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Saving venues until live music comes back

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While the direct payments in the COVID relief package have consumed a lot — indeed, a disproportionate amount — of attention, House Dems were somehow able to get a substantial number of additional good things without having to take either the corporate immunity or Fed Kneecapping poison pills. This one deserves more attention:

For the music venue owners, theater producers and cultural institutions that have suffered through the pandemic with no business, the coronavirus relief package that congressional leaders agreed to this week offers the prospect of aid at last: it includes $15 billion to help them weather a crisis that has closed theaters and silenced halls.

The money, part of a $900 billion coronavirus relief package, is designed to help the culture sector — from dive-bar rock clubs to Broadway theaters and museums — survive. Many small proprietors described it as their last hope for being able to remain in business after a nearly yearlong revenue drought.

“This is what our industry needs to make it through,” said Dayna Frank, the owner of First Avenue, a storied music club in Minneapolis. She is also the board president of the National Independent Venue Association, which was formed in April and has lobbied Congress aggressively for relief for its more than 3,000 members.

If Dems can win the Georgia runoffs there needs to be more of this kind of thing.

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