Seattle venue The Vera Project announced “Viva Vera 20!” on Tuesday, an ongoing slate of events to celebrate the all-ages music and arts space’s 20th anniversary.
The 20th anniversary celebration kicks off Jan. 27 with a massive livestreaming concert featuring performances by Foo Fighters, Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, TV On The Radio, Jeff Rosenstock, Perfume Genius, Tacocat, No Age, Mike Park and more.
Vera board members and alumni will join the stream, as will all-ages DIY activists from elsewhere in America.
The event airs Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. PT on VeraTV.org.
In addition to the local and touring artists The Vera Project hosts, it also houses a screen print shop, recording studio and art gallery, while educating and providing a safe space to the community it serves. Activists founded the venue in 2001, partly in response to Seattle’s repressive Teen Dance Ordinance; the city repealed the TDO the following year.
“It’s ironic that as Seattle was becoming an international mecca for music, the city’s young people were living a ‘Footloose’ existence, prohibited from coming together to dance or see live shows,” said Kate Becker, who co-founded Vera and currently serves as King County creative economy director. “What’s always been inspiring to me is that discriminatory law translated into civic engagement, galvanizing young activists to organize and lobby local government. To this day, that energy is still at the heart of VERA.”
Vera alumni – volunteers, staff and artists – have become leaders in the music industry, as well as other fields. The venue disburses substantial sums in scholarships, and ably adapted its fundraising efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing financial relief for members, staff and performers and raising nearly $100,000 for Seattle’s DIY community spaces and Black-led arts organizations through the DIY Community Relief Fund.
“As America’s music industry and arts scene start to rebuild, we have an incredible opportunity to make something better. Something centered on empathy, equity and community,” said Vera Project executive director Ricky Graboski. “It is our collective responsibility to build an infrastructure that’s resilient and responsive enough to meet the needs of the moment. And VERA is leading the charge.”
For more information, visit the event’s website.