‘Burg contends for concert series


The College of Mass Communications and Journalism, the City of Hattiesburg and the Hattiesburg Arts Council has placed USM in the running to host the Levitt AMP Music Series at Chain Park in summer 2017. Hattiesburg residents can vote online through Nov. 20 for the city to win a $25,000 grant to host the event.

The Levitt AMP Music Series will award 15 cities with populations of up to 400,000 residents the opportunity to host free outdoor music events throughout the summer of 2017. The concert series will span 10 to 12 weeks and and include local and non-local performances. These acts will be chosen by the city of Hattiesburg.

The foundation’s goal through the Levitt AMP Music Series is to bring small- to medium-sized communities the experience of free, live music and to promote local artists. The organization brings attention to potentially underused venues through larger scale events.

In 2014 the Mortimer and Mimi Levitt Foundation established The Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards and has provided a diverse range of artists to cities nationwide. Past winners in the South included Cleveland, Miss. and Lafayette, La.

USM’s MCJ department encourages students to get involved by voting to help the Hattiesburg music scene grow through this experience.

John Pluskota, an assistant professor in the College of Mass Communications, has coordinated a group of students to promote the grant project in Hattiesburg.

“If we receive this grant it will be one of the largest and longest concert series around, highlighting the talent, community and people of this region, and by hosting it in Chain Park we enrich the lives of local residents and draw positive attention to the diversity, origins and roots of Hattiesburg,” Pluskota recently told WDAM.

“Hattiesburg has such a great music scene already,” said junior entertainment industry major Randy Riley. “This could really make Hattiesburg the Hub City of music. Local bands could really benefit and get their name out there.”

Not only would local bands benefit from the series, but local vendors, crafters and organizations would as well. The large groups of people projected to attend the events would bring much attention to these small, local businesses in a way that smaller towns may not have previously offered.

Hattiesburg residents can participate in a three-step voting process at concerts.levittamp.org.