The City of Jacksonville has won a $25-thousand grant to bring 10 free outdoor concerts to the Downtown Square.
On Tuesday afternoon, Jacksonville Main Street was notified that the city was one of 15 small to mid-sized towns across America selected to receive the Levitt AMP Grant Award.
Jacksonville Main Street Executive Director Judy Tighe was thrilled when she heard the news. She says preparations for the concert could start at the end of the month, because contracts and grant agreements are already on the way.
“This is going to cover the cost of getting different types of musical performers to come here. As we get farther into the rules we will find out if they have to be local, partially local or what the percentage has to be.”
Tighe says the Levitt Foundation awarded grants to several cities involved with Main Street operations. She mentioned some of the factors that went into the Levitt Foundation selection process.
“One of the factors was looking at the characteristics of the public space. Preference was given to spaces easily accessible to a wide range of economic groups. Another factor was the programming philosophy involving family-friendly environments and the ability to represent a wide-range of music genres. Another factor was having a proven track record of community events. That is quite a compliment to our community as a whole.”
Tighe hopes the community gets behind the concert series, which will bring a variety of genres to the stage.
“The different types of music that is appreciated here, like orchestra, country, rock, punk and rap, is all popular. You can look at downtown establishments that offer live music and there is usually a crowd that attends.”
Jacksonville was the only winner selected from Illinois.
Tighe plans to kick off the concert series with the Downtown Celebration in May.