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Creating Community On and Off the Lawn | “Levitt Connect: Inspire!”

March 12, 2020

More Than Free Concerts

Music is a universal connector. Unique community building happens on the Levitt Dayton lawn at each one of our 50 free concerts – dancing with other music lovers, chatting with new and old friends, or shaking an artist’s hand after a show.

In our first season, we found that ticket price wasn’t always the only barrier to access to high caliber performing arts. There were other reasons and we set the intention to make the first step to build trust and bring the music to them.

Levitt Connect Inspire educational outreachFrom this intention, our outreach program, “Levitt Connect: Inspire!” was born to build community through music, on and off the lawn. Each year we connect several of our artists to at-risk and under-resourced populations around the greater Dayton area. In 2019 we connected 11 of our musicians with 471 youth and adults in those populations.  A few examples of this outreach follow:

Levitt Pavilion Dayton’s 2019 Educational Outreach

In June 2019, the Dakota Center and Wesley Center collaborated with the Levitt Pavilion to bring in an artist for a salsa night as part of their annual summer camp. “Son del Caribe” and dance instructors from DaytON1 Salsa livened up their parent information night. Parents and their children learned about the culture and history of salsa music as well as new dance moves.

Bringing the Music to Schools

In August, as school began, Michael from Michael and the Rockness Monsters connected with two full classes at Dayton Leadership Academies. Through this partnership, we were able to connect with the music teacher so that the fun experience with Michael was additive to the current curriculum.

Encouraging Young Songwriters

In September that same year, The Victory Project helped us connect Jemal and Moksha from the band Hudost with three young writers. Together in a two-hour workshop, they wrote a full song inspired by the stories of those three young men. The artists helped the students put their sadness, joy, and hope into words and then set them to music.

Music brings us together, but also provides healing.  The outreach through “Levitt Connect: Inspire!” helps us to connect to audiences where they are to bring the magic of the Levitt lawn to them.  “Levitt Connect: Inspire!” is supported through the generosity of PNC and the Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District. With their continued support, in 2020, we will broaden the program, furthering and deepening our connections with current and new community partners.

 

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