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New Non-Profit Offers Aid to Small Music Venues Across America

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Newly created non-profit organization Live Music Society has announced its first relief effort to help small music venues across the country. Live Music Society will provide $2 million in grants in its first two years of operation to support the live music ecosystem around the United States.

The grants will supply philanthropic aid to music venues that have been in operation for three years or more with a sellable capacity of 250 occupants or less, with maximum one-year individual grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000.

The initial round of recipients are located in 14 different states and boast strong connections to their communities, according to Live Music Society. Venues include Club Passim in Massachusetts, the Jazz Showcase in Illinois, Hotel Cafe in California, Caffé Lena in New York and more.

“Music is magic. It has tremendous power to connect people and create energy," said Live Music Society founder and board chairman Pete Muller in a release. "There are small venues around the country that create soul-filling experiences for their audiences, staff, and for the local and touring musicians that play there. These clubs are a precious and important part of our nation’s music ecosystem, and our goal is to help them continue to be excellent at what they do.”

Muller heads quantitative investment manager PDT Partners. He is also singer-songwriter and champion of music education. Muller helped save New York’s legendary Power Station studios in partnership with the Berklee College of Music in Boston and the New York City Mayor’s Office for Media and Entertainment.

Additional Live Music Society board members include president of Quincy Jones Productions Adam Fell, head of the Val Denn Agency Val Denn, founder and host of the noted Colorado-based radio show and podcast eTown Nick Forster, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Nona Hendryx, co-founder and executive chairman of Sofar Sounds Rafe Offer, dean of strategic initiatives for Berklee College of Music and executive director of BerkleeNYC Stephen Webber and accountant and nonprofit veteran Jeff Wilkins.

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“Our original goal was to support a small network of like minded clubs around the country that could share best practices and learn from each other," said Live Music Society executive director Joyce Lim in a release. "But then the pandemic hit, and now we are simply trying to help these clubs stay afloat until they can open their doors again.”

Live Music Society will open the next round of applications for the 2021 cycle starting in early January. The criteria for application requires venues have a capacity of 250 or less, primarily focused on live music and it has to have been open for at least three years. Further information about Live Music Society grants can be found here.