- story and photos by Ellis Anderson
Bay St. Louis has a good shot at winning a $25,000 grant to produce a series of ten free concerts at the Alice Moseley Pavilion on the grounds of the historic depot.
But there's a catch. To become a finalist, each of the 36 cities in the running has to finish in the top tier of an online voting competition (see our easy directions below to register and vote).
In the Bay’s case, it’s a David vs. Goliath match-up. While applicant cities can have populations of up to 400,000, Bay St. Louis has just 10,000 residents.
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After the voting closes, the Levitt Foundation will select 15 winners from the finalists. They'll announce the winners on January 3, 2018.
Estimated time to register & vote: 2.5 minutes
That will take you to a page that shows all the contenders. Scroll down until you see "Bay St. Louis." Click on that. You'll go to the BSL/Alice Moseley proposal page where you'll be able to hit the vote button!
Each of the 15 winners will have to match the $25,000 grants from Levitt. In the case of Bay St. Louis, the Alice and Tim Moseley Foundation has guaranteed the required $12,500 cash grant match, while the city and other partners have committed to matching the other $12,500 with in-kind services.
Tim Moseley, founder of the Alice and Tim Moseley Foundation, applied for the annual Levitt Foundation’s AMP [Your City] Grant Awards (AMP stands for Amplify, Music and Place).
Moseley is the son of nationally recognized folk artist Alice Moseley, who lived in Bay St. Louis from 1989 until her death in 2004. The Alice Moseley Folk Art and Antique Museum is located on the second floor of the Bay’s historic depot, and is a popular local attraction.
Last year, the Moseley Foundation spearheaded a drive to construct a performance pavilion on the depot’s oak-shaded grounds. The Alice Moseley Pavilion has since hosted several free concerts, including two this fall.
Tim Moseley says he was putting together a wish-list of performers for future shows when he noticed several of his favorite musicians often played at venues across the country in Levitt concerts. After a bit of online investigation, he discovered the grant program.
Although many mid-sized cities apply for the grants, the Levitt Foundation also encourages smaller cities – even those with only 10,000 people, like Bay St. Louis - to apply. If the cities can get enough votes to make it into the finalist category, their grant applications are weighed equally along with the bigger cities.
As of Saturday, November 4th, Moseley’s strategy seems to be working. Diminutive Bay St. Louis was ranked 10th out of the 36 contenders (to see the most current ranking, click here for the Moseley Pavilion page and scroll down to the bottom).
While Moseley’s “not counting his chickens before they hatch,” he’s continued adding to his wish-list of musicians he’d like to see perform at the pavilion.
“I’m not naming any names,” Moseley said. “But we have some fantastic performers in mind if we win.”