Independent Music Venues and Movie Theaters to Get $15 Billion in Federal Stimulus Aid | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Thursday, January 28th, 2021  

Los Angeles' Troubadour Venue

Independent Music Venues and Movie Theaters to Get $15 Billion in Federal Stimulus Aid

Save Our Stages Was a Success

Dec 21, 2020 Photography by Wendy Lynch Redfern
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After months and months of stalled talks and failed deal-making, yesterday leaders in the House and Senate finally agreed to a new stimulus package to help the nation in the midst of the pandemic. Included in the $900 billion pandemic relief bill is $15 billion in aid for independent music venues and movie theaters. This was in part motivated by the Save Our Stages act and the efforts of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), which was formed this year as COVID-19 took hold. Music venues can’t properly and safely operate during a pandemic, but still have operating costs and often have rent to pay. In many parts of the country movie theaters are closed and those that are open don’t have many enticing new films to play (and many people are understandably nervous about going to an indoor movie theater with strangers right now). While the overall bill was a lot less than Democrats were asking for, most Americans will be receiving a check for $600 per individual (including $600 for each child) and the incoming Biden administration promises even more aid in 2021. 

Dayna Frank, Owner & CEO, First Avenue Productions and Board President of NIVA, had this to say in a press statement: “We’re thrilled that Congress has heard the call of shuttered independent venues across the country and provided us a crucial lifeline by including the Save Our Stages Act in the COVID-19 Relief Bill. We’re also incredibly grateful that this bill provides Pandemic Unemployment Assistance which will help the millions of people who lost their jobs through no fault of their own during this economic crisis. We urge swift passage of this legislation, which will assist those in the greatest need and ensure the music lives on for generations to come.”   

The Save Our Stages Act was sponsored by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Representatives Peter Welch (D-NH) and Roger Williams (R-TX). The pandemic relief bill still needs to be voted on today to officially be passed. 

Pick up our current print issue (Issue 67) to read our detailed article on how independent venues have been weathering the pandemic.

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