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HomeNewsNational NewsHere’s How Much Philly Arts Venues Received of $6.8 Billion in COVID-Relief...

Here’s How Much Philly Arts Venues Received of $6.8 Billion in COVID-Relief Grants


From $10 million for the Kimmel Center to $1 million for a popular Main Line rock club, this is how the federal government is doling out “shuttered venue” cash in our region.


The Kimmel Center got the biggest Philadelphia SVOG payout, to the tune of $10 million. (photo via Kimmel Center)

For many months during COVID, it was tough to rely on the restaurant industry for income, as countless articles and TV news segments have documented. But restaurants could still do takeout, deliveries and outdoor seating. This by no means made them whole, but it helped. On the other hand, the in-person arts and entertainment industry was completely and utterly eviscerated. That’s where the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program comes in.

Like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that many Philadelphia-area businesses took advantage of, SVOG is a financial rescue effort administered by the federal Small Business Association (SBA). Qualifying businesses and organizations that were forced to shut down for months on end due to COVID could apply for grants.

The grants are awarded based on gross earned revenue in 2019. The SBA says grantees can receive 45 percent of that documented revenue, with individual grants maxing out at $10 million.

Eligible entities include live venue operators and promoters, theatrical producers, museums, zoos, movie theaters, and talent representatives.

Just as with PPP, SVOG comes with plenty of strings attached and hurdles to jump. One applicant told me the process was “long and tedious to an extreme.” Another called it “nearly impossible.” And one Philly music venue owner told me a few months ago that he simply gave up. He never applied. But plenty of venues, producers and promoters did, as you’ll see below.

As part of the vetting process, applicants must sign a certification that includes their intended date of reopening. Some applicants, like Center City’s Chris’ Jazz Cafe and Ardmore Music Hall on the Main Line, have already reopened. Others have yet to reopen but have clear reopening schedules in place, like the Kimmel Center, which is expected to once again open its doors in September. And then there are more than a few venues that haven’t publicly announced reopening plans. According to a representative we spoke with from the SBA, if they don’t reopen, they can expect to hear from the feds.

Of all of the applications received, the SBA has come to a decision on 95 percent of them and most of the funds have already been handed out. Recipients have until December 31st to spend the money on allowable expenses, which include things like payroll, rent, utilities, maintenance, taxes, advertising, and fees for independent contractors, like, say, a band that comes and plays at your venue.

Nationwide, SVOG awards have topped $6.8 billion. In Pennsylvania, the feds have given out more than $207 million. That amounted to about $93 million in the Greater Philadelphia area, which, for these purposes, we’re defining as the counties of Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware and Chester. And in Philadelphia proper, SVOG payments just hit about $80 million.

Below, by county, is the complete list of local recipients as of press time.

Note: In some cases, we’ve changed the name of the recipient from the formal entity, a name that oftentimes means nothing to you, to the name under which the entity does business. And in a small handful of instances, the grants may cover multiple venues that are organized under one LLC or nonprofit. Addresses and cities provided are mailing addresses used on the SVOG application and not always the address of the venue itself.

Philadelphia SVOG Recipients

AmountEntityAddress
$10,000,000Kimmel Center1500 Walnut Street
$8,000,000Franklin Institute222 North 20th Street
$8,000,000Philadelphia Zoo3400 West Girard Avenue
$7,463,288Walnut Street Theatre825 Walnut St
$7,247,121The Philadelphia Orchestra1 South Broad Street
$6,897,979Mann Center123 South Broad Street
$5,650,273Philadelphia Museum of Art2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
$2,634,291NOTO1209 Vine Street
$2,343,878Union Transfer1026 Spring Garden Street
$2,094,809Platinum Productions6347 Chew Avenue
$1,992,509Please Touch Museum4231 Avenue of the Republic
$1,821,002Barnes Foundation2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
$1,683,995Helium Comedy Club2031 Sansom Street
$1,361,389Pennsylvania Ballet100 South Broad Street
$1,223,205Museum of the American Revolution101 South 3rd Street
$1,171,174Philly Pops1518 Walnut Street
$944,382MilkBoy Center City1100 Chestnut Street
$905,960Dope Shows4925 Sansom Street
$905,733Philadelphia Film Society1412 Chestnut Street
$642,179Underground Arts1200 Callowhill Street
$617,396The Arena7 West Ritner Street
$609,535Magic Gardens1020 South Street
$565,100Philadelphia Folksong Society6156 Ridge Avenue
$530,173Silk City435 Spring Garden Street
$449,502FringeArts140 North Columbus Boulevard
$418,663Chris’ Jazz Cafe1421 Sansom Street
$351,687Philadelphia Theatre Company215 South Broad Street
$313,536The Barbary951 Frankford Avenue
$309,880Philly Improv Theater2030 Sansom Street
$309,179The Wilma Theater265 South Broad Street
$225,055Insectarium8046 Frankford Avenue
$206,919Lantern Theater Company1015 Chestnut Street
$202,800Kung Fu Necktie1248 North Front Street
$172,075Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia1520 Locust Street
$149,481Quintessence Theatre Group7137 Germantown Avenue
$121,112Enchantment Theatre Company100 South Broad Street
$109,072Interact Theatre Company302 South Hicks Street
$106,713Mask & Wig Club310 South Quince Street
$100,549Theatre Exile1340 South 13th Street
$100,1271812 Productions2329 South 3rd Street
$98,973Philly PACK233 Federal Street
$95,594Philadelphia Clef Club736 South Broad Street
$90,394Opera Philadelphia1420 Locust Street
$66,751John Graves Productions1214 South Street
$62,180Tempesta di Mare1034 Carpenter Street
$54,829Mendelssohn Club416 Queen Street
$54,317The VZA951 Frankford Ave
$51,065Arch Street Meeting House Preservation Trust320 Arch Street
$44,037Bloktoberfest739 South 13th Street
$43,808The Stagecrafters8130 Germantown Avenue
$39,140Pseudonym Productions6702 Wayne Avenue
$35,413Just Mike the Poet1931 Mifflin Street
$34,649Jeanne Ruddy Dance1515 Brandywine Street
$33,025EgoPo Classic Theater317 Dickinson Street
$30,477Head Booking869 North Lawrence Street
$24,139Francisco Collazo1800 North Front Street
$22,919Tiny Dynamite7060 Greenhill Road
$15,440Painted Bride230 Vine Street
$11,727Mauckingbird Theatre Company8708 Prospect Avenue
$10,017Mamadele Foundation224 West Walnut Lane
$2,865Pier Entertainment1939 Fairmount Avenue

