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, which received $10 million in SVOG funding from the federal government, the largest philadelphia SVOG payment

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

$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
$2,634,291 NOTO1209 Vine Street
$2,343,878 Union Transfer1026 Spring Garden Street
$2,094,809 Platinum Productions6347 Chew Avenue
$1,992,509 Please Touch Museum4231 Avenue of the Republic
$1,821,002 Barnes Foundation2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
$1,683,995 Helium Comedy Club2031 Sansom Street
$1,361,389 Pennsylvania Ballet100 South Broad Street
$1,223,205 Museum of the American Revolution101 South 3rd Street
$1,171,174 Philly Pops1518 Walnut Street
$944,382 MilkBoy Center City1100 Chestnut Street
$905,960 Dope Shows4925 Sansom Street
$905,733 Philadelphia Film Society1412 Chestnut Street
$642,179 Underground Arts1200 Callowhill Street
$617,396 The Arena7 West Ritner Street
$609,535 Magic Gardens1020 South Street
$565,100 Philadelphia Folksong Society6156 Ridge Avenue
$530,173 Silk City435 Spring Garden Street
$449,502 FringeArts140 North Columbus Boulevard
$418,663 Chris' Jazz Cafe1421 Sansom Street
$351,687 Philadelphia Theatre Company215 South Broad Street
$313,536 The Barbary951 Frankford Avenue
$309,880 Philly Improv Theater2030 Sansom Street
$309,179 The Wilma Theater265 South Broad Street
$225,055 Insectarium8046 Frankford Avenue
$206,919 Lantern Theater Company1015 Chestnut Street
$202,800 Kung Fu Necktie1248 North Front Street
$172,075 Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia1520 Locust Street
$149,481 Quintessence Theatre Group7137 Germantown Avenue
$121,112 Enchantment Theatre Company100 South Broad Street
$109,072 Interact Theatre Company302 South Hicks Street
$106,713 Mask & Wig Club310 South Quince Street
$100,549 Theatre Exile1340 South 13th Street
$100,127 1812 Productions2329 South 3rd Street
$98,973 Philly PACK233 Federal Street
$95,594 Philadelphia Clef Club736 South Broad Street
$90,394 Opera Philadelphia1420 Locust Street
$66,751 John Graves Productions1214 South Street
$62,180 Tempesta di Mare1034 Carpenter Street
$54,829 Mendelssohn Club416 Queen Street
$54,317 The VZA951 Frankford Ave
$51,065 Arch Street Meeting House Preservation Trust320 Arch Street
$44,037 Bloktoberfest739 South 13th Street
$43,808 The Stagecrafters8130 Germantown Avenue
$39,140 Pseudonym Productions6702 Wayne Avenue
$35,413 Just Mike the Poet1931 Mifflin Street
$34,649 Jeanne Ruddy Dance1515 Brandywine Street
$33,025 EgoPo Classic Theater317 Dickinson Street
$30,477 Head Booking869 North Lawrence Street
$24,139 Francisco Collazo1800 North Front Street
$22,919 Tiny Dynamite7060 Greenhill Road
$15,440 Painted Bride230 Vine Street
$11,727 Mauckingbird Theatre Company8708 Prospect Avenue
$10,017 Mamadele Foundation224 West Walnut Lane
$2,865 Pier Entertainment1939 Fairmount Avenue

Montgomery County SVOG Recipients

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

Delaware County SVOG Recipients

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

Bucks County SVOG Recipients

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

Chester County SVOG Recipients

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