Funding on the way for venues closed during pandemic

$16.2B in federal aid could provide a lifeline for many closed arts organizations and theaters.

It’s been over a year since most entertainment venues were forced to shut their doors amid the coronavirus pandemic, and many of them haven’t reopened. That’s placed a destructive pressure on businesses and non-profit organizations that rely on in-person events to make their income.

But a lifeline is on the way. Applications for a piece of $16.2 billion in federal grants opened up yesterday.

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What It Is: The Shuttered Venue Operators Grants program is meant to help arts and entertainment organizations that lost significant revenue due to COVID-19 restrictions. The grants are first-come, first-served, but are structured into three tiers to provide benefits to groups that experienced different levels of hardship.

  • Groups that lost at least 90% of revenue between April and December 2020.
  • Groups that lost at least 70% revenue between April and December 2020.
  • Groups that lost at least 25% of revenue between one quarter in 2019 and the same quarter in 2020.

Qualifying groups can get up to 45% of their gross revenue up to a maximum of $10 million. $2 billion is set aside just for groups that have fewer than 51 full time employees.

Local Orgs: In Kalamazoo, there are many potential beneficiaries.

The State Theatre hasn’t had a live, in-person show indoors in over a year. They’ve managed to skirt the worst of the pandemic shutdown by holding virtual concerts, sometimes with musicians performing live in their theater without a live audience.

The Kalamazoo Civic Theatre doesn’t rely exclusively on ticket revenue to keep things running, but the non-profit organization hasn’t been able to put on a live show since early 2020. They’ve shifted to virtual performances as well.

You can read more an MLive.

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