Rumor Has It

Keep Music Live

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

While I haven’t seen Wild Buffalo owner and endless source of delight Craig Jewell in months because, well, COVID, I keep hearing rumors of endless Zoom meetings and top-secret shenanigans that are more serious than the kind of shenanigans he normally traffics in.

Along with those rumors are the ones that say Sir Mix-A-Lot is somehow involved, as are high rollers from the likes of Vulcan, Starbucks, and Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy Foundation. That’s some pretty rarefied company to be in, but given that nothing about Craig surprises me anymore because everything about him is a constant surprise, I’m ready to believe anything.

Those rumors coalesced into fact with the announcement of Keep Music Live, a COVID-19 relief fund for “small, independently owned venues across Washington state.” The goal is to raise $10 million with the aim of doling it out in grants to the small music venues that have been hit especially hard by pandemic shutdown orders. Unlike federal aid programs that seem uniquely devised to do everything they can to not help music venues while offering so little oversight that they’ve doled out millions to big businesses that should not need the assistance, to be eligible for a Keep Music Live grant, a venue must have a capacity of 1,000 or less and offer music at a minimum of three nights a week.

When awarded, the grant money can be used to cover all of the things venues so desperately need right now, such as “rent, insurance, staffing, PPE and safety modifications.” Venues that have received other forms of funding remain eligible for the money from Keep Music Live, and because the payout is a grant, it will not have to be paid back.

To be clear, Keep Music Live grants are separate from the funding sought by All In WA, the Washington Nightlife Music Association, the National Independent Venue Association, and the various federal measures currently before the House and Senate. To be clearer, most, if not all, of these funding sources will need to be brought to bear in order to save, not just some venues, but the entire ecosystem of music venues currently struggling. And maybe I’m a crazy talker, but I believe that saving every venue should be the goal. COVID has taken enough. We must preserve what’s left.

Helping to facilitate Keep Music Live is its nonprofit partner, none other than the Whatcom Community Foundation. Since the second it became clear COVID would exact an enormous economic toll on those least able to pay it, the Whatcom Community Foundation has mobilized and marshaled its considerable forces to help all they can. Always a resourceful and effective philanthropic force under normal circumstances, the pandemic has proven them to be even more powerful under pressure. We’re all going to owe them a big ol’ hug when we’re allowed to hug again.

Past Columns
What You Pay For

February 17, 2021

Eat for Art’s Sake

February 3, 2021

Save Our Stages

January 20, 2021

Year in Review

January 6, 2021

A Christmas Miracle

December 23, 2020

Passages

December 9, 2020

Let’s Talk Turkey

November 25, 2020

A New Hope

November 11, 2020

Of Presidents and Puppies

October 28, 2020

Signs of the Times

September 30, 2020

A Make.Shift Memo

September 16, 2020

Live From the Park

September 2, 2020

Pandemic Priorities

August 19, 2020

Of Falafel and the Future

August 5, 2020

Reign of Payne Returns

July 22, 2020

It’s Tinga Time!

July 8, 2020

A Trickle of Tunes

June 24, 2020

One Strange Summer

June 10, 2020

COVID Chronicles

May 27, 2020

Pandemic Problems

May 13, 2020

Saturday
Undercover

11:00am

“Undercover,” an exhibition of butter dishes juried by Nikki Mizak, will be featured for the final week from 11am-5pm daily through Saturday, and 12pm-4pm Sunday at Good Earth Pottery, 1000…

Members Show and Art Challenge

11:00am

View an annual “Members Show” for the final week from 11am-4pm Tuesday through Saturday at Allied Arts, 1418 Cornwall Ave. The exhibit features work up to 100 Allied Arts members in a variety…

Alfred Currier and Anne Schreivogl

11:00am

Oil paintings by Alfred Currier, acrylics from Anne Schreivogl, and oils by Patrizio will be featured from 11am-5pm Wednesday through Saturday through March 29 in Anacortes at Scott Milo…

