Live music has been returning slowly to New Orleans over the past few months and the New Orleans Tourism and Culture Fund is aiming to help more live music venues open safely. The fund has announced that it will be providing grants to culture bearers and relief to live entertainment and music venues in an effort to bounce back after COVID, according to the fund's press release. The mission of the fund, which has been around for nearly a year now, is to support the culture bearers of New Orleans and move toward more sustainable tourism while keeping the city's creative traditions alive.
The fund plans to distribute $600,000 worth of grants to New Orleans culture bearers from May 17 to June 30 or until the grant money is completely distributed, a portion of which will be set aside for music venues.
Grants for the music venues are meant to help finance the return of some of New Orleans's "cultural tourism infrastructure," according to the fund's press release. These grants are provided to ensure these venues have proper personal protective equipment needed to reopen, as well as money to pay musicians a viable wage as they return to the stage.
Venues who receive the grants will be given $2,000 to put toward the purchase of PPE and an extra $1,000 with verification that the venue has booked live entertainment, according to the fund's press release.
Music venues won't be the only places benefiting from the fund's grant assistance. Restaurants, clubs, and non-profit special events that offer live entertainment are also eligible to apply for the grant, according to the fund's press release. These grants have been made possible due to support from the city's Office of Economic Development.
There are also grants being offered to "any venue that provides booking for musicians, visual artists, or other activities that extend the culture of New Orleans," according to the fund's press release, through the special venue grants program.
Grants to cultural bearers are broken down into three levels based on proposed project size and are in place to help creatives in New Orleans keep culture alive while staying economically afloat.
For more information on the grants and how to apply, visit notcf.com.