SPACE in Evanston, Ill., was awarded a grant by Live Music Society in October. (www.evanstonspace.com)

Live Music Society to distribute second round of COVID-19 relief

Nonprofit organization Live Music Society is continuing its COVID-19 relief efforts to help small U.S. music venues by opening the application window for its second phase of grants.

Live Music Society has committed to awarding $2 million in grants in its first two years of operations to small venues, with grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000.

“Our original goal was to support a small network of like-minded clubs around the country that could share best practices and learn from each other. But the pandemic hit, and now we are simply trying to help these clubs stay afloat until they can fully open their doors again” Joyce Lim, executive director of LMS, said in a statement. “We are looking forward to helping more with this second phase of support.”

In October the organization’s first round of grants was awarded to 20 clubs, including The Hotel Café in Los Angeles; Hi-Dive in Denver; SPACE in Evanston, Ill.; Club Passim in Cambridge, Mass.; The Bowery Electric in New York; Mercury Lounge in Tulsa, Okla.; Club Café in Pittsburgh; and The Royal Room in Seattle.

“SPACE is extremely grateful to be included among the venues recognized with grants from Live Music Society,” Jake Samuels, partner and talent buyer for SPACE, said in a statement. “Despite our physical address being closed for shows, we’re more committed than ever to providing live musical experiences safely for our community of Evanston and beyond. At a time when venues around the country are closing everyday due to the pandemic and lack of government assistance, grants and support like this are a vital lifeline when we need them most. We look forward to every chance we get to bring people together for live music, whatever that may look like, in the days, months, and years ahead.”

The application period for the second phase of grants opened Jan. 5 and runs through March 2. To meet the eligibility criteria venues must be based in the U.S., have a sellable capacity of 50-250 seats prior to COVID, been in operation for three years or more, and be committed to live music as its primary activity. The organization’s website notes that the applicant must manage or own the venue and that “unfortunately, promoters, curators, and festival producers are not eligible.”

Between March and April applications will be reviewed by a jury and finalists will be interviewed and required to provide financial documents per IRS requirements. Grantees will be announced in mid-May and funds will be dispersed in early June.

Live Music Society’s board includes agent/manager Val Denn; Quincy Jones Productions President Adam Fell; musician/record producer/radio host and arts and nonprofit entrepreneur Nik Forster; singer/songwriter Nona Hendryx; singer/songwriter Pete Muller; Sofar Sounds co-founder and Executive Chairman Rafe Offer; composer, musician, author, speaker, producer/engineer and A&R consultant for Universal Music Group Stephen Webber; and Jeffrey Wilkins, who has more than 20 years of experience in public accounting, private and nonprofit organizations and now serves as the chief financial officer of a family office.

Visit LiveMusicSociety.org for more information and click here for the online grant application.

Editor’s note: This story originally appeared on Pollstar.com.