The US National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) has launched a new nonprofit organisation to help independent venues and promoters find partners and fundraise.

The newly formed National Independent Venue Foundation (NIVF), which will be led by Hal Real, founder of president of World Café Live in Philadelphia and secretary of NIVA, has been created to focus on initiatives such as the Emergency Relief fund, which was formed to support struggling venues amid COVID-19.

Real, who will serve as president of the foundation, said in a statement: “The National Independent Venue Foundation is built on the same guiding principles as the National Independent Venue Association. While NIVA remains the advocacy, sponsorship, and membership trade organisation branch of the cause, The Foundation has been created to focus on separate, supplemental initiatives, such as the Emergency Relief Fund.

“The foundation hopes to learn from existing best practices and training programs undertaken by NIVA’s members and expand upon them to provide education and community programming, employee training and support, and economic development initiatives to further develop both organisations’ efforts to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion. Long-term, we hope to establish an endowment fund to assure sustainability of NIVA and Foundation programming for years to come.”

NIVA was formed by independent venues throughout the US in April in response to the COVID-19 pandemic halting all live events in March.

Tobi Parks of xBk Live, who will serve as vice-president of the foundation, added: “While we wait for Congressional support that would allow our industry of independent venues and promoters to survive, I’m excited to be working with the National Independent Venue Foundation on next steps that, once we are back in business, will allow every member of our community the equal opportunity to thrive.

“It’s more than just that feeling of being in an audience, surrounded by other fans of all backgrounds who are connecting in that moment. Our goal is to support diversity, equity, and inclusion in all levels of our industry – from fans to artists, employees to owners, and beyond.”

Music Venue Trust

Music Venue Trust has turned the focus of its Save Our Venues campaign to securing the future of 30 venues that have been deemed ineligible to receive funding from the recent government-backed £1.57bn Cultural Recovery Fund.

The new ‘Traffic Light’ campaign will highlight venues considered safe until March 31 (Green – 353 venues), those at risk of closure between now and March 31 without additional support (Amber – 273 venues) and those at imminent danger of permanent closure (Red – 30 venues). There are also a number of venues that have proved difficult to contact or have not responded (Blue – 187 venues).

MVT is urging live music lovers to write to their local MP, council, local charities, and anyone else they can think of to demand action to prevent these venues from being closed for good.

A new crowdfunding initiative powered by Crowdfunder is also being launched today (Wednesday) to support the 30 GMVs. As part of these crowdfunding efforts there will also be a new range of merchandise available to support this campaign and available for delivery by Christmas.

Mark Davyd, chief executive of Music Venue Trust, said: “What the #saveourvenues campaign has achieved during the last 8 months is truly remarkable. Thanks to the efforts of music fans, local communities and the wider music sector we have raised over £3m in donations and have unlocked over £80m in government assistance to help stave off the imminent closure of over 400 Grassroots Music Venues.

We are now focusing exclusively on those 30 remaining venues which face immediate permanent closure. If people want these local venues to still be there when this is over there is a very clear call to action: choose a venue, get donating, get writing, get calling, get organised. Save them all. Reopen Every Venue Safely.”