Riding the Wind

11:00am

Michael Dickter’s “Riding the Wind” exhibit can be seen from 11am-6pm daily through Feb. 28 in Mount Vernon at Perry and Carlson Gallery, 504 S. First St. Face masks are required, and a…

From Where They Are

10:00am

Help raise funds for Fairhaven’s Firehouse Performing Arts Center by watching Kuntz and Company’s virtual performance of from where they are online as part of the Firehouse Studio. The focus…

A Forest of Words Poetry Competition

10:30am

Teens in grades 6-12 can submit their original writing for consideration in Whatcom County Library System’s annual poetry competition, “A Forest of Words,” through March 15. All styles of…

A World Well Traveled

12:00pm

“Max Benjamin: A World Well Traveled” can be seen from 12pm-4pm Thursdays through Sundays La Conner’s Museum of Northwest Art, 121 First St. The solo exhibit featuring the work of the…

Birdland

10:00am

Flock through Skagit Valley and view “Birdland” for the final weekend from 10am-5pm Friday through Sunday in Edison at Smith & Vallee Gallery, 5742 Gilkey Ave. The exhibit featuring feathered…

A Straw in the Wind

11:00am

Margy Lavelle’s “A Straw in the Wind” exhibit can be seen for the final week from 11am-4pm Friday through Sunday in Edison at i.e. gallery, 5800 Cains Court. The gallery is also open by…

Little Women, the Musical

12:00pm

Ferndale High School Theatre presents virtual viewings of Little Women, the Musical that can be streamed anytime Friday through Sunday. Over the course of four months, the cast rehearsed in…

Hurt Village

7:30pm

Western Washington University’s College of Fine and Performing Arts concludes the second round of its New Works Play Reading Series at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday with live virtual readings of…

Bellingham Dockside Market

10:00am

Bellingham SeaFeast, the Port of Bellingham, and the Working Waterfront Coalition of Whatcom County have joined forces for a Bellingham Dockside Market taking place from 10am-2pm today at…

Watercolor Workshop with Molly Hashimoto

10:00am

From 10am-12:30pm, North Cascades Institute hosts a virtual workshop with painter Molly Hashimoto, “Green to Gold: Trees of the Cascades in Watercolor.” Fees are $50 and include a virtual…

Children's Literature Conference

10:00am

From 10am-11am and 2pm-3pm, attend a Day of Conversations as part of Western Washington University’s annual Children’s Literature Conference. A Virtual Exhibit, “Art as Protest/Art in the…

Street Law

10:00am

Law Advocates and Whatcom County Library System team up for Street Law today to offer free legal help for any civil law questions. Residents are able to attend virtual consultations with…

Stuff the Bus Food Drive

12:00pm

Helping Hands Food Bank and Skagit Transit will team up for a “Stuff the Bus” Food Drive taking place from 12pm-2pm in Burlington at the parking lot at Cascade Mall, 201 Cascade Mall Dr.…

Share Spot

12:00pm

Birchwood Food Desert Fighters hosts a Share Spot from 12pm-2pm Saturdays in the parking lot of the Industrial Credit Union, 3233 Northwest Ave. Thanks to a collaboration with the Miracle…

Bellingham Community Meal

12:30pm

Hot lunches in to-go containers will be provided as part of a monthly Bellingham Community Meal from 12:30pm-2:30pm at Assumption Gym, 2116 Cornwall Ave. Bellingham Community Meal has been in…

Virtual Comedy Open Mic

7:00pm

Bellingham Entertainment will be hosting virtual Comedy Open Mics from 7pm-9pm every Saturday until live events are allowed again. Each open mic will have eight performance spots and room for…

Sunday
Undercover

11:00am

“Undercover,” an exhibition of butter dishes juried by Nikki Mizak, will be featured for the final week from 11am-5pm daily through Saturday, and 12pm-4pm Sunday at Good Earth Pottery, 1000…

Members Show and Art Challenge

11:00am

View an annual “Members Show” for the final week from 11am-4pm Tuesday through Saturday at Allied Arts, 1418 Cornwall Ave. The exhibit features work up to 100 Allied Arts members in a variety…

