More than 20 Massachusetts venues, creatives, and music-aligned businesses have partnered to form SAVEMAStages, a collective committed to getting proper financial assistance to Massachusetts clubs and arts spaces in need.
Co-founded by JJ Gonson (ONCE Somerville) and Sam Epstein (The Jungle), the new grassroots organization plans to petition for relief funds to aid “independent Massachusetts venues at risk of permanent closure due to the economic fallout from COVID-19.”
Members of SAVEMAStages include Club Passim, Dorchester Art Project, Lizard Lounge, Toad, The Boch Center, and of course both ONCE and The Jungle.
The formation of SAVEMAStages comes at a crucial time, as independent music and arts spaces continue to shutter permanently following the monetary hardships of 2020. Seven staples of the Boston music community have already announced they will not reopen following the COVID-19 pandemic: Bull McCabe’s, Thunder Road, and ONCE Lounge & Ballroom in Somerville, Bella Luna Restaurant and Milky Way Lounge in Jamaica Plain, The Cantab in Cambridge, and Allston’s Great Scott and Wonder Bar. While ONCE has been fortunate enough to receive a $25,000 grant from NIVA and is currently searching for a new physical location, other venues are still in dire need of financial assistance.
“These venues, which were the first businesses to close at the beginning of the pandemic and will be among the last to re-open, are pillars of their communities,” reads a statement from SAVEMAStages. “Their cultural significance and local influence cannot be understated; live music promotes an environment of healing and emotional release for its listeners and ensures financial stability for performers.”
Anyone interested in joining SAVEMAStages can fill out an interest form here.
The list of SAVEMAStages participants includes:
The Jungle Music Club ONCE Somerville Zeiterion Performing Arts Center The Center for Arts in Natick The Boch Center Porter Productions Regent Theater in Arlington Club Passim CK Communications Indian Ranch Adi Sun Anngelle Wood League Podcast Jazz Boston Wally’s The Chevalier Theater Lowell Summer Music Series Huntington Theatre Company Narrows Center for the Arts Lizard Lounge and Toad Dorchester Art Project MASSCreative ImprovBoston The Parlor Room EventThem/TicketUnion