Live Music Society Reveals 17 Small Venue Recipients of $500,000 Grant to Fund Community Engagement Programs

Live Music Society
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Live Music Society
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Photo Credit: Live Music Society

Live Music Society reveals 17 small venue recipients of a $500,000 grant to fund community engagement programs in underserved and marginalized communities.

Nonprofit Live Music Society, launched in 2020 to help provide financial relief to small performance venues during the pandemic, has announced its new grant initiative, Music in Action — and the 17 small venue recipients of the grant totaling $500,000.

The Music in Action grant is awarded to programs proposed by these venues that prioritize building and engaging their local community and supporting historically marginalized groups, including BIPOC, Latinx, LGBTQIA+, and people with disabilities. Applicants had to submit a program idea for funding consideration.

The 2023 Music in Action Grant Recipients:

  • Big Room Bar — Columbus, OH
  • Caffe Lena — Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Cafe CODA — Madison, WI
  • The Chocolate Church Arts Center — Bath, ME
  • Club Passim — Cambridge, MA
  • DazzleJazzle Inc. — Denver, CO
  • Drom — New York, NY
  • Elastic Arts Foundation — Chicago, IL
  • The Happy Dog — Cleveland, OH
  • Hey Nonny — Arlington Heights, IL
  • The Ivy Room — Albany, CA
  • The Muse Performance Space — Lafayette, CO
  • The Parlour Providence — Providence, RI
  • The Rebel Lounge — Phoenix, AZ
  • The Stone Church — Brattleboro, VT
  • Sunset Tavern — Seattle, WA
  • TAC Temescal Art Center — Oakland, CA

Recipients of the grant money are already making excellent use of the funds. The Ivy Room, an LGBTQ-safe space in Albany, CA, has been organizing a diverse range of Pride Month events, including live music, comedy shows, activist panels, job fairs, and mental health support workshops. 

In Chicago, the Elastic Arts Foundation is revitalizing their Dark Matter performance series, elevating the AfroFuturist Weekend festival, featuring talented Black artists from neighborhoods in the city’s South and West Sides.

With the addition of the Music in Action grant, Live Music Society has distributed nearly $3 million in grant funding to 126 venues since it was founded. Live Music Society’s mission has played a crucial role in empowering local communities, enabling venues to foster inclusivity, ignite community engagement, and explore new avenues of revenue.

“This grant is not just about financial support; it’s about building a network of dedicated supporters who share our passion for live music and its accessibility,” says Nona Hendryx, musician and Live Music Society board member.

Live Music Society’s mission is to ensure that live music remains accessible to all, and they have provided a vital source of financial support for emerging musicians and underserved communities to help sustain the careers of both established and under-recognized musicians.

Live Music Society will also attend this year’s NIVA ’23 conference in Washington, D.C., with several activations, including a panel, a presentation during the awards gala, a Live Music Society Cantina, and more.