Leisure venues get ‘lifeline’ grants because of results of pandemic

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – Entertainment venues were among the first to close their doors due to the pandemic and the last to reopen fully, but thanks to federal government support, many are aiming for a comeback this year.

The Small Business Administration has facilitated the distribution of funds from the Shuttered Venues Operators Grant (SVOG) program. To date, 85 scholarships have been awarded in Wisconsin with a total volume of around 86 million US dollars.

Performing arts executives in Milwaukee said people long to return to the shows at the venues.

“There are very few things that are as meaningful as attending a performance like in a place like this, which is so beautiful and brings people together in a way that we missed tremendously during Covid,” said Mark Niehaus, President and Executive Director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, across from CBS 58 inside the Bradley Symphony Center on Wisconsin Avenue.

The nonprofit will receive approximately $ 1.7 million from SVOG. Niehaus said the money will help, but it won’t erase all of the financial impact of the pandemic.

“It makes a difference to us, but it doesn’t solve the problem for us,” said Niehaus.

The Marcus Performing Arts Center will receive approximately $ 6.5 million from the scholarship. They told CBS 58 that the funds will be very helpful in preparing for the return of live performances and audiences later this year.

“It will really help us openly reopening this fall so we can recruit staff and bring shows back to the Marcus Center,” said President and CEO Kendra Whitlock Ingram in an interview.

The Pabst Theater Group and its foundation will receive a total of approximately $ 10.8 million. Its CEO, Gary Witt, led a national effort through the National Independent Venue Association to raise pandemic funding for entertainment venues.

“It was a long way to actually distribute the money, but it was worth it,” Witt told CBS 58.

While Witt says the grants have made a big impact, many other small institutions are still waiting for their applications to be approved, which Witt is pushing for.

“We won’t rest until all of these companies are funded because that’s how we started,” said Witt.

For more information about the recipients in Wisconsin, see Here.

NJ leisure venues begin receiving federal COVID-19 grants to reopen, rehire workers

News 12 employees

June 24, 2021, 12:58 am

Updated on: 24.06.2021, 00:58

Now that some of New Jersey’s entertainment establishments and businesses are receiving long-awaited federal grants, following orders to shut down during the pandemic. The scholarships are designed to get people back to work and bring art and culture back to the communities.

Jersey City’s White Eagle Hall is one of the concert venues closed by the pandemic. The owners say they are ready to go back to work.

Married co-owners Ben LoPiccolo and Olga Levina say the reopening is possible in large part with a federal grant of nearly $ 740,000 that the venue has received. It is one of 36 New Jersey venues that have received a Shuttered Venues Operator Grant to cover a percentage of losses and recruit staff.

The scholarship program was set up last December, but the application process was slowed down by technical glitches. The honors are only now beginning.

About $ 11 million has been spent in New Jersey to date, and $ 16 billion is available nationwide through the federal grant program.

Native leisure companies ready for SBA grants

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) – It has been more than two months since local entertainment establishments like Rec Room Buffalo applied for federal Shuttered Venue Operator’s Grant funds from the United States Small Business Association.

“Getting the money yesterday was still too late,” said Chris Ring, owner of Rec Room. “We really needed this money when the portal opened.”

The application process began in April.

“It’s just not fast enough,” he said. “Not getting the venues that needed the money most. I think you will see how many venues close for not seeing the money in time. “

Ring is also a representative of the National Independent Venue Association, which represents theaters and other entertainment companies waiting for money.

“They put on record that they hope to mark all members by July 4th, but their daily turnaround time doesn’t add up,” he said.

The SVOG program has $ 16 billion available for closed venues. Eligible applications could qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross receipts as of 2019. The maximum individual grant is $ 10 million.

According to the SBA, 1,445 scholarships have been granted out of 14,000 applications so far.

The North Park Theater in North Buffalo was just approved on Tuesday.

“We asked for $ 200,000 so we hope it’s on that scale,” said program director Ray Barker.

Barker says it is unclear how much North Park will actually receive in grants.

“Delayed discharge means that discharge will be denied,” said US Congressman Brian Higgins. Higgins says he wrote a letter to the SBA administration asking for answers about why these applications are taking so long to process.

“Many of these venues have very tight margins,” he said.

You can still apply for the SVOG program by clicking Here.

Maryland arts, leisure venues obtain $10 million in grants

ANNAPOLIS – Maryland is giving away $ 10 million to entertainment venues across the state struggling during the pandemic, including the Delmarva Shorebirds, the Maryland Theater, and the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, among others.

The money will help stabilize companies that had to shut down or drastically reduce capacity as COVID-19 rose through Maryland last year.

