On Feb. 23 the Live Music Society announced its 18 spring recipients for the nonprofit's small music venue grants program. Spanning the country, recipients have venues based everywhere from Flint, Michigan, to Washington, D.C., and in Bend at the Volcanic Theatre Pub. These individual grants range between $10,000 to $50,000. To be considered a small venue you must have a capacity of only 50 to 300 people, including before COVID restrictions were in place.
Since becoming a nonprofit in 2020, the Live Music Society has assisted with funding 126 different venues in 34 different states, totaling over $2.3 million in grant money.
"We are encouraged by a new sense of optimism as COVID restrictions ease, but conscious of the recent surge's impact on venues that continue to face canceled performances and attendance below prior levels. We are committed to creating programs that assist venues as they recover from the pandemic," said LMS board member Adam Fell.
LMS was formed at a time when independent venues needed the community's help the most, but as Fell notes, these spaces for theater, music and more will continue to need help as they make the climb back from having to shut their doors for so long. Even once communities feel like the pandemic is over, supporting these organizations will still be a high priority. This extra support now is something the Volcanic Theatre Pub (the first Oregon-based venue to receive an LMS grant so far) is truly appreciative about.
"We are so honored and grateful to be one of the Live Music Society's grantees for Spring 2022. These grants are carefully chosen for independent venues across the United States. After a thorough application and interview process, we are so lucky to be one of the 18 venues to receive a grant," says VTP owner Derek Sitter.
Not only will the grant money help the recovery from canceling shows in the past, but it will help VTP and other venues that received grants be able to stay prepared for the future when touring en masse becomes normal again.
"The grant money will help us recover from the cancellations and closures during the Delta and Omicron variant. More importantly, it'll help us navigate through late spring and summer when events begin to slow down for indoor venues with hopes things will return to a more normal touring season in the fall," added Sitter. "The Live Music Society not only awards grants to struggling venues, they really support and respect the significance and vitality of small venues across America. Live Music Society truly understands the value of venues like Volcanic and what we all offer to our communities. We're very lucky to have organizations like LMS on our side."
If you want to support venues of this size to make sure they flourish beyond grants, the best way to do so is to buy tickets to their shows. The VTP currently has 14 scheduled shows for the month of March featuring a wide variety of performers: Albert Cummings on March 6, Spunj on March 18, Sarah Shook & The Disarmers on March 26 and many more. First up this weekend is Lost Ox and Swindler on Friday night.