A new photo and poster effort called Bring Music Home (BMH) has been launched, in an effort to document and raise funds for the hundreds of music venues across the U.S. that have been financially devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. The funds will benefit the recently formed National Independent Venues Association (NIVA), which is working to rally governmental and financial support for the country’s independent venues. According to a recent survey conducted by NIVA, is that 90 percent of independent venue owners, promoters and bookers say that they will have to close permanently within several months without targeted government funding. (See examples below, and its Instagram is @bringmusichome.)
Co-founders Amber Mundinger, Tamara Deike and Kevin Condon partnered with nearly 60 local photographers, producers, and other creatives across 30 cities in order to document the venue’s stories. Enacting social distancing and following CDC guidelines for each location, the creative team has safely utilized remote production during COVID-19. The photography and narratives behind over 200 venues, featuring the people who run them, longstanding employees, and performers, will publish on a rolling basis throughout the summer on BMH’s website and Instagram, with a book compiling all the portraits, interviews and history of these spaces launching in the fall.
The project’s first efforts highlight New York’s Baby’s All Right, Austin’s Mohawk, Nashville’s Exit/In, and San Francisco’s Rickshaw Stop. Photos from cities and venues across the country will continue to publish throughout the summer. Also coming soon, DJ Hesta Prynn is creating exclusive playlists to pair with each venue and city and a filmed component of the project is also projected to drop in 2021.
“Bring Music Home is the only team currently documenting more than 200 music venues across 30 U.S. cities—a story of music culture’s unsung heroes, the real-life people behind live music—during one of the most cataclysmic events in modern history,” said the three co-founders of BMH. “Through this project, we are not only visually sharing the stories of those behind the scenes of the music industry, we are also able to donate to help save these institutions that mean so much to the local communities.”
In order to help provide immediate relief, BMH partnered with Fine Southern Gentleman and local artists to create a limited-edition screen-printed poster highlighting the unique spirit of all 30 cities. The first five-city posters launch are by designers Young & Sick, Justin Prince, Josh Shearon, Pilar Zeta, and Jose Berrio.
All proceeds from poster sales will go directly to support NIVA’s Emergency Relief Fund. A hard-copy book featuring all artwork, photography, and stories of these iconic venues is anticipated to launch in the fall, with a portion of proceeds going to support NIVA members.
“This stark, behind-the-curtain look gives voice to an industry silenced by the pandemic. What Amber, Tamara, and Kevin have envisioned is a reminder that those perfect shows we all continue to talk about were the result of a multitude of people, teams, and talent all supporting each other,” said Rev. Moose, co-founder of and Executive Director of NIVA. “Bring Music Home is another example of how supportive the live community is, and just how eager we all are to see its return.”