In light of the pandemic’s continued disruption to the music industry, The National Independent Venue Foundation (NIVF) has reopened its Emergency Relief Fund (ERF) in an effort to provide financial support to independent music, theatre, and comedy venues, as well as festivals and promoters across the US.
Originally launched in October 2020, the NIVF’s parent group, the National Independent Venue Association, was set up to provide economic relief to venues affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The fund has now been expanded to cover unforeseeable events such as natural disasters, the “lasting effects of Covid-19”, and any future pandemics.
In a recent statement, Lisa Gedgaudas, co-chair of the NIVF ERF committee and program manager, Cultural Affairs Arts & Venues with the city of Denver, said: “These venues and promoters contribute in immeasurable ways to the vibrancy of the nation’s diverse communities and economy.”
She then went on to add: “While NIVF’s ERF is limited in resources compared to the federal funding we have seen, it is our social responsibility to have this program in place to help represent our independent contributors that are hardest hit and facing severe and catastrophic emergencies beyond their control.”
According to Gedgaudas, the new ERF program has been designed to prepare the industry for what many feel is a new age of instability: “From pandemics to fire and floods, the new evolution of the ERF program stands in preparation for a stronger recovery in the face of various climate emergencies that may continue to impact independent venues in our communities over time.”
So far, the ERF has awarded $3,170,000 to venues and organisations in 40 states around the US, $2,800,000 of which was given to 148 independent venues, and another $370,000 to 18 independent promoters. The money has been pulled together from a variety of sources, including thousands of generous individuals and a number of corporate and institutional partners. More information about the fund, including a link for those that wish to apply or donate, can be found at the NIVF’s Emergency Relief Fund website.