Chattanooga's Levitt AMP free concert series voting deadline nears

Chattanooga's Levitt AMP free concert series voting deadline nears

November 16th, 2018 by Barry Courter in Local Regional News

If you've enjoyed the Levitt AMP series of free concerts at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center the last two years, it's time to vote to bring it back for 2019.

The series is funded by the national Levitt Foundation, which provides grants for cities and towns interested in bringing together diverse cultures in parts of the community that are often underused or neglected.

The $25,000 matching grants are awarded to 15 cities who compete in online voting campaigns and they fund a total of 150 free concerts, or 10 per city. AMP is an acronym for "amplify, music, place."

The series is presented by Jazzanooga, a nonprofit organization dedicated to using jazz as a way to bring communities together, in partnership with the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga, the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau and the city of Chattanooga.

Jazzanooga founder and executive director Shane Morrow believes the Levitt Series has been a popular success here.

"I think we have built on a good foundation," he said. "It helps our local creative economy because each open concert each week opens with a local artist. It helps our local vendors as well. There is a lot going on downtown, and we've seen this recent growth, but we still have pockets of our community that don't feel welcome in our downtown areas, and this series helps bring people to The Bessie and the area."

Voting continues through Tuesday. To vote, visit or visit