As the state begins to arise from the pandemic, that money will also help the venues prepare for the busier fall season, said Nicholas Cohen, executive director of Maryland Citizens for the Arts.

“The art season is a little quiet in the summer. It’s coming back in the fall,” Cohen said. “What this does is it makes these venues float until then to really say, ‘Here we are, we’re back, we may be almost at full capacity.'”

The additional $ 10 million in government grants will go to more than 60 venues and organizations in Maryland. Delmarva Shorebirds, the Low-A subsidiary of Baltimore Orioles based in Salisbury, will receive $ 244,716 through the grant program.

The coastal birds took the field in May for the first time since 2019.

Several Washington County organizations will also benefit:

  • Suite 710, a Hagerstown venue: $ 28,162
  • Washington County Playhouse: $ 247,039
  • Potomac Playmaker: $ 9,852
  • The Maryland Theater: $ 238,985
  • Maryland Symphony Orchestra: $ 113,638

For the Potomac playmaker, The money will help maintain the group’s new home, which volunteer scholarship writer Greg Berezuk moved into just before the pandemic brought everything to a standstill.

The building at 17303 W. Washington St. west of Hagerstown can accommodate around 130 people.

“We got in there just before COVID. It’s a wonderful way for an audience to enjoy a live performance and we couldn’t use it, ”said Berezuk.

Fixed costs like mortgage and utilities would have to be paid even if the group couldn’t put on shows, he said.

According to Berezuk, the purely voluntary playmakers have been around for almost 100 years.

He said the organization was able to “hobble along” through 2020 and early 2021, with a very restricted audience admitted in the fall and generous donations from sponsors filling in the gaps.

Berezuk said the playmakers Show opening on July 9th “Farce of Habit”, the group’s new home will be at full capacity for the first time.

Shawn Martin, co-owner and co-producer of the Playhouse in Washington County with Ms. Laura Martin, said in an email on Thursday that the Dinner Theater at 44 N. Potomac St. in Hagerstown was closed for about eight months in 2020.

Even when the store reopened in November, Martin said it was limited to 50% capacity, including staff and dedicated actors.

The closure, capacity constraints and lack of demand due to COVID restrictions made it impossible to cover business costs, he said.

“The grant money will not cure us, but it will replace some of The Playhouse’s lost revenue,” said Martin.

The past 15 months have been “devastating” for The Playhouse, other entertainment venues, and for Martin and his wife, who also suffered personal losses.

Martin said they were supported by “a very large and loyal customer base and loyal and trustworthy staff”.

The Playhouse, which opened in 1985, currently organizes dinner shows mainly on Friday and Saturday evenings with selected Sunday matinees.

According to Martin, the 2022 season with musicals and summer camps will be announced shortly.

Suite 710 General Manager Robbie Soto said the deal took “some decent hits” as the nightclub and attached bowling alley closed completely from March to late June 2020

Soto said all of the staff should be fired.

When the restrictions were lifted, new staff were hired and the events slowly returned to the nightclub on Leitersburg Pike near Longmeadow Shopping Center.

Soto said the locally owned company totaled an estimated $ 300,000, so it was very welcome to get about 10% from the state.

“Anything is better than nothing,” he said. “That will really help us to be overtaken again.”

Soto said Suite 710 was “one of the lucky ones” to survive the shutdown and is working on booking events and bands to rebuild the decades-old entertainment business.

Photo by One Room Media Music Director Elizabeth Schulze directs the Maryland Symphony Orchestra during its September 17 concert at the Maryland Theater in downtown Hagerstown.

“A lot of support”

The new $ 10 million in grants is in addition to the $ 30 million the state granted earlier this year.

The Maryland Symphony Orchestra, the Maryland Theater, and the Washington County Playhouse also received substantial scholarships during this award round.

Maryland theater Executive Director Jessica Green said the new funding was higher than expected and “greatly appreciated”.

“Reg. Hogan and his leadership group have shown a lot of support for our industry, ”she said.

The theater at 21 S. Potomac St. in Hagerstown is 100% busy and is hosting 35 events in May and 12 last week, according to Green.

She said it was exciting to have people in the theater again, and that shows were sold out “incredibly quickly”.

While fall bookings are already picking up, summer is a notoriously slow season for live venues like the Maryland Theater.

“People want to be out,” she said, adding that the new funding is “being used well”.

Green said the theater was also waiting to hear about his application to the federal government Grant for operators of shuttered venues Program that includes more than $ 16 billion in grants for facilities shut down during the pandemic.

