Live & Touring

National Independent Venue Foundation (NIVF) Created To Preserve Live Music

While the industry waits with baited breath for the passage of the Save Our Stages Act in Congress, the National Independent Venue Association has announced the formation of the National Independent Venue Foundation, which aims to raise funds for NIVA’s mission and keep the doors open for independent live performance spaces.

Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix

The National Independent Venue Foundation (NIVF) is built on the same guiding principles as the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA).

As The National Independent Venue Association’s 2,900 members anxiously await the passage of the Save Our Stages Act in Congress, NIVA today announces the formation of The National Independent Venue Foundation, a registered non-profit 501(c)(3) which seeks to partner and fundraise through individual, corporate and foundation donations to expand upon NIVA’s mission to preserve and nurture the ecosystem of independent live performance venues and promoters throughout the U.S. by also seeking to support a transparent, competitive marketplace serving a diverse and inclusive community of artists, fans, and industry workers. 

“The National Independent Venue Foundation is built on the same guiding principles as the National Independent Venue Association. While NIVA remains the advocacy, sponsorship, and membership trade organization branch of the cause, The Foundation has been created to focus on separate, supplemental initiatives, such as the Emergency Relief Fund,” said Hal Real, president of NIVF. Real is also president of World Cafe Live in Philadelphia and secretary of NIVA. “The Foundation hopes to learn from existing best practices and training programs undertaken by NIVA’s members and expand upon them to provide education and community programming, employee training and support, and economic development initiatives to further develop both organizations’ efforts to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion. Long-term, we hope to establish an endowment fund to assure sustainability of NIVA and Foundation programming for years to come.”

The National Independent Venue Foundation is led by these board members:

NIVF President: Hal Real, founder and president of World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, and secretary of NIVA

NIVF Executive Director: Rev. Moose, managing partner of Marauder, New York, and executive director of NIVA

NIVF Vice President: Tobi Parks, owner of xBk Live, Des Moines, Iowa

NIVF Secretary/ Treasurer: Laura Wilson, live music manager for The Bohemian Foundation, Fort Collins, CO

NIVF Board Member: Torrie Allen, president and CEO, Arts Midwest, Minneapolis

NIVF Board Member: Annie Brinn, senior vice president of publishing administration at Warner Music Group, Nashville, TN

NIVF Board Member; Taneshia Nash Laird, president and CEO of Newark Symphony Hall, Newark, NJ

NIVF Board Member, David M. Mayeri, founder and CEO of Berkeley Music Group – The UC Theatre, Berkeley, CA

“While we wait for Congressional support that would allow our industry of independent venues and promoters to survive, I’m excited to be working with the National Independent Venue Foundation on next steps that, once we are back in business, will allow every member of our community the equal opportunity to thrive,” said Tobi Parks, NIVF vice president and owner of xBk Live. “It’s more than just that feeling of being in an audience, surrounded by other fans of all backgrounds who are connecting in that moment. Our goal is to support diversity, equity, and inclusion in all levels of our industry – from fans to artists, employees to owners, and beyond.”

“The live music business contributes billions of dollars to the nation’s economy and independently-owned venues are important not only for their economic value but for the quality of life they contribute to their communities,” said Taneshia Nash Laird, NIVF board member and president and CEO of Newark Symphony Hall. “I’m delighted to join the Foundation’s board and contribute my expertise in economic development, equity, and inclusion towards the organization’s important mission of not only saving our stages, but helping these business owners maintain financial resilience.”

“As a proud Nashville native, born and raised in Music City, live music is ingrained in my DNA,” said NIVF board member Annie Brinn. “Joining the board of the Foundation sits directly at the intersection of where my personal and professional lives meet. My mission with the Foundation is to drive change through the music industry and into our communities. I’m excited to help champion DEI initiatives and ensure that the relationships we foster and the partnerships we develop on behalf of the Foundation are as diverse as the music that connects us.“

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company’s podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.

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