City providing suite of free services including instructional webinars and one-on-one counseling
NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYC Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) Commissioner Anne del Castillo, and NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Jonnel Doris today announced the launch of Curtains Up NYC, a program to provide application assistance to live-performance venues, organizations and workers applying for federal relief.
The federal Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVO), also known as Save Our Stages, includes $15 billion for grants of up to $10 million to qualified live venue operators and promoters, performing arts organizations, theatrical producers, talent representatives, movie theater operators, and non-profit museums with auditoriums.
Curtains Up NYC will provide webinars three times a week that will review the Shuttered Venues Operators Grant program and the application process. Trained counselors will also be available for virtual, one-on-one sessions. Services are free and will begin this Wednesday, February 10, 2021.
"New York City's live performance venues, theaters, and night clubs are the best in the world, and they've been hit hard by this pandemic. Their city will help them fight for every federal dollar they deserve to get back on their feet and better than ever," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "I urge every venue to take advantage of these resources, and I can't wait to take in a performance as soon as we defeat COVID-19 once and for all."
"The creative industries are what make New York City a global capital. The arts and entertainment sector, which has been hardest hit hard by the pandemic, is critical to the city's recovery," said Anne del Castillo, Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment. "We are pleased to partner with NYC Department of Small Business Services to launch Curtains Up NYC to help our theaters and venues secure this much needed federal financial assistance in order for them to survive until they are able to safely reopen."
"The pandemic has caused our cultural venues and creative spaces to face financial loss, economic hardship, and difficult business decisions in an attempt to stay afloat. The SVO Grants will provide targeted financial relief for these businesses," said Jonnel Doris, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. "We are proud to partner with MOME and bring the technical support needed for the application process to ensure New Yorkers get their fair share of this critical federal relief."
SVO Grants are available equal to 45% of the applicant's gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. For more information on SVO eligibility and the Curtains Up NYC program, visit nyc.gov/CurtainsUpNYC or nyc.gov/sbs.
Please note: Shuttered Venues Operators Grant applications are not yet open, but anyone considering applying is urged to begin preparing as soon as possible.
"Programs like Save Our Stages are essential to keeping arts & culture alive in New York City," said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. "Cultural venues and artists are quintessential to this city and we need to be doing more to help them open again."
"From the bright lights of Broadway to the new sounds from small independent venues, New York City is the mecca of arts and music. With federal relief on its way, we're not going to throw away our shot at relief. Thanks to the Mayor's office and MOME for providing critical assistance to our performance venues so they can be a part of our future," said Council Member Keith Powers.
"We are so appreciative of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment for hearing our need for more support with the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application process and responding. We look forward to working closely with the Mayor's Office to find our way through what will be a another challenging year for New York City's live entertainment industry," said Jen Lyon, co-Chair of New York Independent Venue Association.
"As we gear up for the return to normalcy in the form of public gatherings once again, the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant is a much-needed lifeline to sustain and reopen our businesses. We are grateful that the city is investing in a program to help the nightlife industry navigate what will naturally be a very complex application process," said David Rosen, co-founder of Brooklyn Allied Bars & Restaurants (BABAR) Bar & Restaurants and Owner of The Woods.
"The SVO Grant is crucial to the survival of the independent music industry, but it is also being developed very quickly and there is still a lot of opacity out there around the process, eligibility, and timing. We're grateful to the City for creating this program in order to help us navigate the process and maximize the industry's chances of getting funded," said Dhruv Chopra, owner of Elsewhere.
"As a New York artist, musician, and independent venue owner, I'm incredibly relieved to hear that the Mayor's Office is going to be assisting with the Shuttered Venues Operator grant applications for those of us that are in such deep, dire need in the live music community. The venues that have been shuttered and cannot operate are the backbone and soul of this great city, and they are hanging on by a thread. As we all know, music and art are part of what makes this city so important to the rest of the world, and we need to do anything possible to keep that heart beating through these desperate times. We have to preserve our unique culture and keep the lifeblood of this city flowing, and we're truly grateful for any assistance to help sustain what makes New York the wonderful place that it is," said Jesse Malin, owner of Bowery Electric and Berlin.
"This program is a great idea! It is the best way to help venues like the Bitter End navigate an application process that I'm not expecting to be easy. The Shuttered Venues Grant Operators program and Curtains Up NYC is very important for the continued survival of our industry," said Paul Rizzo, owner of the Bitter End.
"Thanks to the Mayor's Office for stepping up. Their work is very much appreciated," said Adam Torres, ATC Presents.
"Our show, Shake Rattle and Roll Pianos, had been playing to sold out houses in Times Square since 2010. Along with the rest of our community, we've now been dormant for ten months. This new program is much-needed relief for our staff and performers. We are thrilled that the Mayor's Office is making support services available to our struggling industry at this most-needed hour. Any help in navigating the bureaucracy and getting those funds into the NYC arts community is greatly appreciated," said Mark Weiser, Shake Rattle and Roll Pianos.