Above: A rendering of Urban Artist Exchange’s outdoor amphitheater off Walnut Street. Courtesy Architectural Alliance

You Can Help Bring A Free Outdoor Music Series To UAE Amphitheater

The City of Wilmington, through its fun and entertainment division—Cityfest, Inc.—is in the running to bring a free outdoor music series to Wilmington starting in 2023, but your vote is needed today to make it happen. Supported by the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a social impact funder at the intersection of music and public spaces, Wilmington is trying to qualify as one of the Top 20 finalists in the public voting phase of the Levitt AMP Grant Awards.
 
Wilmington residents and businesses are urged to support Cityfest’s proposal by participating in the public voting process. There are two easy ways to cast your vote: online at levitt.org/vote or via text to 866-AMP-2023 (866-267-2023) with the keyword “UAEVOTE.”
 
Cityfest, Inc., submitted the proposal for Wilmington to present the free music series in the Urban Artist Exchange Amphitheater. The Urban Artist Exchange Neighborhood Revitalization Project (UAE) is a holistic re-imagining of a long-abandoned one-acre parcel in Wilmington into a thriving arts center that employs local artists, trains youth as artist apprentices, presents performances, gathers neighbors, alleviates environmental hazards, and beautifies a neglected property. Phase I, completed in 2020, transformed abandoned Wilmington Police Department horse stables into eight art and teaching studios and a group exhibition/gathering area, which are already in use for youth art apprenticeships, community arts-focused workshops, and artists work studios. Phase II involves the construction of an outdoor open-seat amphitheater to be completed in late 2022. Phase III, slated for completion in spring 2023, is an integrated wastewater management system, an outdoor public art exhibition area, and environmentally sustainable landscaping.
 
The Levitt AMP Grant Awards are a multi-year matching grant opportunity created by the Levitt Foundation to serve small to mid-sized towns and cities with populations up to 250,000. Reflecting the Levitt Foundation’s mission that all Levitt projects are community-driven, the voting phase of the Levitt AMP Grant Awards is an important way to measure community support. The number of online and text votes received for Cityfest will be one of the key factors when the Levitt Foundation selects the grant recipients this November.
 
Cityfest, Inc. (founded in 1980) is a City of Wilmington-related 501c3 non-profit. By leveraging private/public partnerships, Cityfest maintains fiscal viability while providing no- or low-cost access to arts and cultural programs. Cityfest produces or co-produces activities designed to promote economic development and community revitalization while improving quality of life through arts programming, special events, and tourism. The activities are designed to foster an appreciation for Wilmington’s diverse culture, history, and heritage; eliminate prejudice and discrimination through education of the public; combat community deterioration; promote the beautification and revitalization of Wilmington; and lessen neighborhood tension. Cityfest coordinates community-based projects including a monthly Art Loop, Wilmington’s July 4th Celebration, and The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival which is the largest free jazz festival on the East Coast and celebrated its 35th year in 2022. Cityfest’s most ambitious undertaking to date is the Urban Artist Exchange Neighborhood Revitalization Project [UAE], Wilmington’s first major Creative Placemaking project.
 
Stay up to date by following along on Cityfest’s social channels @CityfestWilmDE on Instagram, @CityfestWilm on Facebook, and @CityfestWilmDE on Twitter.

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