August 09, 2021

Rep. Mike Levin Announces Nearly $19 Million in Federal COVID Relief Delivered to Local Venues

Oceanside, CA – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) announced nearly $19 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding will go to local entertainment venues, theaters, and museums through the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program. A total of 28 venues in North County San Diego and South Orange County received $18,982,835 to help cover payroll, rent and mortgages, worker protection costs, and other qualified expenses. Rep. Levin helped pass the funding as part of COVID relief legislation in December 2020, and later as part of the American Rescue Plan.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for everyone in our community, and particularly for the local entertainment venues, theaters, and museums that were forced to close,” said Rep. Levin. “As we recover from the pandemic, I’m glad that local venues have received the federal relief they need to make up for some of their lost revenue and help reopen their doors to everyone who cherishes their events. While they work to ensure the show goes on, I’ll keep working to make sure they have the support they need to continue serving our community.”

“We are grateful for Congressman Levin and all those who helped provide this critical funding to bridge the gap of lost revenue during the shut-down,” said Colleen Kollar Smith, Executive Producer of the Moonlight Amphitheatre. “Knowing these funds were on the horizon allowed Moonlight to confidently reopen in June and will help us to employ nearly 200 artists and technicians this year. The last two months of producing for a live audience have reinforced what we knew to be true: the arts will play an essential role in helping our community heal and process the profound loss we have all experienced through the pandemic.”

“The Mission Preservation Foundation is grateful for this critical funding. The pandemic’s devastating impacts on the Mission closed it for the first time in 100 years and nearly all revenue sources were eliminated,” said Mechelle Lawrence Adams, Executive Director of Mission San Juan Capistrano. “With funding like this we can determine our rebound plan that includes new programs, processes, while still keeping our doors open and hosting important community traditions. We are grateful for this funding and appreciate the community’s support and investment in Mission San Juan Capistrano.”

"Without a doubt, the SVOG has made a huge positive impact. This grant has enabled New Village Arts to hire two full time positions and one part-time position and ensures that we can reopen our theatre with a brand new, world premiere musical in November,” said Joan Cumming Interim Managing Director for New Village Arts in Carlsbad. 

Among local recipients receiving funds are the Historic Mission San Juan Capistrano, Belly Up Tavern, North Coast Repertory Theatre, City of Vista/Moonlight Theater, Oceanside Theatre Company, Poinsettia Center For The Arts, Lux Art Institute, La Paloma Theatre, New Village Arts, and the Carlsbad Music Festival. 

The SVOG program was created as part of the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Disaster Assistance administers more than $16 billion through the SVOG program. Eligible applicants were able to qualify for grants equal to 45 percent of their gross earned revenue, with a maximum award amount of $10 million. A portion of the SVOG funding was reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.