The Push to Save NYC's Independent Venues

The New York City (NYC) music community came out Sunday morning to pose in solidarity to save our independent venues and live entertainment with the support of the newly-formed New York Independent Venues Association (NYIVA). NY photographer Arnie Goodman and digital media diva Abbe Sparks organized the impromptu Save Our NYC Stages Photo Event to put the faces with the cause and showcase the devastating effects the NY on Pause live entertainment moratorium has had, and continues to have on the New York music community at large.

Save our NYC Stages
Iconic NYC independent venue The Cutting Room has been closed since March 14, 2020.

Steve Walter, owner of iconic NYC venue The Cutting Room surrounded by nearly 50 strong representing NYC’s music c­­­­ommunity, risked their health safety to come out Sunday morning for the Save Our NYC Stages Photo Shoot in a masked up, socially distant show of solidarity for the independent venues and the live music they love.  The Save Our NYC Stages Photo Shoot was held next to Joe’s Pub on the steps of The Joseph Papp Theater with everyone at a social distance and all masked-up.

Every borough of the city plus neighboring Long Island, Westchester and New Jersey were represented yesterday — from club owners, to musicians of national and local acts, to music and theater industry professionals. Musicians even traveled from as far away as Pennsylvania.

Music Save our NYC stages photo shoot
Indie club owner Steve Walter (Cutting Room) surrounded by nearly 50 members of the NYC music community came out in solidarity to pose for the Save Our NYC Stages Cause. Photo: Arnie Goodman

“Yesterday was a magical music moment in New York City for the music scene, live entertainment and all New Yorkers; played totally without a single instrument except for a camera,” — Abbe Sparks

“Many of the club owners and musicians who showed their support for this event could not partake due to the risks involved. They either have small children, elderly parents or are compromised themselves. Regardless of whether they were physically present or not, the entire music community was with us in spirit.” — Arnie Goodman

Save Our Stages campaign

Last Tuesday, NY Senator Chuck Schumer announced he was co-sponsoring the Save Our Stages Act, the bipartisan relief bill introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar and John Cornyn, which is supported by NIVA.  A second bill, the RESTART Act led by Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Representatives Jared Golden (D-ME) and Mike Kelly (R-PA) is also on the table.

Of Note in attendence: Venue Owner Steve Walter (The Cutting Room); Musicians: Drummer, Jeff Simon (George Thorogood & The Destroyers), Rench (Gangstagrass), Queen Esther, Michelle Shocked, Kerry Kearney (Kerry Kearney Band), Drummer, Mario Staiano, guitarist/producer David Malachowski (RENT on TOUR), Abbe Sparks (Exec. Producer, CHRISTMAS AIN’T A DRAG), music audio engineers, producers, promoters, publicists and a few music fans. 

Socially Sparked

Music, live performance, Broadway, dance, comedy and more have Socially Sparked® our lives and New York City in countless ways. The pandemic and New York’s moratorium on live venues is continuing to wreak economic and emotional havoc on the independent club owners and the artists, not to mention how it’s affecting the millions of fans and visitors that live for live entertainment. We need to act now and Save Our NYC Stages!  — Forever #sociallysparked  Tweet us @sosparkednews