Maryland is doling out $30 million in coronavirus relief to about 90 entertainment venues in the state, including 12 organizations in the Annapolis area.
Venues slated for relief will receive anywhere from about $72,600, the smallest figure, to more than $484,000, the largest amount the state will give to an individual venue, Gov. Larry Hogan’s office announced Friday.
Operations in 12 counties and Baltimore are slated for relief, from Worcester County on the Eastern Shore to Allegany County in Western Maryland. The list includes entertainment venues, movie theaters and promoters.
Peter Kjome, President and CEO of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, which received funding at the highest level through the emergency relief, said the money will help the organization make up for revenue lost from having to close its physical doors. He added that it will help BSO pay staff and musicians, while supporting the community through its music.
The BSO has been resilient during the pandemic, pivoting quickly to online concerts and music lessons, but the virus still dealt a financial blow, Kjome said. “We’ve made progress but we’re still fragile.”
In a statement released by his office, Hogan, a Republican, touted the benefits of the relief, which is part of the state’s more than $700 million in emergency economic effort.
“These awards will save hundreds of jobs and help many of Maryland’s entertainment venues sustain their operations until they can safely and fully reopen,” Hogan said. “While safe and effective vaccines will help bring a return to normalcy and end the damage to our economy, we need to continue to do everything we can to support our small business community.”
A dozen of those venues are in Anne Arundel County, with almost $2 million for movie theaters including the owner of the two Bow Tie Cinemas. Others that received the money include the Maryland Renaissance Festival, Rams Head on Stage, the Annapolis Shakespeare Theatre, Colonial Players, Prizm Annapolis and the Maryland Theater for the Performing Arts.
Almost half of those venues slated to receive funding in Baltimore will receive the largest amount awarded by the state: the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Broadway Across America, The Charles, Everyman Theatre, the Maryland Film Festival and SNF Parkway Theatre, the MECU Pavilion, the Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric, Rams Head Live, the Royal Farms Arena, The Senator Theatre and the TMG Hippodrome.
Marissa LaRose, managing director of the Everyman Theatre, said the organization lost about $700,000 in the fiscal year that ended over the summer. Ticket sales usually account for 50% of revenue but they’ll be lucky if tickets make up 15% this fiscal year, she said. The relief will help keep staff and artists employed while they film performances and conduct online education.
“It means we can stay alive, honestly,” LaRose said.
Other recipients in Baltimore include Arena Players Incorporated, Baltimore Center Stage, Baltimore Improv Group, Baltimore Soundstage, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, The 8x10, Fells Point Corner Theatre, Mobtown Ballroom, Motor House, Ottobar and Spotlighters Theatre.
Among the other recipients are The Fillmore and Strathmore, both located in Silver Spring in Montgomery County, and Merriweather Post Pavilion, in Howard County, are among the other recipients in Maryland.
Rick Hutzell contributed to this story.