When the pandemic hit, live music venues were silenced.
“Live music venues were the first to close. They’ve been shuttered for almost a year and they’ll likely be the last to open,” said Shannon Roach Halberstadt, the campaign manager for Keep Music Live.
Back in October, Neumos’ co-owner Steven Severin told KIRO 7 he was worried he wouldn’t make it.
“There gets to be a point where you look at the amount of debt that you have and you have to walk away,” Severin said.
Keep Music Live was created to raise money to help music venues survive in the state.
To make their point, some venues put up “public land use” signs as an art installation for a glimpse into life without them.
“That’s what we do, we put people together to make them happy. And I can’t imagine Seattle or the state of Washington without music venues,” Severin added.
And now Keep Music Live is accepting grant applications.
Roach Halberstadt says more than 2,500 folks donated.
“It’s really wonderful and really inspiring to see our community in Washington state rally together to protect this important part of our identity,” Roach Halberstadt said.
To qualify, you have to be a small, independent music venue that can hold a thousand people or less. You can apply from now until Feb. 2.
Grants will be about $5,000 apiece and will be distributed in February. This help is much needed on top of the latest federal COVID relief bill passed in December that includes funding for independent music venues.
“Live music is such a huge part of our identity in Washington state that if these small businesses go away, these small live music venues all across our state disappear, we’ll really lose something special,” Roach Halberstadt said.
This is the first round of grants. Keep Music Live expects to do another round in the spring. Donations are also still being accepted.
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