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King County music venues receive crucial emergency grants

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Now that we’re well settled into the reality of a pandemic six months after its start, some long term impacts are starting to heat up. U.S., industries have been struggling economically through all that, and live music remains one the most affected of those.

As one of the riskiest activities, there’s no telling when the live shows will commence again. As states begin to realize the potential losses that closed venues present, a new push for funding is beginning to take shape, in the form of Washington’s King County-approved emergency grants to fund arts, science, and music organizations and venues.

While the sum of $750,000 was split between 35 venues pales in comparison to the actual business losses over the last few months, this could still be a lifeline for some. Some venues who are receiving the state’s support include Neumos, Nectar Lounge, and Kremwerk in the Seattle area. Grant award amounts were either $10,000, $19,500, or $40,000.

While the majority received $19,5000 venues like Red Lounge, and Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley, The Crocodile pulled in the full $40,000.  For the full list of August 14, 2020 grant awardees you can check out King County’s site here.

Oregon passes additional funding for music and arts

Oregon’s also paid attention to its art and music establishments over the past few months. At the end of July, representatives earmarked roughly $50,000,000 from the CARES emergency relief act to support arts and music. Organizations and businesses spanned across Oregon but primarily focused in Portland and Eugene. Award amounts were calculated based on venue monthly costs and pooled $25,000,000 for the Oregon Business Development Department to distribute funds for venues that didn’t request funding.

Other support going strong

Other relief initiatives like the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) are still going strong too. Throughout the last six months, NIVA has commanded national attention since the start of the pandemic to focus on saving our stages. Though there’s been tremendous pressure to pass other relief acts, few have actually come to fruition.

Washington and Oregon set example, prioritize arts and music

When so much of the world holds its breath for what the future will look like as the pandemic progresses, it’s more important than ever to advocate for our cultural institutions. Emergency funding and rent freezes will be the only way live music venues can survive without the ability to earn income independently. Now, both Washington and Oregon set an example on how to keep our local venues afloat. Hopefully, the rest of the U.S. follows suit so we can safely enjoy live music again.

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