Washington music venues can now apply for emergency grants through the Keep Music Live organization

click to enlarge The downtown venue Red Room Lounge during a past Volume Music Festival. - ALICIA HAUFF
Alicia Hauff
The downtown venue Red Room Lounge during a past Volume Music Festival.

Perhaps we're finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Since mid-March 2020, Spokane stages have been more or less vacant, and the lack of federal aid designed specifically for local music scenes painted a dire future.

But now Spokane venues can apply for emergency grants courtesy of the Washington-based non-profit Keep Music Live, which has raised money through charitable foundations as well as individual and business donations. Venues are encouraged to apply between now and Feb. 2 through the Keep Music Live website.

In order to qualify, venues need to have been in operation prior to statewide shutdowns in March of last year (and have staged live music at least three times a week in the before-times), to have an occupancy of fewer than 1,000 people and be independently owned. Keep Music Live has also pointed out that "female, BIPOC & LGBTQ+ owned venues" will get first priority, although all applicants will be considered for grants.


We've previously covered the efforts of Keep Music Live, a coalition of the state's indie venue owners and musicians that has spent a good portion of 2020 raising public awareness about the truly precarious position of small music venues in the midst of COVID-19.

"Without these small stages, we will lose places for artists to express themselves and community to gather," Keep Music Live board president Manny Cawaling said in a press release announcing the grants. "We are very pleased to be in a position to begin awarding grant funds to support these cultural landmarks in our communities."

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About The Author

Nathan Weinbender

Nathan Weinbender is the Inlander's Music & Film editor. He is also a film critic for Spokane Public Radio, where he has co-hosted the weekly film review show Movies 101 since 2011.