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
Back to the Future

September 15, 2021

Takin’ It To the Streets

September 1, 2021

Days of Delta

August 18, 2021

Just the Vaxx

August 4, 2021

Sounds of Summer

July 7, 2021

Signs of Life

June 23, 2021

Shots fired

June 9, 2021

Show Them the Money

May 26, 2021

Bits and Pieces

May 12, 2021

Life Rolls On

April 28, 2021

Party in the Park

April 14, 2021

Life In Normal(ish) Times

March 17, 2021

Signs of Life

March 3, 2021

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

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10:00am

Join community organizations, businesses and local government Sept. 20-26 for the City of Bellingham’s third annual ALL IN for Climate Action Week. Fun and informative events, activities and…

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10:00am

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10:00am

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10:00am

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10:00am

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11:00am

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11:00am

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Works by as many as 45 Whatcom Art Guild members can be viewed from 11am-5pm daily at Whatcom Art Market, 1103 11th St. Photography and jewelry by Judy Bishop will be featured through Sept. 26.

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7:30pm

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Proof

7:30pm

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Fall Show at River Gallery

10:00am

View the annual multi-artist, multi-medium “Fall Show” from 10am-5pm Fridays through Sundays until Oct. 17 in Mount Vernon at River Gallery, 19313 Landing Rd. (off Dodge Valley Road).

WACK Studio Tour

10:00am

Twenty-one members of the Whatcom Artists of Clay and Kiln will show and sell their work as part of the inaugural WACK Studio Tour taking place from 10am-5pm Friday through Sunday at 11…

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11:00am

View Anacortes-based sculptor Lanny Bergner’s new exhibit, “Leaves and Wings,” from 11am-5pm Friday through Sunday in Edison at i.e. gallery, 5800 Cains Court. Bergner uses butane torches to…

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Peruse multimedia pieces by Pieter VanZanden and paintings by Melissa Broersma from 11am-5pm Fridays through Sunday in Edison at Smith & Vallee Gallery, 5742 Gilkey Ave.

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2:00pm

Celebrate the season at “The Harvest at Tulip Town” starting this weekend from 2pm-7pm Friday, 10am-7pm Saturday, and 10am-5pm Sunday in Mount Vernon at Tulip Town, 15002 Bradshaw Rd. Hay…

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11:30am

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7:30pm

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9:00am

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1:00pm

Attend a free “E-Bikes: Intro & Test Rides” event at 1pm at the Cordata Park Picnic Shelter, 4510 Cordata Pkwy. Hear a quick intro about E-Bikes, then test ride a bunch of 4242 Custom’s local…

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1:00pm

As part of “Fourth Sundays: Audubon at the Museum,” a volunteer from the North Cascades Audubon Society will be on hand from 1pm-3pm in the John M. Edson Hall of Birds to answer questions…

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Sign up in advance for the Interfaith Coalition’s fourth annual Family Promise Bed Race taking place from 2pm-4pm at the parking lot at Civic Field, 1255 Civic Field Way. If you just want to…

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6:00pm

Attend “Gelato and Poetry Night” from 6pm-7:30pm in the outdoor seating area at All That Jazz Boutique Gallery, 1015 Railroad Ave., #105. The first half-hour will be devoted to the poetry of…