Kansas entertainment venues awarded $46M in federal COVID-19 relief grants, including $12M for Lawrence venues

photo by: Sylas May

A marquee at The Bottleneck displays a coronavirus-related message on Saturday, May 2, 2020.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced this week that entertainment venues in the state have been awarded nearly $46 million in federal pandemic relief grants. That figure includes more than $12 million in grants for Lawrence venues.

The U.S. Small Business Administration allocated 90 awards totaling $45.7 million to Kansas venues through the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, according to a news release. The program provides emergency assistance for venues and other cultural institutions affected by COVID-19, such as live entertainment venues, theaters, museums and talent or booking businesses.

“Kansas’ many entertainment venues employ thousands of people, boost our economy, and are important parts of our communities,” Kelly said in the release. “I want to thank our federal partners at the SBA for distributing this necessary and important grant funding to ensure our entertainment venues can continue to grow and thrive as centers of culture, activities, and tourism in Kansas.”

Ten venues and related businesses in Lawrence received a total of about $12.2 million in grants from the SBA, according to information the governor’s office provided to the Journal-World. Recipients include the Bottleneck, the Granada, Liberty Hall, Theatre Lawrence, the Jazzhaus and others. By far the largest grant went to Mammoth, the Lawrence-based event production company, which received more than $9.7 million. Specific awards are as follows:

• Bottleneck: $300,759

• Carrolls Management: $209,369

• Granada Downtown Music: $761,921

• Jazzhaus of Lawrence: $112,052

• Lawrence Arts Center: $420,209

• Liberty Hall: $314,587

• Mammoth: $9.74 million

• Pipeline Productions: $59,382

• Steve Ozark DBA Ozark Talent: $15,478

• Theatre Lawrence: $253,600

Concert and other venues were some of the first that had to shut their doors 18 months ago in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and some of Lawrence’s landmark venues were among those across the country to come together to advocate for dedicated aid for venues and related businesses, as the Journal-World previously reported. More than $16.2 billion in federal aid was allocated through the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program.

The Small Business Administration officially opened the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application portal in April 2021, as the Journal-World previously reported. Various arts venues and other cultural establishments are eligible to apply, including operators of live venues, live performing arts organizations, museums and movie theaters, as well as live venue promoters, theatrical producers and talent representatives. The SBA will continue to accept applications for eligible venues until Aug. 20, and more information is available on the SBA website, SBA.gov.

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