Save our Stages Act will provide grants for live venue operators affected by the pandemic

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) announced that her bipartisan bill with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) to provide $15 billion in relief for independent venues —including live music stages, movie theaters, and museums shuttered by the pandemic — is included in the coronavirus relief package that has now been signed into law.

In June, Klobuchar and Cornyn introduced the Save Our Stages Act to provide Small Business Administration grants for independent venue operators affected by the coronavirus pandemic. These grants will provide six months of financial support to keep venues afloat, pay employees, and preserve a critical economic sector for communities across America.

The bipartisan legislation gained more than 50 cosponsors in the Senate, and the House version of Save our Stages, led by Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Roger Williams (R-TX), gained over 170 cosponsors.

“Independent venues were some of the first establishments to close down and will likely be some of the last to open. I refuse to sit by and let the music die, which is why I was proud to introduce the bipartisan Save our Stages Act,” Klobuchar said. “This funding will get small entertainment venues the help they need to make ends meet and serve our communities for generations to come.” 

“We offer our deepest gratitude to our employees, our community, and the incredible network of artists and musicians who offered their voices and support in this most trying year,” said Dayna Frank, National Independent Venue Association Board President and Owner and CEO of First Avenue Productions. “Our appeal for assistance was amplified in ways we couldn’t have imagined possible because of their efforts. So many in our community are facing personal and financial hardships, which is why legislation like this, and extending PUA is essential. Senator Klobuchar then championed our call, securing First Avenue’s future as an independent venue for generations to come. We cannot wait to welcome you all back into our venues, as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Small live music and entertainment venues have been hard-hit during the coronavirus pandemic, with 90 percent of venue owners, promoters, and bookers reporting they are at risk of closing without additional financial assistance and an estimated $9 billion in losses should ticket sales not resume until 2021. 

The Save Our Stages Act is endorsed by the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), National Independent Talent Organization (NITO), National Association of Theater Owners (NATO), Association of Performing Arts Professionals, Music Biz, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Recording Academy, American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), and Broadway League.

In addition to Klobuchar and Cornyn, the Save our Stages Act was cosponsored in the Senate by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Susan Collins (R-ME), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Gary Peters (D-MI), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Steve Daines (R-MT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Doug Jones (D-AL), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Tina Smith (D-MN), Edward Markey (D-MA), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Chris Coons (D-DE), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Jon Tester (D-MT), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rob Portman (R-OH), Angus King Jr. (I-ME), Bob Casey (D-PA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mark Warner (D-VA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), John Kennedy (R-LA), Tom Udall (D-NM), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Thomas Carper (D-DE), Patty Murray (D-WA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), John Boozman (R-AR), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Mark Kelly (D-AZ).