Brandon “Taz” Niederauer concert in July. The City of Utica is currently replacing sidewalks on Eagle Street and wrapping up paving to make the park even more welcoming throughout the year. 

“The Levitt AMP concerts have made a huge impact on community life in the city and transforms Oneida Square into a destination,” concert coordinator Michelle Truett said. “The amazing music we bring to the park is the vehicle to spur community building where residents and visitors from every walk of life enjoy quality performances together in a joyful, stress-free environment, week-after-week.”

Levitt AMP Utica and Utica Monday Nite ask supporters to spread the word to family, friends, colleagues and neighbors and rally the community to sign up and vote for Utica’s proposal.

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