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How To Support Live Entertainment Venues In Iowa

Madeliene King
A line outside xBk in Des Moines in preview of IPR's 2019 "A Conquered Christmas."

Independent music and arts venues in Iowa have been closed to large, in-person audiences all year. Here's how you can help.

The pandemic uprooted plans this year: concerts, dinner parties, vacations, festivals and maybe even the way we make a living.

For musicians, venue owners and folks that work in the live music industry, the closing of the nation's performance spaces has been tough for some and ruinous for others.

According to Ron Laffitte's testimony during the hearing Examining The Impact Of COVID-19 On The Live Event Entertainment Industry, 95 percent of all national live events in 2020 were cancelled or postponed, which, in turn, caused 77 percent of industry workers to lose their income. This doesn't include contract workers like tour bus drivers, lighting companies, or sound engineers. According to the hearing, 97 percent of contract workers in the live events industry lost their jobs due to COVID-19 cancellations and closures.

In Iowa, we've seen the fall of some favorite music venues, including The Mill in Iowa City and Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines.

While the National Independent Music Association's (NIVA) Save Our Stages effort has gained large national attention, entertainment spaces are relying on the support of their communities to stay afloat.

We've put together a map of venues and arts organizations in the state. Click on the pins to find out how they are asking for support.

Many are offering gift cards for future shows, merch, and some have kitchens still serving takeout. Offering your support could also mean liking and sharing their posts on social media to help them reach new or existing audiences while many remain closed to in-person events.