CHICAGO — A emergency grant fund is trying to help concert venue workers pay their bills until it is safe to host live shows.
The Chicago Independent Venue League’s “emergency relief fund” is accepting applications for grants from out-of-work concert employees. Anyone who was employed by a Chicago performance venue in 2020 is able to apply.
Applications are due by 8 p.m. Sunday. To fill out an application, click here.
Chicago’s live performance industry has been among the hardest-hit sectors of the local economy during the coronavirus pandemic, unable to operate at all during shutdowns and gradual reopening of local business operations because of safety restrictions.
The Chicago Independent Venue League, an advocacy group for non-corporate concert halls, has worked to keep the industry and its employees afloat. Those efforts include the employee and artist relief fund. The group held livestreamed concerts to raise money for the fund, hoping to help employees who have lost work during the pandemic.
The group raised more than $70,000 for workers and artists impacted by the pandemic. It is still accepting donations.
“We felt a responsibility to help our fellow industry colleagues survive this incredibly difficult time, so we convened and began talking about how we could best represent their collective needs,” Alice Blander, director of operations at The Hideout, said in a statement.
Any Chicago-based performance venue employee who lives in Chicago or the suburbs is eligible to apply. That includes bar staff, production and hospitality staff, and office and administrative workers. To be eligible, a person must be able to prove they were employed by a venue at some point in 2020.
A second round of funding will go to artists, and a later round for venues is planned.
Funding will be awarded based on need, and applicants can provide documentation to showcase that need.
The amount of individual grants will be based on how many applications are received. The group’s goal is to award the first round of funds in April.
For more information about the grant funding and how to apply, click here.
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