Whitesburg is once again one of the finalists for a $25,000 grant from the Levitt Amp Foundation to provide free concerts in downtown next summer.
Cowan Community Center and the city of Whitesburg partnered on the program for the first time this summer and held free concerts on weekends from May till August. They applied for the grant again this year, and after public voting Whitesburg is again one of 25 finalists.
“We are excited to be one of the 25 finalists, and we will know on December 18 whether we will make it to the 15 that are chosen to get grants,” said Valerie Horn of Cowan Community Center, which is the grant recipient and partners with the City of Whitesburg.
The winners of the grants will be announced December 18.
Whitesburg joins three other Kentucky cities — Ashland, Berea, and Harlan, in the top 25. A fifth Kentucky city, Middlesboro, has had four successful seasons and has already received a grant for three additional years.
The next step in the process is that the Levitt Amp Foundation will choose which of the 25 finalists it believes are worthy of receiving grants this year. Whitesburg was ranked number two when the public voting ended.
“Last year, eight of the top 10 got chosen,” Horn said. “Two didn’t, so it’s not a done deal.”
While Whitesburg was number two in the voting, Horn said the number one city was even smaller, with a population of around 1,400.
“When we first started we thought we would be at a disadvantage in getting enough votes, being a small town, but apparently these music series mean a lot to people,” she said.
Horn said she wanted to thank everyone who voted for the grant application here, and those who are already pledging matching money if the grant is awarded.
The $25,000 grant must be matched by $25,000 locally. There are already promises for that money, but they are not in writing yet, Horn said. A list of local donors will be compiled if the grant is awarded.