WASHINGTON D.C. (CelebrityAccess) — After playing a key role in helping to shape the bipartisan Save Our Stages Act, which helped thousands of independent live music venues to weather the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic, members of the National Independent Venue Association were invited as guests to attend President Biden’s first State of the Union Address on Monday.
NIVA reps on hand included Dayna Frank, NIVA board president and owner and CEO of First Avenue in Minneapolis, who attended as a guest of Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Scott Hammontree, co-owner of The Intersection Grand Rapids, Mich., courtesy of Senator Debbie Stabenow.
As well, NIVA members Ron Ozer, president of Arden Concert Gild in Arden, Del., Mark Fields, executive director of the Grand Opera House in Wilmington, Del., and Darren Silvis, development director at the Freeman Arts Pavilion in Selbyville, Delaware, attended as guests of Delaware Senator Tom Carper.
“Live venues were among the first businesses to close down from the pandemic and the last to reopen. As I worked to pass the Save Our Stages Act, Dayna Frank was a crucial partner in fighting to ensure independent venues could stay afloat, including our beloved First Avenue,” said Klobuchar in her own release yesterday. “Dayna helped keep businesses open, workers employed, and music alive for communities in our state and across the country. I’m excited to have her as my virtual guest to President Biden’s State of the Union to highlight the work we’ve done to help small businesses get back on their feet.”
“I’m honored to join Senator Klobuchar as her virtual guest for the State of the Union. When the pandemic hit, small independent music venues throughout the country were in real danger of closing permanently, harming local economies from small towns in rural America to the largest cities,” added Dayna Frank. “Senator Klobuchar heard our call and worked tirelessly across the aisle to pass the Save Our Stages Act. This crucial emergency funding helped us persevere through an incredibly trying time, and now I am proud to say First Avenue is open for business and serving the community we love, bringing back jobs, and welcoming fans by the tens of thousands.”