DC area entertainment venues likely to see dedicated funding in relief bill

D.C. area music and theater venues stand to receive a lifeline with dedicated relief funding as part of the coronavirus relief bill passed by Congress.

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The Save Our Stages Act was included in the bill, which passed both houses of Congress on Monday and guarantees $15 billion to independent entertainment venues who have less than 500 full-time employees. The grants are meant to replace 45 percent of a venue's 2019 revenue up to $10 million.

It means D.C.'s Arena Stage could stand to get about $6 million, according to the theater's executive producer Edgar Dobie.

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During the pandemic the non-profit theater had to shutter live performances and furlough a large chunk of its employees.

"This is really smart legislation. It recognizes the problem and it comes up with a really clear path to accessing the funds and getting on with the job of rebuilding," Dobie said.

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In a tweet Tuesday the 9:30 Club praised the legislation saying "FINALLY."

Other venues, like U Street Music Hall, have closed permanently.

In order for the funds to flow to concert and theater venues it will have to be signed or vetoed by President Trump.