“Devastating Losses”

On the Lower Shore, several venues and organizers benefited in the first round:

  • National Fair: $ 72,707
  • Flagship Premium Cinemas Ocean City: $ 484,256
  • Fox Gold Coast Theater: $ 213,073
  • Special Event Productions: $ 72,638
  • Sun and Surf Cinema: $ 484,256

Grants have helped the entertainment and arts industries “overcome devastating losses in programming and revenue,” said Steven Skerritt-Davis, associate director of the Maryland State Arts Council.

“The sector responded with distinctive creativity and innovation and quickly turned to offer online content, virtual arts events, and secure in-person events and projects whenever possible,” said Skerritt-Davis.

More:Unemployed Marylanders prepare for the end of federal unemployment benefits

More:Marylanders will not receive $ 300 unemployment benefits in July

The State Arts Council provided more than $ 12 million in grants from state funds and the National Endowment for the Arts during the pandemic.

There were some challenges with the emergency funding procedures. U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Wrote a letter to the Small Business Association this week with dozens of Senate colleagues urging them to distribute federal grants to live venues faster.

“It has been nearly six months since Congress passed the Save our Stages Act, nearly two months since the program started twice, and 51 days since the Small Business Administration began receiving applications,” the letter said . “We urge you to take immediate steps to ensure that the funds are distributed to qualified applicants.”

The letter blamed bureaucratic delays for the slowdown in the distribution of grant funds, even though businesses continued to struggle.

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen announced the World War I Valor Medals Review Act, a new bipartisan law that will ensure that minority veterans who served during World War I, on Thursday, April 18, 2019, can pass the Get the recognition they deserve.

However, Cohen, the executive director of Maryland Citizens for the Arts, worries more than about venues about artists and performers, many of whom lost their jobs when the pandemic resulted in major plant closures.

“I think the response has been really appropriate for venues,” he said. “I think they’re on a lot more solid ground than we thought they would enter the post-pandemic, but I think the key to that is how will venues survive when artists have to leave the field? “

He points to the impending loss of the federal pandemic unemployment benefit, which has been a major boost to the self-employed and gig workers.

Governor Larry Hogan announced in early June that Maryland would get out of federal unemployment programs on July 3 and cut the extra money two months earlier than expected.

That means no additional $ 300 per week for people with traditional unemployment and no help at all for non-traditional workers who became unemployed as an emergency measure during the pandemic.

If artists leave the industry because they cannot afford to survive, the venues that benefited from emergency grants could face new challenges in finding talent after a busy year.

“We always think of these huge venues and events,” Cohen said. “Why are you coming? You are coming because of the entertainers, the artists.”

Cohen hopes the state will find new ways to support artists.

The State Arts Council has also worked to help artists support themselves. The organization has organized more than 260 training events with nearly 10,000 attendees, Skerritt-Davis said.

More:The Maryland COVID-19 state of emergency ends July 1st

More:Maryland Black leaders call for change after violent arrests in Ocean City

MSAC is also developing an Independent Artist Network employment initiative aimed at connecting artists with employers, he said.

Cohen also hopes that some of the venues used during the pandemic remain relevant and could help artists reach more people as the state reopens.

“The upside of this is that the venues have learned that they can improve access by thinking about things that are personal but also virtual,” Cohen said. “There’s a duality here to give people both that personal experience and a really robust virtual experience.”

Madeleine O’Neill covers the Maryland State House and state issues for the USA Today Network. She can be reached at moneill@gannett.com or on Twitter @maddioneill.

Herald Mail employee Alexis Fitzpatrick contributed to this story.

New Orleans Tourism and Cultural Fund to roll out grants for leisure venues on Monday

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Entertainment venues in the ‘Big Easy’ can apply for financial relief starting Monday 17th May.

The New Orleans Tourism and Culture Fund announced the start of a scholarship program that will provide $ 600,000 to fund musicians and artists struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The grants will be distributed to individuals and venues by June 30th or until funds are exhausted.


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COVID-19 aid cash: Small companies eligible for $5K grants

Evers checks GOP bills that regulate the federal government’s COVID-19 expenditure

Small business support is on the way after Governor Tony Evers vetoed proposals by the Republican-controlled legislature to use federal aid.

Small business support is on the way after Governor Tony Evers vetoed proposals by the Republican-controlled legislature to use $ 3.2 billion in federal aid. A $ 420 million program announced Thursday, April 22nd, could provide small businesses with $ 5,000 in grants.

It’s a welcome relief for some, including the owner of Freeses Candy Shoppe, who said their goal is simply to thrive beyond the coronavirus pandemic.

