Our small independent music venues are more than just places to go hear bands. They are neighborhood hubs. There would be no Waterloo Arts District or North Collinwood revival without the Beachland Ballroom. The Happy Dog Gordon Square draws people to Gordon Square and the BOP STOP is a hinge of Ohio City’s Hingetown. Its hard to imagine Cleveland’s cultural and nightlife without them.
But the pandemic has jeopardized the future of all of them, which is why they came together a couple of months ago to join with others across the country in forming the National Independent Venue Association to advocate for these essential businesses which, as they like to say, “were the first to close and will be the last to reopen.”
So nearly more than 100 member venues and nonprofit stages across Ohio have announced a Day of Action on Wednesday August 5 to get people who love these venues to contact their congressperson and ask that they support either the RESTART ACT or the Save Our Stages Act — both bipartisan bills — to give them a fighting chance to survive. Northeast Ohio congresswomen Marcy Kaptur and Marcia Fudge already support the Save Our Stages Act so a “thank you” is in order to tell them we have their backs. That act would give the Small Business Administration the authority to loan small venues and performance organizations 45% of last years gross, giving time time to wait until they can again welcome audiences large enough to cover their costs.
If you don’t have your congressperson on speed dial, go to saveourstages.com for all the information you need to contact them and what you need to tell them.