The Shell’s history has special meaning for a town that takes its music seriously. Built in 1936, by the city of Memphis and the depression-era WPA (Works Progress Administration), this iconic outdoor band shell in a beautiful park setting has a rich musical history and long legacy of being free to the public. Most famously, it was the place where Elvis Presley made his professional debut in 1954. Years later the Shell stood dormant and dilapidated, its use disputed, in danger of being razed for parking or reworked for an indoor theater. Many groups organized to try to save the Shell, presenting performances for nearly twenty years but failing to raise sufficient funds to ensure its viability. In 2004, the city, citing numerous code violations, deemed the Shell a liability and closed it. Fortunately, this closure was short-lived. By 2005, the Shell had gained the attention of the national Levitt Foundation whose mission is to “empower communities to transform neglected outdoor spaces into welcoming destinations where the power of free, live music brings people together and invigorates community life.” The foundation worked with the city and local residents to support the Shell’s expansive revitalization and to bring back consistent, free programming. In September 2008, it reopened as the Levitt Shell, continuing a 75-year tradition of bringing Memphians together through music. The Levitt Shell presents 50 free concerts every year, with performances by nationally and internationally touring musicians from all over the world. Using free concerts as a catalyst for bringing people together, the Levitt Shell is building a stronger community through music, finding common ground for a diverse audience. It’s a perfect place to sit back and watch love work. We hope you’ll join us and enjoy this contemporary tribute to the Levitt Shell by spoken word artist, Memphis’s own, Sebastian Carson.