Alfred Currier and Anne Schreivogl

11:00am

Oil paintings by Alfred Currier, acrylics from Anne Schreivogl, and oils by Patrizio will be featured from 11am-5pm Wednesday through Saturday through March 29 in Anacortes at Scott Milo…

Riding the Wind

11:00am

Michael Dickter’s “Riding the Wind” exhibit can be seen from 11am-6pm daily through Feb. 28 in Mount Vernon at Perry and Carlson Gallery, 504 S. First St. Face masks are required, and a…

From Where They Are

10:00am

Help raise funds for Fairhaven’s Firehouse Performing Arts Center by watching Kuntz and Company’s virtual performance of from where they are online as part of the Firehouse Studio. The focus…

A Forest of Words Poetry Competition

10:30am

Teens in grades 6-12 can submit their original writing for consideration in Whatcom County Library System’s annual poetry competition, “A Forest of Words,” through March 15. All styles of…

A World Well Traveled

12:00pm

“Max Benjamin: A World Well Traveled” can be seen from 12pm-4pm Thursdays through Sundays La Conner’s Museum of Northwest Art, 121 First St. The solo exhibit featuring the work of the…

Birdland

10:00am

Flock through Skagit Valley and view “Birdland” for the final weekend from 10am-5pm Friday through Sunday in Edison at Smith & Vallee Gallery, 5742 Gilkey Ave. The exhibit featuring feathered…

A Straw in the Wind

11:00am

Margy Lavelle’s “A Straw in the Wind” exhibit can be seen for the final week from 11am-4pm Friday through Sunday in Edison at i.e. gallery, 5800 Cains Court. The gallery is also open by…

Little Women, the Musical

12:00pm

Ferndale High School Theatre presents virtual viewings of Little Women, the Musical that can be streamed anytime Friday through Sunday. Over the course of four months, the cast rehearsed in…

Hurt Village

7:30pm

Western Washington University’s College of Fine and Performing Arts concludes the second round of its New Works Play Reading Series at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday with live virtual readings of…

Bellingham Dockside Market

10:00am

Bellingham SeaFeast, the Port of Bellingham, and the Working Waterfront Coalition of Whatcom County have joined forces for a Bellingham Dockside Market taking place from 10am-2pm today at…

Watercolor Workshop with Molly Hashimoto

10:00am

From 10am-12:30pm, North Cascades Institute hosts a virtual workshop with painter Molly Hashimoto, “Green to Gold: Trees of the Cascades in Watercolor.” Fees are $50 and include a virtual…

Children's Literature Conference

10:00am

From 10am-11am and 2pm-3pm, attend a Day of Conversations as part of Western Washington University’s annual Children’s Literature Conference. A Virtual Exhibit, “Art as Protest/Art in the…

Street Law

10:00am

Law Advocates and Whatcom County Library System team up for Street Law today to offer free legal help for any civil law questions. Residents are able to attend virtual consultations with…

Stuff the Bus Food Drive

12:00pm

Helping Hands Food Bank and Skagit Transit will team up for a “Stuff the Bus” Food Drive taking place from 12pm-2pm in Burlington at the parking lot at Cascade Mall, 201 Cascade Mall Dr.…

Share Spot

12:00pm

Birchwood Food Desert Fighters hosts a Share Spot from 12pm-2pm Saturdays in the parking lot of the Industrial Credit Union, 3233 Northwest Ave. Thanks to a collaboration with the Miracle…

Bellingham Community Meal

12:30pm

Hot lunches in to-go containers will be provided as part of a monthly Bellingham Community Meal from 12:30pm-2:30pm at Assumption Gym, 2116 Cornwall Ave. Bellingham Community Meal has been in…

Virtual Comedy Open Mic

7:00pm

Bellingham Entertainment will be hosting virtual Comedy Open Mics from 7pm-9pm every Saturday until live events are allowed again. Each open mic will have eight performance spots and room for…