Sunday, April 26, 2020

Article: Why We Need To Support Cleveland's Grassroots Music Venues

Great article talking about the importance of structurally supporting our independent music venues, like those of our bigger name cultural institutions!

"‘We view this segment of the music business as business rather than as culture, but there are other segments of the arts that are not having to exist as pure for-profit businesses,’ says Watterson. ‘Would the [Cleveland] Orchestra be able to exist without support beyond just ticket sales? Probably not.’

If we truly want to double down on our Rock Hall fame and make Cleveland a music city, we must first realize grassroots music venues such as the Happy Dog occupy a singular place in the city, and should be treated like it."

"Why shouldn’t small clubs get similar assistance? With the vast value they provide to the community, one could even make a convincing case for zeroing their admissions tax rate out altogether.

At the very least, small clubs need an advocate. A night mayor could help them get up to code, navigate tricky tax situations and have a representative at the table. The position could be an intermediary between artists, venues and government, and promote inclusive, homegrown music. ‘I wouldn’t feel so bad about the admissions tax if some of that money went back to paying for a music promoter,’ says Barber.

By recognizing that these clubs play a unique tune, Cleveland can ensure the survival of its institutions, and stake its claim as one of the country’s great music cities."

(Via Why We Need To Support Cleveland's Grassroots Music Venues.)

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