The Colorado Independent Venue Association has recently partnered with Denver, Colorado’s famed music venue, Dazzle, and their ongoing Bread & Jam COVID relief project for area musicians. The Bread & Jam program was created to provide relief for full-time musicians, who have now been out of work for 10 months. Dazzle transformed part of the venue into a food pantry and started to raise capital to pay musicians a guarantee for live-stream performances.
Owner, Donald Rossa, has been working hard to stay open under financial duress while raising money to sustain the food pantry, pay musicians for live-stream shows, and add mental health services to their programming for musicians. Says Rossa, “What musicians and venue owners really want is to get back to work. The financial strain and loss of purpose has hit the community hard. We can use our 23-year standing in the community to help – we just need to keep enough funding coming in to get people through this extremely difficult time.”
To help with long-term planning and deployment, Rossa enlisted the help of area musicians including Cass Clayton, whose band was often a staple at Dazzle prior to the COVID closing all area venues. “When Donald approached me with the opportunity to help organize something that could help area musicians, I was really grateful,” commented Clayton, who’s been behind the scenes of the Bread & Jam operation since the first weekend. “We saw such success in that first weekend, we knew we had to make it an ongoing thing. I think it’s really easy to overlook how dire the situation is. Every weekend that there isn’t a concert, there’s a whole crew of people going without another paycheck, or another round of tips. That means another week without groceries, or money to pay the electric bill. The weight of that not only affects physical health, but mental health. Being able to partner with organizations like CIVA makes all the difference in offering wider access to more musicians and venue owners who are suffering as closures drag on.”
The partnership between the Colorado Independent Venue Association and Bread and Jam means all CIVA members have access to Dazzle’s varied offered services: opportunities to participate in paid live stream performances, free groceries through the food pantry, and access to support for immediate needs like grocery cards, emergency financial assistance, mental health support through their partnership with Music Minds Matter.
CIVA Chair, Chris Zacher says, “CIVA represents 100 independent venues across the State of Colorado. Since March of 2020, a majority of our member venues have been shuttered and/or operating at limited capsity. Due to these factors many Colorado based musicals have been struggling to pay bills and feed themselves and their families. Dazzle’s Bread and Jam program is a prime example how we can all come together as a community to help our brothers and sisters in need.”
Both organizations look forward to expanding their partnership in the near future.
Levitt Pavilion Denver is part of a growing family of outdoor permanent Levitt music venues and Levitt AMP concert sites across America. This year, 550+ free Levitt concerts will be presented in 26 towns and cities. Leading the program’s nationwide growth is the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a pioneer in the creative placemaking movement.
Learn more at http://www.levitt.org.