Webb Field at the Ocala Martin Luther King Jr. Recreational ComplexSite Address
1510 NW 4th St., Ocala, FloridaHow will your Levitt AMP [Your City] Music Series reflect the essence of the Levitt AMP Grant Awards?
Through the Levitt AMP Ocala Concert Series, we will bring attention to a beautiful green space that is centric to the West Ocala neighborhood, uniting all citizens and their families together to enjoy and share in the universal language of music. The Levitt AMP Concert Series will provide free, live programming to an area and population of the City that currently has access to few cultural art events in their community. There are several organizations that take pride in focusing service efforts in West Ocala, but lack resources to host events. We want to assist those groups in further reaching citizens by hosting entertainment at this well known landmark, and inviting them to join us. We'd like to engage the entire community by inviting people from all over Ocala to Webb Field for the Levitt AMP concerts, and to draw attention to the ongoing revitalization efforts taking place in West Ocala.How will your town or city benefit from the Levitt AMP [Your City] Music Series?
It is as important to draw non-West Ocala residents and visitors to this area as it is to draw residents and visitors from within. Increasing the region's familiarity and comfort in West Ocala will help reduce social and economic barriers. Music appeals to all people, and hosting the Levitt AMP Ocala Music Series in this area of our city will not only have a huge impact on the West Ocala neighborhoods, but will also spark excitement and buy in throughout the Ocala community as a whole. The Levitt AMP Ocala Music Series will unify Ocala as music itself does. Its free concerts will reignite community pride in the West Ocala District, an area with a rich cultural and historical past. US HWY 301 creates a physical division between the West Ocala district and downtown, but there is also a perceived division and stigma that has developed due to the economic disinvestment in the West Ocala neighborhood. Despite this division, city residents have expressed a desire to make West Ocala more inclusive through events and outreach. We feel the Levitt AMP concerts can be a catalyst for such positive change.Describe the site where the free concerts will be held. Explain how the Levitt AMP [Your City] Music Series will play a role in enlivening the selected public space and surrounding areas.
Historically, Webb Field has been a city green space since the early 1900’s. The site was formerly Gerig Field, built in 1936. Some of history’s major league teams trained and played there until the 1960’s. In the mid-1990’s, the city, inspired by Gerig Field, set out to create an entire West Ocala recreation center. Unfortunately the structures of Gerig Field were too dilapidated to recover, but the city created a new, three acre outdoor sports field in its place and named it Webb Field. The space is open with no fixed seating, and meets Levitt AMP requirements. Webb Field is joined with other surrounding buildings to create the 33 acre Martin Luther King Recreational Complex at the heart of the West Ocala community. This outdoor location once thrived with major league baseball and family picnics, but is now rarely used. The West Ocala neighborhood surrounding Webb Field serves as a historically black neighborhood, and was home to some of Ocala’s first Black and African American businesses and schools. This area should be a thriving epicenter of neighborhood activity and engagement with the arts. Other venues in the city are inundated with private and public events, but Webb Field is a green park space that is underutilized. There is a richness in history there that differs from other areas within the city, and Levitt AMP would provide a wonderful opportunity to share that with all Ocala residents.