Levitt AMP Cumberland Music Series Named by USA Today’s 10Best Reader’s Choice as Best Outdoor Concert Series

Published: May 29, 2024

For immediate release

Contact: Julie Westendorff


Levitt AMP Cumberland Music Series Named by USA Today’s 10Best Reader’s Choice as Best Outdoor Concert Series

CUMBERLAND, MD—The Levitt AMP Cumberland Music Series has been announced as one of the top ten Best Outdoor Concert Series by USA Today’s 10Best Reader’s Choice Awards. The Cumberland program joins other series in Kirkland, Washington, Somers Point, New Jersey, and Sylva, North Carolina, among others. Nominations for the awards are made by a panel of subject matter experts and USA Today editors.

Launching in 2023, the Levitt AMP Cumberland Music Series, presented by the Allegany Arts Council, offers ten weeks of free music programming aimed to introduce various musical genres to the area. Last year’s performances included Dixieland jazz, world music, soul, and more – this year’s lineup features the first foreign language program and a new feature, Levitt Beyond the Stage, offering a Peruvian dance workshop with the lineup start, Afro-Andean Funk. In addition, the 2024 program will feature a kids’ area and will promote the work of local partners including UPMC Western Maryland, Allegany County’s Department of Social Services, and Frostburg State University’s PAWS Pantry.

The Levitt AMP program is an initiative of the Levitt Foundation, a non-profit arts organization which provides matching grants to communities enabling them to establish a three-year concert series. Joining just 35 other cities across the U.S. with Levitt AMP funding, the Cumberland program is the only Levitt community in Maryland.

Says Julie Westendorff, executive director of the Arts Council, “We feel deeply honored for this recognition and want to thank the editors of USA Today. Making the list with long-established programs is incredible, but being recognized in your first year as a top music series is unreal. We are especially proud to be one of only two Levitt communities recognized on this list, and the highest-ranked as well.  We want to thank our community who has continued to champion this program and vote for us when called upon.”

“The chance to receive this funding has always been about so much more than free music – it’s about utilizing and activating spaces in our community; bringing people together; creating a sense of pride in the community – we have big plans for the Levitt AMP program here and we’re just getting started.”

“Perhaps more important than what people see on the stage each week is the partnership which has occurred off-stage. With more than $250,000 pledged by partners, the series serves as a model for community collaboration. We appreciate the support of our financial partners including the Levitt Foundation, City of Cumberland, Allegany County, Frostburg State University and the Arts & Entertainment District of Cumberland. In addition, we have received in-kind support from the Canal Place Preservation Development Authority, City of Cumberland Police Department, and Allegany County Tourism.  And, we cannot forget the Levitt Ambassador volunteers, who train and support the series each week through the summer.  We also added a corporate sponsorship opportunity this year and want to thank the Fairfield Inn – Cumberland, as well as the Community Trust Foundation, for serving as our Presenting Sponsors.”

The 2024 lineup kicks off on Thursday, June 6, 2024 and runs weekly through August 8, 2024. This year, one show will take place at Hoffman Park in Frostburg, featuring Nashville-based jam band, Airshow.  That program will occur on Wednesday, July 3.  All shows begin at 7:00PM, are free to the public and all are welcome. Food vendors and beer and wine sales are available.

To learn more about the series, visit alleganyartscouncil.org/levitt.



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