“We honestly cannot afford to prevent politicians from getting resources and support for those who need help,” said Evers.

The Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grant program is eligible for $ 5,000 in grants to companies that generate between $ 10,000 and $ 7 million annually.

“We all just have to get through this somehow,” said Wendy Matel, owner of Freese’s Candy Shoppe.

Matel has stocked their shelves but hasn’t glossed over the fact that part of their business, heavenly roasted nuts – sold at festivals and events – has gone dark.

“It was difficult for our company to understand,” said Matel.

She said the scholarship was a welcome relief.

“We all want to be successful,” said Matel. “It’s just a small way to help.”

Likewise, Lilo Allen of the Bronzeville Collective in Milwaukee said that grants are far more powerful than loans.

“Especially for small businesses, and especially for minority businesses that typically don’t have the seed capital to do the things they need,” Allen said.

The co-founder shares space with roughly 25 vendors and said that this money could help many focus on what they do best – their craft.

Bronzeville collective

“With grants that bring this financial infusion straight into the business, so many of our vendors can take it to the next level, get better branding, buy more products and really take a break and focus on their creativity, which I find amazing,” he said to all.

Evers estimates that 84,000 companies will benefit from this program.

In a joint statement, Assembly Spokesman Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu called his veto disappointing, Wisconsin wants to know where the rest of the $ 3.2 billion will go and says Wisconsin deserves transparency in the process.

Woodgrove, Independence lecturers awarded grants from Wolf Entice | Leisure

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of the headline of this story incorrectly stated that both teachers were teaching drama. One teaches drama and the other music.

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts has awarded scholarships to two Loudoun County arts programs for upcoming projects.

Addie Schafer Benko, an acting teacher at Woodgrove High School in Purcellville, and Ashley Driscoll, a music teacher at Independence High School in Ashburn, are two of eight scholarship recipients in the Washington, DC area.

Benko is working with her students to create a pop-up museum in Purcellville that blends art with dramaturgical research while also providing a pre-show experience for her outdoor performance of “Oklahoma!” Middle of May.

In conjunction with orchestral programs from all 17 high schools in the county, Driscoll will virtually meet with guest musicians who specialize in violin, viola, and cello to explore topics such as bowing, tone generation, and vibrato.

As part of Wolf Trap’s scholarships for the performing arts teacher program in high schools, Wolf Trap will present these projects on its virtual stage platform.

“The arts teach resilience, foster collaboration, can be a forum for self-expression and help find a path to future careers,” said Cate Bechtold, director of internships and community programs, Education for Wolf Trap, in a prepared statement.

“The goal of the High School Grants program is to recognize teachers who develop creative, innovative programs for their students and to help them make the projects possible,” said Bechtold.

Prize winners will receive a financial grant to support special projects based on Wolf Trap’s performance and educational priorities, including artist residencies, commissions, master classes and technology in the arts. For more information on Wolf Trap’s High School Grants Program, visit wolftrap.org/grants.

Functions for San Francisco Music and Leisure Venues Grants Set to Open – CBS San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – City officials announced Monday that the San Francisco Music and Entertainment Venue Recovery Fund will be accepting grant applications starting this week.

The $ 10,000 minimum grants are available to all eligible San Francisco entertainment venues, which in many cases have been closed for a full year due to COVID-19.

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Mayor London Breed announced that the fund will begin accepting applications for grants from Wednesday April 21st. The fund was set up to financially support live music and entertainment venues in San Francisco to keep them from closing permanently due to U.S. pressure pandemic.

According to the press release, the fund supports recommendations by the city’s Economic Recovery Task Force to support the arts, culture, hospitality and entertainment sectors. The fund is also in line with San Francisco’s other entertainment support efforts, including Mayor Breed’s $ 2.5 million entertainment fee and tax break and the arts and culture support proposals under the Framework of the Mayor’s Small Business Recovery Act.

“These music and entertainment venues are part of what makes San Francisco a special place to live and visit,” Mayor Breed said in the press release. “The past year has been devastating for the entertainment sector and this local funding will help these companies stay until they can get back up and running.”

Last month, Mayor and manager Matt Haney agreed to allocate $ 3 million to the fund as part of $ 24.8 million for small business loans and grants in the current year surplus expenditure plan. In the first round of grants, all $ 3 million of the same amount will be spent on each eligible venue. According to official figures, the grants for each venue are at least $ 10,000. However, this amount depends on how many venues are qualified for the program.

