Live Music Society adds $710,000 in grants to 24 small US music venues

The nonprofit Live Music Society has awarded $710,000 in much-needed Music Action Grants to 24 small independent U.S. music venues.

Founded by Pete Muller in 2020, the foundation has provided crucial funding to 155 small performance venues totaling $3.7 million. Venues must have a capacity of 300 or less to be eligible for Live Music Society grants.

At a time when a few large corporations dominate live music, independent venues are crucial musical incubators for musicians and an essential part of their communities’ cultural fabric.

But these venues often operate on razor-thin margins, so survival can take priority over creative programming.

Today’s Music In Action Grants will fund events that build community, promote accessibility for marginalized groups, and create opportunities for local talent and touring acts to build new audiences. Each venue applied with a specific program idea and a commitment to completing their project during the grant period, July 2024 through June 2025.  

“I’ve been inspired by the scope and breadth of projects funded by the Music In Action grant,” said foundation founder Pete Muller. “At Live Music Society, we focus on empowering small performance venues to find creative ways of engaging with their communities and reaching new audiences. It’s heartwarming to see the energy and excitement we’ve helped spark!”

2024 Music Action Grant Recipients

The 2024 Music In Action recipients include both non-profit and for-profit venues nationwide. Here is a sampling of the 24 funded programs:

  • The Spot on Kirk (Roanoke, Virginia), Devil’s Backbone Tavern (Fischer, Texas), and La Peña Cultural Center (Berkeley, CA) each have programs that will celebrate Latinx and Hispanic heritage and culture.
  • The Acorn Center for the Performing Arts (Three Oaks, Michigan) will launch the JazzReach Residency for K-8 students, including free clinics and all-ages concerts to expand music education in rural Michigan
  • The Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center (Sarasota, Florida) will use their grant for their second annual Creative Nexus series of gatherings for BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ musicians to connect, collaborate, and receive artistic development support.

Full list of 2024 Grantees

  • 118 North – Wayne, PA
  • B Side Lounge – Cleveland Heights, OH
  • Blue Jay Listening Room – Jacksonville Beach, FL
  • Bossa Bistro – Washington, D.C.
  • Chris’ Jazz Cafe – Philadelphia, PA
  • Cole’s Bar – Chicago, IL 
  • Devil’s Backbone Tavern – Fischer, TX
  • Drkmttr Collective – Nashville, TN
  • Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center – Sarasota, FL
  • Grand Annex Music Hall – San Pedro, CA
  • Jilly’s Music Room – Akron, OH
  • La Peña Cultural Center – Berkeley, CA
  • Maple Leaf Bar – New Orleans, LA
  • MOTR Pub – Cincinnati, OH
  • Nocturne Jazz & Supper Club – Denver, CO
  • One Longfellow Square – Portland, ME
  • Rebel Rebel Studio & Lounge – Berea, KY
  • Roots Music Project – Boulder, CO
  • The Acorn Center for the Performing Arts – Three Oaks, MI
  • The Jalopy Theatre – Brooklyn, NY
  • The Lost Church – San Francisco, CA
  • The Parlor Room – Northampton, MA
  • The Royal Room – Seattle, WA
  • The Spot on Kirk – Roanoke, VA

Bruce Houghton is the Founder and Editor of Hypebot, a Senior Advisor at Bandsintown, President of the Skyline Artists Agency, and a Berklee College Of Music professor.

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