Levitt Pavilion Arlington receives two major donations to build bathrooms and a hospitality suite
Levitt Pavilion Arlington will get a big – and much needed – present for its upcoming 10th birthday! Thanks to a generous donation of $500,000 from Baylor Orthopedic & Spine Hospital at Arlington and an equally generous grant of $500,000 from the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation, the Levitt Pavilion will add bathrooms to the concert venue in 2018. Plans for the addition include building a hospitality center and deck on top of the bathrooms, which will be situated behind the fountain and donor walls in the unused area of the pavilion on the corner of South and Pecan streets.
Checks from both organizations were presented to Levitt Pavilion Executive Director Patti Diou before the Jack Ingram concert on Oct. 14.
“Since the day we opened the Levitt, there has been only one thing missing, and that’s permanent bathrooms,” said Diou. “Both of these generous gifts will help make our pavilion complete not only for our concert audiences, but for others who use this community asset in the heart of our city.”
The addition to the Levitt is estimated at $1.5 million. The Levitt is launching a capital campaign to raise the remaining money from donors and grants. Funds already have been pledged from the Levitt Foundation and the Levitt’s board of directors. The first $500,000 came from Baylor Orthopedic & Spine Hospital, the Levitt’s current title sponsor for its concert season.
“We helped the Levitt by providing an air-conditioned bathroom trailer this year,” said Allan Beck, CEO of Baylor Orthopedic & Spine. “It made a huge difference to the Levitt audiences! Lines formed every night to use the trailer instead of the porta-potties. That was enough to convince us that the Levitt needed bathrooms, and we wanted to help get that ball rolling.”
With Baylor’s commitment, the Levitt turned to the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation, a long-time supporter of the concert venue.
“This is the kind of project that the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation was created to support,” said Carolyn Mentesana, the foundation’s executive director. “We know our contribution will make the Levitt experience even better for its thousands of music lovers plus make the venue even more attractive to those considering it for festivals and events in the heart of our thriving downtown.”
Initial plans call for construction to begin in the spring while construction is being done on the city’s My Abram project and City Hall renovation around the Levitt. Levitt officials hope the project is completed in time for the pavilion’s 2018 fall concert season and the 10th anniversary of its opening night, which was Oct. 10, 2008.
Since it opened, Levitt Pavilion Arlington has attracted more than 100,000 people a year to see more than 50 free, culturally diverse concerts. The Levitt presents professional musical artists who are often Grammy Award winners and Latin Grammy Award winners. The Levitt makes live music and the arts accessible to those families who could not afford to enjoy live music if they had to purchase a ticket. The free concerts are made possible through sponsorships, grants and donations, including passing buckets among the crowd on the lawn after each concert.