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“Our independent music and nightlife venues have been badly hit over the past year and are in dire need of the support this fund will provide,” said Supervisor Matt Haney. “Night life and entertainment are cornerstones of our city’s economy and culture. When we reopen and recover, we need our city’s venues to not only survive but also to grow stronger. “

The fund is managed by the San Francisco Office of Small Business and was developed in consultation with stakeholders from the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the Entertainment Commission, the Small Business Commission, the San Francisco Venue Coalition, and the Independent Venue Alliance.

The fund is also available to receive donations from the public. All private donations received before the first round of scholarships will be distributed during this round. If the city adds additional money to the fund from the city or through donations after the first grant round, this money will be awarded in the following grant rounds.

“Live music venues couldn’t be open for even a single day in any way for over a year. They’re among the hardest hit companies in San Francisco, so they’re hanging by a thread, said Sharky Laguana, president of the San Francisco Small Business Commission. “Many had to close permanently. Music is central to San Francisco’s identity and history, and as a musician, I don’t even want to think of our city without our beloved venues. “

The deadline for applying for grants is May 5th. Venues eligible for funding must have an entertainment commission location approval prior to the start of the pandemic, including a track record of extensive live entertainment programming, including eligibility criteria.

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Venues interested in applying and members of the public interested in donating to the fund can be found at sfosb.org/venuefund

Opinion: Get grants shifting to assist leisure venues survive | Editorials

The following editorial originally appeared in the Seattle Times.

Our region’s community of concert halls, nightclubs, and theaters went dark a year ago when artists, staff, and patrons huddled with the rest of us. These venues, which have promoted the world-class live entertainment culture of the Pacific Northwest, are earmarked for federal survival aid. This help can help them get through the post-pandemic reopening nights for the good of all of us.

A scholarship program supported by Washington US Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell can help performance rooms across the country regain their footing. However, the $ 16 billion Shuttered Venue Operators grants in the COVID-19 federal agency legislation failed to roll out on April 8 due to website troubles. A solution to the technical problems of small business administration is urgently needed before further venues are permanently closed.

There are more than 200 small and medium-sized independent entertainment venues and cinemas in Washington that could benefit from this. Their crowds have gone, but rent payments and other expenses remain for community treasures from The Shakedown in Bellingham to the Lucky You Lounge in Spokane.

The Grand Cinema in Tacoma closed in March 2020 and has put its employees on leave. The funds from the federal paycheck protection program were then used to cover workers’ health insurance. Philip Cowan, the theater’s executive director, said he had no way of knowing when the grants for the shuttered venue might be available. He fears that the money that comes first, serves first will quickly drain away.

“It was a mess, to be honest,” Cowan said in an online city hall hosted by Cantwell. “This has taken a long time to get started and the information coming out of the SBA is ubiquitous.”

Regional benefits are not limited to just maintaining the major entertainment venues in the Pacific Northwest – although this is to be welcomed. As the spread of COVID-19 subsides in the community, the joy of joining an audience for a concert or play, laughing at an actor’s joke, or nodding to a familiar bass line will provide a much-needed boost to weary ghosts.

The economic aspects are also important. Cantwell’s office said 135 independent Washington venues, which can entertain audiences of up to 2,000, employ 3,000 people and have an annual economy of $ 785 million. As these areas are re-appearing, they can encourage recovery in other sectors. Everyone needs time to rebuild.

“We book artists for six months to a year, so the money is fantastic,” said Steven Severin, co-owner of the Neumos rock club in Seattle. “It will take us further down the road, but it will by no means make us well. We will not go back to where we were. “

The runway for recovery is long and the systems that provide assistance should be viewed as necessary infrastructure for future economic resilience. The SBA’s Shuttered Venue grants are the latest in a long list of state and federal efforts that initially stalled to meet the immense demand for economic relief for COVID-19.

With the pandemic approaching its end, supporting this rescue effort for a precarious and vital sector should be a high priority. Washington residents will soon need destinations again.

The Seattle Times editorial staff are Editorial Page Editor Kate Riley, Frank A. Blethen, Jennifer Hemmingsen, Mark Higgins, Derrick Nunnally, and William K. Blethen (retired).

Grants Awarded to Native Leisure Venues

Lansing, MI – 101 independent entertainment venues across Michigan are receiving $ 3.4 million in relief from the state.

The Michigan Stages Survival Grant Program, approved earlier this year, awards grants of up to $ 40,000 each to venues and promoters in 30 counties.

MEDC said it had received 392 requests for funding for event aid.

In Lenawee County, the Adrian Symphony Orchestra received a scholarship.

The venues in Ypsilanti, Dexter, Jackson, Chelsea and Ann Arbor were also funded.

Check out our local and state newscasts any time of the day or night for that story and more.

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