Live Music Society

Live Music Society announces recipients of their 2023 Music In Action grant

Live Music Society grants $500,000 in total to 17 small performance venues to engage communities + promote inclusivity

New York, NY, 27th June 2023 Live Music Society, the nonprofit foundation that has provided crucial grants to nearly 130 small venues and listening rooms across the United States since 2020, has announced the recipients of their 2023 Music in Action grant program.  The Music in Action grant, totaling $500,000 and distributed to 17 for profit and nonprofit small venues, is to help venue owners and managers in developing and implementing creative ideas to engage their communities, expand audiences, and generate new revenue sources.  With inclusivity as a core mission, these 17 new grant recipients are further empowered to cultivate a sense of unity within their communities. Live Music Society has now given out nearly $3 million dollars over four grant cycles, and while Live Music Society was established initially to provide pandemic relief, the Music in Action grant is a new initiative debuting this year.  

Watch this introduction video on the Music in Action grant and the 2023 recipients here: 

And go to the Live Music Society website to learn more about each venue’s funded programming:

The Music in Action grant assumes a vital role in Live Music Society’s mission to safeguard and elevate small venues and listening rooms nationwide, ensuring that live music remains accessible to all. Applicants were able to request up to $50,000 in one of two categories: project support for one-time initiatives or program support for recurring annual efforts. By providing financial support, the grant aids in establishing a network of dedicated supporters, including patrons, volunteers, artists, staff, donors, and corporate sponsors, who are deeply invested in the success of the venue. Additionally, the grant serves as a catalyst for inclusivity by contributing to the long-term economic vitality of the communities they serve and fosters this by championing historically marginalized groups such as BIPOC, Latinx, LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities.

Some notable examples of the funded venue programming are as follows. During Pride Month in June ‘24 The Ivy Room, an LGBTQ safe space based in Albany, CA, will host a series of events including live music, comedy shows, activist panels, job fairs, and mental health support workshops. The Stone Church, in Brattleboro, VT, will continue their GRRLS 2 The Front program in March, dedicating the month to women and nonbinary-led groups and offering a stage management/sound engineering course. Cafe CODA in Madison, WI will expand their COOL SCHOOL program, providing free music education activities and introducing a mobile stage for increased accessibility. The Elastic Arts Foundation in Chicago, IL will revive their Dark Matter performance series and enhance the AfroFuturist Weekend festival, showcasing emerging and established Black artists across different neighborhoods of Chicago’s South and West Sides.

“Music has the power to unite communities,” says Pete Muller, Live Music Society’s founder. “We believe in the transformative impact of music education and the arts and are thrilled to announce the recipients of our Music in Action grant, which will empower venue owners and managers to showcase their creativity and engage their local communities in new and exciting ways.”

“This grant is not just about financial support; it’s about building a network of dedicated supporters who share our passion for live music and its accessibility,” says Nona Hendryx, legendary artist and Live Music Society board member. “By championing historically marginalized groups and fostering inclusivity, we can give these venues and organizations assistance to expand their audiences and ensure that live music remains a vital part of our culture.”

The 2023 Music In Action Grant Recipients are: 

Big Room Bar, Columbus, OH 

Cafe Coda, Madison, WI 

Caffé Lena, Saratoga Springs, NY 

Chocolate Church Arts Center, Bath, ME 

Club Passim, Cambridge, MA 

Dazzle, Denver, CO 

Drom, New York, NY 

Elastic Arts Foundation, Chicago, IL 

Happy Dog, Cleveland, OH 

Hey Nonny, Arlington Heights, IL 

Ivy Room, Albany, CA 

Stone Church, Brattleboro, VT 

Sunset Tavern, Seattle, WA 

TAC Temescal Art Center, Oakland, CA 

The Muse Performance Space, Lafayette, CO 

The Parlour, Providence, RI 

The Rebel Lounge, Phoenix, AZ 

Live Music Society is also participating in this year’s National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) ’23 conference and gala in Washington, D.C., taking place from July 9-12. Live Music Society’s involvement includes a presentation at the Independent Awards Gala on July 10, a panel discussion with key stakeholders from the small venue community, and sponsorship of a Salute to Small Venues concert at Pie Shop. Additionally, they will provide a networking space called the Live Music Society Cantina, conveniently located across from The Anthem, the main venue hosting conference programming.

About Live Music Society: 

Live Music Society’s mission is to recognize and protect small venues and listening rooms across the United States so that live music can remain accessible to all.  The nonprofit foundation has distributed nearly $3 million in grant funding to 143 venues since it was founded in 2020, providing critical financial support to intimate live music venues that nurture emerging musicians, help to sustain the careers of both established and under-recognized music makers, and provide affordable access to live music in traditionally underserved communities.  Their new granting program, Music in Action, was launched this year and funds specific programs that engage their local communities in an inclusive way, expand audiences, and generate new revenue sources.  The nonprofit’s efforts have been highlighted in publications including the New York Times, Billboard, Variety, Brooklyn Vegan, Venues Now and others.  



For more information please contact Casey Hansen and Chris Taillie at Shore Fire Media:


Live Music Society

Our mission is to recognize and protect small venues and listening rooms across the United States so that live music can remain accessible to all.