COVID-19 UPDATE: Live music venues gain funding support

Seventeen live music venues, mostly silent over the past five months, have received an infusion of cash through the city’s Music Cities Strategy Recovery Program, which uses federal dollars from the CARES Act to help the independent stages closed down by public health orders surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

The venues – several of which are within the Urban Times zone – received a total of $121,675, an average of $7,398.

The list includes:

  • On Mass Ave, Chatterbox Jazz and Burnside Inn.
  • In Fountain Square, Hi-Fi Indy/ Hi-Fi Annex,  Radio Radio, White Rabbit Cabaret, Square Cat Vinyl and Hoosier Dome.
  • In the Old Southside, AJ’s Lounge.
  • In the Wholesale District, Slippery Noodle Inn.
  • In Holy Cross, State Street Pub.

Other recipients were Black Circle, Duke’s Indy, Melody Inn, Mousetrap, The Jazz Kitchen, The Patron Saint and The Vogue.

The program was open to independent music venues located within Marion County. Grants are to be used for overhead costs, which may include monthly rent or mortgage payments and utility payments. The program was funded by federal CARES Act dollars approved by the City-County Council on June 8. Musical Family Tree, the administrator of the grant, reviewed 17 applications, with every applicant receiving some funding.

“We are thankful for a city that recognizes the cultural importance of independent live music venues.  The Indiana Independent Venue alliance has been working hard to provide impact data that supports important grant programs like the Music Strategy Recovery Program,” said Josh Baker, IIVA founder and executive director. “We have a long road ahead, but these opportunities provide hope and instill confidence that these independent businesses are valued contributors to our local economy. “

Said Mayor Joe Hogsett, “As we navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must protect our live music venues and the continued vibrancy of our neighborhoods. The success of these establishments will be key pieces of our return from the public health crisis and the comeback of our local economy. The Music Cities Strategy Recovery Program will help support venues during this difficult time and allow them to begin planning for the future.” 

PHOTO ABOVE: Pianist Monika Herzig has been among the many local jazz artists who have appeared at Chatterbox Jazz over the years. PHOTO BY LARRY GOSHEN