Galva Wins Grant, Music Series Begins Sunday

In June of 2017, John Taylor was taking a grant writing class for a Master’s program. He had an assignment to write a proposal for a grant. He decided he wanted to find a grant that interested him and that he could pursue, and he found the Levitt AMP grant. He wrote the proposal for the class, but continued to pursue the grant. It required a non-profit to receive the grant, so he partnered with the Galva Arts Council. Money had to be raised as the grant was matching funds.

The decision was made that the concerts would go on, whether they had the grant or not. Taylor has been doing concerts in his home in Cambridge for about four years now. The house concerts include a potluck dinner and are family friendly. He saw how the community grew around the concerts, and the Galva series is a natural growth coming from his experiences.

In January they received official notification that they won the grant. “In June (2017), the Levitt Foundation invited nonprofits to submit proposals that would reflect the three goals of the Levitt AMP awards: Amplify community pride and the city’s unique character; enrich lives through the power of free, live Music; and illustrate the importance of vibrant public Places. Nonprofits that received a previous Levitt AMP grant were eligible to reapply. In an effort to inspire and engage communities across the country around the power of creative placemaking, the Levitt Foundation opened the selection process to the public to choose the top 25 Finalists.”

The public voted on the submitted proposals over a three-week period in November, selecting their favorite projects online at

15 Cities were chosen to host free live music series of 10 concerts per location:
Whitesburg, KY
Galva, IL
St. Johnsbury, VT
Middlesboro, KY
Berea, KY
Carson City NV
Ocala, FL.
Sheboygan WI
Stevens Point, WI
Woonsocket, R.I.
Utica NY
Escondido, CA
Chattanooga TN
Trenton NJ
Santa Fe, NM

The Giving Tree and John Till come to Galva

After months of waiting, Levitt Amp Galva Concert Series begins this weekend on May 27! The concert will begin with a Vendor Fair from 1-6. First Baptist Church of Galva will offer dinner from 4:30 – 6. Pop of the Morning (flavored popcorn) will have a wonderful dessert option available before and during the concert. The Concert begins at 6 with The Giving Tree Band followed by John Till at 7.

If music is the universal language, then musicians are agents of unity and inclusivity. On FREQUENCY OF LOVE, the 5th studio album of The Giving Tree Band, much of their imaginative American rock 'n roll manifests from lucid dreams. With all their instruments calibrated to sacred tunings inspired by ancient mythologies of healing and miracles, the Illinois group's new age outlaw sound opens the heart and invites the soul to dance. Loaded with tales of transcendent love and the adventures of warriors of the light, the positive vibrations sail out in all directions carrying the sweet message of harmony and optimism.

The Giving Tree Band is also known for extraordinary environmental stewardship and eco-friendly music production. They use a number of instruments that were handmade from naturally fallen trees and reclaimed woods. They have recorded with renewable energy and package all their CDs with 100% recycled materials. National and international environmental media, such as The Sierra Club, The Discovery Channel and Mother Earth News, have also highlighted the band's activism, with the latter referring to them as "the greenest band in the land."

John Till cultivates folk, blues & country from the farthest reaches of the Great Plains to the Appalachian foothills, down to the delta & back up to Chicago for a sound that’s equal parts pastoral & main street charm. Till has played in Galesburg, Yorkville and other places in our area.

About the Galva Arts Council
The mission of the Galva Arts Council is to enrich the quality of life in our town through the advancement and promotion of the arts, the encouragement of the appreciation of the arts through participation and attendance of art events, the provision of membership services, and advocacy for the arts. If you are interested in being a vendor or volunteer at any of the concerts, let the Arts Council know at or 309-299-4999.

About the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation
The Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation is a private foundation that exists to strengthen the social fabric of America. Through its support of creative placemaking, the Levitt Foundation empowers communities to transform underused public spaces into welcoming destinations where the power of free, live music brings people together and invigorates community life. The Foundation's primary funding areas include permanent Levitt venues and the Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards, an annual grants competition. During the past decade, the Foundation has awarded more than $20 million in grants to support access to free, high-caliber live music experiences while bringing new life to public spaces.

Upcoming Galva Levitt AMP Concerts include:
May 27 The Giving Tree Band/ John Till
June 3 Vandoliers/The Right Now
June 10 Mike and the Moonpies/Evan Bartels and the Stoney Lonesomes
June 17 Stars Go Dim/Emily Hope
June 24 Sones de Mexicao Ensemble/Bone Jugs
July 8 Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas/Seasaw
July 15 Sweet Crude/Upstate Rubdown
July 22 Sophistafunk/High Up
July 29 Samantha Fish/Luke Winslow-King
Aug 5 Kris Lager Band/Calliope Musicals
Follow the link below to a video by John Taylor explaining the backstory and beginning of the Galva Series.