Live Music Society

Live Music Society awards $710,000 to 24 Small Music Venues With 2nd Annual Music In Action Grant

Funding is Designed to Elevate Program-Based Initiatives to Drive Engagement and Revenue Growth

New York, NY, 15th May 2024 May 15, 2024 – – Live Music Society, the nonprofit foundation that has provided crucial funding to 155 small performance venues and listening rooms since 2020, has announced the recipients of the 2024 Music In Action grant. The second annual Music In Action grant – totaling $710,000 – is being awarded to 24 small performance venues across the continental U.S. With the 2024 Music In Action grant, Live Music Society has now disbursed $3.7 million in funding to small venues.     

The Music In Action grant provides funding for venues to program events that build community and promote accessibility for marginalized groups, create opportunities for both local talent and touring acts to grow and find new audiences, and ultimately to increase their revenue and customer base. Each venue applied with a specific program idea, and a commitment to completing their project during the grant period, July 2024 through June 2025.  

Small venues are crucial musical incubators and an essential part of the cultural fabric of their communities. They provide a stage for emerging talent and facilitate the creation of new scenes, sounds and genres; simply put, small venues have the power to change history. Small venues also operate on razor thin margins. Founded by Pete Muller in 2020, Live Music Society’s mission is to ensure that small venues have opportunities to be recognized for their contribution to culture and the economy, to share best practices, and have access to seed money that can fund creative ideas. Venues need to have a capacity of 300 or under to be eligible for Live Music Society grant programs.    

“I’ve been inspired by the scope and breadth of projects funded by the Music In Action grant. At Live Music Society, we focus on empowering small performance venues to find creative ways of engaging with their communities and reaching new audiences. It’s heartwarming to see the energy and excitement we’ve helped spark!” — Pete Muller, Founder, Live Music Society

The 2024 Music In Action recipients include venues in both major cities and small towns, covering both coasts, the South, and Midwest. They include rooms with a capacity size of just 74 (Rebel Rebel Studio & Lounge in Berea, Kentucky and The Jalopy Theatre in Brooklyn, New York) and nonprofits, like the Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center in Sarasota, Florida – which will use their grant money to launch their second annual Creative Nexus series of gatherings to provide an intentional space for BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ musicians to connect, collaborate and receive artistic development support. The Spot on Kirk (Roanoke, Virginia), Devil’s Backbone Tavern (Fischer, Texas) and La Peña Cultural Center (Berkeley, CA) each have different programs that will celebrate Latinx and Hispanic heritage and culture, and the Blue Jay Listening Room (the only music venue in Jacksonville Beach, Florida), will host an emerging women songwriters series. The Acorn Center for the Performing Arts in Three Oaks, Michigan will launch the JazzReach Residency for K-8 students, including free clinics and all-ages concerts to expand music education in rural Michigan.  

Learn more about all 24 Live Music Society Music In Action grant recipients here:

2024 Music in Action Grantees:

118 North – Wayne, PA

B Side Lounge – Cleveland Heights, OH

Blue Jay Listening Room – Jacksonville Beach, FL

Bossa Bistro – Washington, D.C.

Chris’ Jazz Cafe – Philadelphia, PA

Cole’s Bar – Chicago, IL 

Devil’s Backbone Tavern – Fischer, TX

Drkmttr Collective – Nashville, TN

Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center – Sarasota, FL

Grand Annex Music Hall – San Pedro, CA

Jilly’s Music Room – Akron, OH

La Peña Cultural Center – Berkeley, CA

Maple Leaf Bar – New Orleans, LA

MOTR Pub – Cincinnati, OH

Nocturne Jazz & Supper Club – Denver, CO

One Longfellow Square – Portland, ME

Rebel Rebel Studio & Lounge – Berea, KY

Roots Music Project – Boulder, CO

The Acorn Center for the Performing Arts – Three Oaks, MI

The Jalopy Theatre – Brooklyn, NY

The Lost Church – San Francisco, CA

The Parlor Room – Northampton, MA

The Royal Room – Seattle, WA

The Spot on Kirk – Roanoke, VA

Live Music Society initially provided emergency funding to venues shuttered by the pandemic, then evolved to create two new grant programs in 2023: Music In Action and the Toolbox grant. Among the 17 Music In Action grant projects launched over the past year are the Dark Matter Afrofuturism festival and concert series (Elastic Arts, Chicago), GRRRLs To The Front, a concert and education series (Stone Church, Brattleboro, VT), the Folk Collective (Club Passim, Boston) and Ivy Riot” a festival during June 2024’s Pride Month aimed at “unleashing QTPOC power through music workshops and community” (Ivy Room, Albany, CA).

Separately, Live Music Society’s Toolbox grant provides critical practical support to ensure sustained growth and prosperity. Funding is for updating technology, equipment, ADA accessibility, live stream capabilities, etc. 43 venues received a Toolbox grant in 2023. 

Live Music Society will return to the NIVA (National Independent Venue Association) Conference this year. Over June 3-5 in New Orleans, LMS will host a working lounge (June 3-5), a small venue showcase (June 4), and a happy hour mixer (June 5). The organization will also present a conference panel entitled Case Studies in Creativity: How Small Venues Make It All Work (June 5), featuring a number of venue owners that have received a Live Music Society grant. Full details will be announced soon. In 2023, Live Music Society hosted a number of events at the NIVA ‘23 Conference and received the NIVA Community Development Award for its impactful initiatives. 


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 $3.7 million through 176 grants, providing funding to 155 individual venues since it was founded in 2020. The organization’s grants ensure 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 ensure affordable access to live music in traditionally underserved communities.

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.