Official Name of Public Space

Chain Park

Site Address

East 8th Street, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

How will your Levitt AMP [Your City] Music Series reflect the essence of the Levitt AMP Grant Awards?

The Levitt AMP Hattiesburg Music Series will present a diverse lineup of music that complements the unique character and foundation of the city and its residents. The musical genres represented will include blues, gospel and jazz – the heart and soul of music is Southern Mississippi – along with rock and roll, hip-hop, Americana and country. The goal of the programming is to appeal to a diverse audience in terms of age, ethnicity, gender, income and musical taste, and to bring positive attention to the origins and roots of Hattiesburg. By hosting the concert series in Chain Park, we are enriching the lives of the local residents by drawing positive attention to an area that is underserved. The residents, sponsor businesses, and vending business will mutually benefit from the diverse musical lineup and socioeconomic status of patrons. Live music will reinvigorate the area and region, demonstrating the power of sound and music as a positive art form that can transform communities and bring people together. This series will demonstrate the importance of vibrant public spaces by highlighting the multitude of uses and resources within the city, available to all residents and businesses. Specifically, the partners for the series represent the educational, cultural, and civic pillars of the community, demonstrating the potential for success and opportunity within the community.

How will your town or city benefit from the Levitt AMP [Your City] Music Series?

Being selected to receive this grant would have tremendous meaning to the city and its residents. This grant would provide the opportunity to further integrate the university, partners, and sponsoring businesses into the community, while presenting an art form most anyone can connect with. This concert series has the potential to display the cultural and creative value of Hattiesburg’s residents, along with the symbiotic relationship between the university, the arts community, and the city. Though the university is within the city, there is room to expand its reach and further influence and help the lives of the residents. It is believed that the concert series can transform the neighborhood and pique the interest of business and commerce to reinvest in the area. The goals for the Leavitt AMP Hattiesburg Music Series are to (1) present diverse music as a centerpiece of community enrichment, (2) reach out to underrepresented and diverse populations to bring people together through a common interest, (3) create a sustained interest in music, the arts, and Chain Park across the community, (4) act as a gateway to success by supporting local and regional musical acts in their careers along with local and regional businesses through vending and sponsorship opportunities and (5) generate national interest in Hattiesburg as a music town, helping to further develop the musical infrastructure and offerings by regional and national acts and music-centric businesses.

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.

Chain Park is a beautiful park, but its location and lack of promotion has resulted in the park not being used or frequented by the community. Chain Park has the potential to be the Gateway to Hattiesburg, both in the literal sense of being located off the bypass between communities and figuratively, as a representation of the diversity of the residents and the artistic and creative opportunities that lay within the city. Chain Park was developed on land that was donated by former Hattiesburg Mayor Bobby Chain. Having completed its most recent phase in 2012, Chain Park will eventually be connected to the Long Leaf Trace, a 40+ mile bike and walking path connecting the original downtown of Hattiesburg to west Hattiesburg and several other communities. The park itself features walking trails, a pavilion, benches, and ADA accessibility. The park is located along the Leaf River with the Hattiesburg Historic Neighborhood District, the Newman-Buschman Historic Neighborhood District and the Main Street Historic Neighborhood district bordering it. In keeping with the conditions of Mayor Bobby Chain, the land was to be used as a park to be enjoyed by the entire city. We believe that the Levitt AMP Hattiesburg Music Series would be an ideal fit to bringing together the residents in the underutilized public green space known as Chain Park.