The collective draws inspiration from the National Independent Venue Association.
The recently launched SAVEMAStages is a collective of venue owners, music industry professionals, and music fans organizing to make sure that adequate funding reaches independent Massachusetts venues. Many of these spaces are at risk of permanent closure because of economic fallout from the coronavirus. Co-founders JJ Gonson of ONCE Somerville and Sam Epstein of The Jungle Music Club created the grassroots group during a time when many independent music venues have had to shutter because of the pandemic.
“These venues, which were the first businesses to close at the beginning of the pandemic and will be among the last to re-open, are pillars of their communities,” reads a press release. “Their cultural significance and local influence cannot be understated; live music promotes an environment of healing and emotional release for its listeners and ensures financial stability for performers.”
The Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant program, also known as the Save Our Stages Act, was signed into law on December 27, 2020. These grants will make roughly $15 billion available to shuttered venues, but there is still much uplifting and assisting to be done, according to the press lease. SAVEMAStages will follow in the footsteps of the National Independent Venue Association. Members include Club Passim, The Boch Center, Huntington Theatre Company, and Dorchester Art Project.
Shira Laucharoen is a reporter based in Boston. She currently serves as the assistant director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. In the past she has written for Sampan newspaper, The Somerville Times, Scout Magazine, Boston Magazine, and WBUR.