Update Nov. 20, 2017: Bay St. Louis made the finals for the $25,000 Levitt grant that will help fund ten free concerts at the Alice Moseley Pavilion on the historic depot grounds. Originally, 36 cities were in the running. An online voting competition (see the story below) has thinned the ranks to 25 finalists. Fifteen of those cities will be chosen by Levitt to receive the grant. The winners will be announced on January 2, 2018. Cross your fingers and stay tuned!
- story and photos by Ellis Anderson
The online voting began November 1st to select 25 finalists from a national pool of 36. The voting closes on November 20th. Each person must register online to vote and can only vote one time for a city (see easy directions below).
After the voting closes, the Levitt Foundation will select 15 winners from the finalists. They'll announce the winners on January 3, 2018.
Directions to Register & Vote For Bay St. Louis
Estimated time to register & vote: 2.5 minutes
Click on this link and hit "Sign Up to Vote." You'll be taken to a short form to fill in. Afterward, you'll have to log in with the info you registered with.
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.
“The key to becoming a finalist will be folks here using their networking skills,” said Moseley. “For instance, if someone belongs to a statewide gardening club and asks members to vote, one resident can bring home 20 or 30 votes. People sharing the link on their Facebook pages and urging their out-of-town friends to vote can give us a real chance.”
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.”