Sen. John Hickenlooper announced a new program to help musicians, promoters and music venue managers some relief from the coronavirus pandemic.
- For over a year now, many music venues and theaters have sat mostly silent, crowds not allowed during COVID.
- Well, now more economic help is on the way to help the music industry. Connecting with our art scene tonight, Jamie Leary shows it's welcome relief for some places that have been quiet longer than a year now.
- Last March, everything really just fell apart.
JAMIE LEARY: For independent venues across Colorado, the story is the same.
- We've all been struggling. We've been on reduced salaries.
JAMIE LEARY: On stage at an empty Levitt Pavilion Tuesday, it was almost like a support group for Denver's biggest venue owners and musicians.
- I didn't just lose one job, I lost five.
JAMIE LEARY: But alongside one Colorado Senator, the conversation was hopeful.
JOHN HICKENLOOPER: A moment of tremendous excitement, because I think it begins to show us that that's the way home.
JAMIE LEARY: Senator John Hickenlooper brought the group together Tuesday to highlight the importance of the new Shuttered Venue Operators Grant.
- The Shuttered Venues Grant will allow us to bring our employees back on the facility, get these bands back on stage.
- (SINGING) Lost and insecure.
JAMIE LEARY: It's not just a way for venues to get artists back on the stage and people back in the crowds. It will impact all operations.
ERICA BROWN: The people in the front of the house, and the people in the back of the house, and the servers, and the bartenders, and just everybody that contributes to what makes Colorado's music economy the third largest driver in the state.
JAMIE LEARY: Part of the American Rescue Plan, the grant offers relief to independent venues equal to 45% of pre-pandemic revenue, or up to $10 million.
JOHN HICKENLOOPER: We're getting jobs. We're providing that essential life force for our community. But we're also inspiring the next generation.
- Jamie Leary reporting for us right there. Applications open April 8, but you can start the process now. We have a link for doing that online at cbsdenver.com. CBS4 understands the positive impact arts has on our community. To see how you can help arts organizations until they're up and running normally again, we hope you check the "4 the Arts" link at our website.