Fox Tucson Theatre Executive Director Bonnie Schock and Fox’s board of directors announced that the “Crown Jewel of Downtown” has been awarded a Shuttered Venue Operator’s Grant in the amount of $1,448,389.
“Having just revealed our 2021-2022 Return to the Fox season of 50+ shows, this comes at a time when long-awaited relief is much needed. With our first live performance since March of 2020 just a few months away, these funds allow us to move forward boldly toward full recovery and a triumphant return to the Fox.”
The SVOG program supports a wide range of local, regional and national performing arts venues, promoters, and producers so that they may continue their contributions to the cultural as well as the economic health of the Tucson community. “We are so happy for all of our colleagues in the industry. As the first to close and among the last to reopen, this has been a period of extreme struggle for all of us involved in the business of gathering people together. These grants replace extreme losses and help to provide necessary working capital to re-open our doors.”
Schock said that all SVOG awarded organizations still need regular, ongoing participation and investment from the community to remain vibrant for years to come.
“After such a long time without the joy of live performance in our lives, it’s a good reminder to show up and support in whatever ways make sense for you. We hope everyone will buy tickets to shows, spread the word, be a champion, and just continue to be involved with performers, performing arts organizations, clubs, and venues large and small. We’re all here for you and because of you, and the road to recovery continues.”
Ongoing fundraising efforts throughout the past year have made it possible for the Fox Theatre to meet basic expenses, while awaiting federal relief and the moment when performances could resume.
SVOG grants were awarded to qualifying organizations, with the award amount calculated based on 45% of the organization’s 2019 earned revenues. Funds may be used for ordinary and necessary business expenses incurred back to March 1, 2020 and forward through December 31, 2021. For the Fox, this primarily means staff, artist fees, utilities, ongoing maintenance, insurance and more in order to ensure that the beloved theatre is ready for shows to resume.
“We are so grateful to those whose advocacy helped drive the legislation that made this targeted relief program a reality for our industry,” said Fox board member Nancy March, who chaired the Fox’s advocacy action group since August. “Senator Mark Kelly, Representative Raul Grijalva, and our Mayor Regina Romero all lent their support to the SVOG. They were champions for the cause because they understand the need to offset the tremendous losses that organizations like the Fox have faced during the pandemic. They also know how vital cultural and entertainment businesses are to our local economy and to our quality of life.”
“Live venues are an integral part of Tucson’s vibrant culture and economy, and I’m pleased SBA has finally awarded the Fox Theatre an SVOG grant,” said Grijalva. “The need for this funding has been clear for some time, and that’s why I pushed so hard for this program from the beginning. I am happy to see the results coming to fruition and our local businesses getting the aid they need and deserve. With the funding Congress provided, they can now move forward to hire, book talent, begin marketing, and ultimately come back into operation stronger than before. Our small venues have waited long enough for relief, and I will continue fighting for any resources they need to ensure a full economic recovery from the pandemic.”
Since the announcement of the upcoming season of shows on June 10, sales have been brisk, breaking all previous records at the Fox Box Office with headliners like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Lindsey Buckingham, Chris Isaak and Randy Rainbow selling out fast.
For a limited time through July 4, those who purchase tickets to four or more shows will receive a 10% discount on their entire purchase. For show details and to purchase tickets visit www.foxtucson.com.