Montgomery County SVOG Recipients

AmountEntityCity
$1,439,553Rose Tours & TravelRockledge
$1,170,121Ardmore Music HallArdmore
$1,021,914Water Town CinemaLansdale
$1,005,203Bryn Mawr Film InstituteBryn Mawr
$313,752Reel Cinema NarberthNarberth
$250,128Act II PlayhouseAMBLER
$183,551Jong Ho ParkLansdale
$181,823Big Bloc EntertainmentGLENSIDE
$153,024Cheltenham Center for the ArtsCheltenham
$146,962Steel River PlayhousePottstown
$140,544Soul Joel ProductionsCollegeville
$129,619Theatre HorizonNorristown
$112,979Conservatory of Music and DanceNorristown
$93,739Smoke and Mirrors Magic TheaterHuntingdon Valley
$76,659Montgomery TheaterSouderton
$47,615Pottstown Dance TheatrePottstown
$44,562Storybook Musical TheatreAbington
$21,335Joanne Rile Artists ManagementJenkintown

Delaware County SVOG Recipients

AmountEntityCity
$715,020Media TheatreMedia
$297,810Reel Cinemas Anthony WayneWayne
$204,141Global Entertainment & Marketing PlannersClifton Heights
$160,770Comedy SportzHavertown
$127,004Midnight Sun CompanyNewtown Square
$123,298Hedgerow TheatreRose Valley
$113,732August ProductionsSaint Davids
$112,794Kelly Music for LifeHavertown
$49,514FATA Booking AgencyWallingford
$22,314Jamey’s House of MusicLansdowne
$16,673Lansdowne Symphony OrchestraLansdowne
$16,540Sphinx Management GroupUpper Darby

Bucks County SVOG Recipients

AmountEntityCityCity
$855,458Sellersville Theater136 N Main St, PO Box 423Sellersville
$459,551New Hope Winery6123 Lower York RoadNew Hope
$311,351Bristol Riverside Theater120 Radcliffe StreetBristol
$247,556Grand-Valley Holdings2785 N Old Bethlehem PkQuakertown
$247,019Valley of Fear750 Second Street PikeRichboro
$246,338Friends of Washington Crossing ParkP.O. Box 1776Washington Crossing
$212,805Rockets Band Inc.1232 Colts LnYardley
$192,969Bucks County Center for the Performing ArtsPO BOX 199Carversville
$156,805Bucks County Children’s Museum500 Union Square DriveNew Hope
$107,361Newtown Theatre120 North State StreetNewtown
$12,667Renew Theaters91 E. Court StDoylestown

Chester County SVOG Recipients

AmountEntityCity
$545,433Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts CenterWest Chester
$445,525Colonial TheatrePhoenixville
$350,050People’s Light & Theatre CompanyMalvern
$266,704Tilted AxesWest Chester
$129,682The SoundbankPhoenixville
$121,482Kennett FlashKennett Square
$45,009Chaplin’s Music CafeSpring City
$12,706Kimberton Arts AllianceKimberton
$11,449Revival ProductionsCoatesville
$11,250Society for the Preservation of Barbershop Quartet SingingWest Chester
$1,312Vibe Star EntertainmentPhoenixville





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