NIVA Makes $3M In Grants While Venues Await Stimulus Aid

– niva

The National Independent Venue Association is making $3 million in critical short-term assistance grants available to some 153 independent venues and promoters throughout the U.S. awaiting funding from the recently enacted federal relief package resulting from the COVID crisis. The grants are hoped to provide a lifeline to the most distressed venues until those emergency relief dollars begin to flow as part of the Save Our Stages Act provisions included in the most recent federal stimulus package. 

“This aid would not have been possible without the help of everyone who has supported NIVA. Thank you especially to the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund Committee co-chairs, Lisa Gedgaudas, Chris Zacher, and Carl Swanson, who dedicated endless hours to making sure this program could assist as many venues and promoters as possible; we’re immensely grateful to them,” said NIVA Executive Director Rev. Moose.
However, the need for funds is still dire because NIVA’s Emergency Relief Fund has received four times the requests for aid as it had funds to award, according to the organization. An addition $11 million is required to provide essential relief to all who have applied thus far. 

 “But the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund is just a temporary life raft for these small businesses. With a maximum grant amount of $25,000, this is only short-term help,” Moose explains. “And we are pained that we can’t provide grants to all who applied, because our industry’s need far exceeds the donations we’ve collected so far. We’re grateful that Congress passed the latest COVID Relief law, but it will likely take months before the grants are received. We’re trying to help those most at risk of going under while they wait.”

Donations to the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund are still being accepted. Already, hundreds of venues have shuttered permanently since COVID-19 forced the industry to a standstill in March. As more time passes before federal emergency relief is received, venues could continue to disappear.

“The NIVA Emergency Relief Fund is administered by The Giving Back Fund through a diverse panel of impartial, third party industry experts. 

“It’s hard to imagine our futures without the lively spirit and culture of independent music venues,’ said Marc Pollick, president of the Giving Back Fund. “They are where we go to elevate our lives. It’s one of the many reasons why The Giving Back Fund is so proud to be partnering with NIVA to facilitate their Emergency Relief Fund. We received hundreds of applications from venues across the country, each with their own unique history and each in dire need of support – far more worthy applications than we can fulfill given the current resources. Grants are set to go out to the first round of recipients this week and we hope to continue our efforts to find the necessary funding to save every last venue.

“The NIVA Emergency Relief Fund is a tax-deductible way for individuals, companies, and foundations to contribute. The NIVA ERF directly supports the preservation of the independent live entertainment ecosystem that presents music, comedy, and the performing arts, helping these critical spaces survive through the Coronavirus pandemic. Individuals, foundations, businesses, and organizations that are interested in contributing to the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund should visit the website.