Gov. Tony Evers today announced that $15 million in COVID-19 Live Music and Entertainment Venue Grants has been awarded to 96 live venues. The grants aim to provide financial stabilization to Wisconsin’s live entertainment and large meeting venues, which were among the first small businesses to feel dramatic negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We know large gatherings of people in small spaces can be a catalyst for spread, which is why our folks in the live music and entertainment industry have been doing their part to help keep their communities and people safe,” said Gov. Evers. “These changes haven't been easy, but these venues have worked to be good partners throughout this process. We hope these funds can provide critical support and stabilization to help them get through until we can all gather safely and enjoy entertainment together again.”

Funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and administered through the Department of Administration (DOA), the COVID-19 Live Music and Entertainment Venue Grant Program provides grant funding to live entertainment and large meeting venue operators whose facilities have been negatively affected by COVID-19. Grant awards provided eligible recipients up to $500,000 or 25% of 2019 ticket or event sales, whichever was less. Grants have been pro-rated due to oversubscription.

“These venues serve as community gathering places and vibrant hubs for culture, art and innovation; however, the continued effects of COVID-19 across the state means they may be the last to fully re-open,” said DOA Secretary Joel Brennan. “These grants will hopefully bring a little hope to this industry as we all continue to push for additional action at the federal level to allow them to survive until we can fully embrace live entertainment in a healthy and recovered Wisconsin.”

More information regarding the COVID-19 Live Music and Entertainment Venue Grant Program is available here. A full list of grant winners is available here

Note that locally several venues have received grants, including:

Blue Ox Music Festival Eau Claire $170,209.23

Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild Eau Claire $34,949.97

Confluence Council, Inc. Eau Claire $362,287.61

Country Jam USA, Inc. Eau Claire $395,308.00

Eau Claire Children's Theatre Eau Claire $29,261.09

The Florian Gardens Conference Center Eau Claire $262,805.11

The Plus, The Metro, The Rev, The Venue Eau Claire $147,670.47 

Mabel Tainter Literary, Library, and Educational Society Menomonie $26,420.71

Chippewa Valley Cultural Association, Inc. Chippewa Falls $35,298.83 

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Steve Hanson

Steve is a web designer and recently retired from running the hosting and development company Cruiskeen Consulting LLC. Cruiskeen Consulting LLC is the parent company of Eye On Dunn County, and publication of this site continues after his retirement.

Steve is a member of LION Publishers and the Local Media Consortium, is active in Health Dunn Right, and is vice-president of the League of Women Voters of the greater Chippewa Valley

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