La Crosse area entertainment venues to benefit from COVID-19 grants from Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (WKBT) — The La Crosse Center, Onalaska Omni Center and the Florian Gardens Conference Center in Eau Claire are among 96 live entertainment venues to receive a total of $15 million in grants meant to ease the burden of COVID-19 on businesses, Gov. Tony Evers announced Thursday.

“We know large gatherings of people in small spaces can be a catalyst for spread, which is why our folks in the live music and entertainment industry have been doing their part to help keep their communities and people safe,” said Evers. “These changes haven’t been easy, but these venues have worked to be good partners throughout this process. We hope these funds can provide critical support and stabilization to help them get through until we can all gather safely and enjoy entertainment together again.”

The grants — funded by the federal CARES Act and administered by the state of Wisconsin — aim to provide financial stabilization to Wisconsin’s live music and entertainment venues.

Grant awards provided eligible recipients up to $500,000 or 25% of 2019 ticket or event sales, whichever was less. Grants have been pro-rated due to oversubscription.

“These venues serve as community gathering places and vibrant hubs for culture, art and innovation; however, the continued effects of COVID-19 across the state means they may be the last to fully re-open,” said DOA Secretary Joel Brennan. “These grants will hopefully bring a little hope to this industry as we all continue to push for additional action at the federal level to allow them to survive until we can fully embrace live entertainment in a healthy and recovered Wisconsin.”

Recipients in La Crosse County include: Country Boom LLC, JDLC Entertainment LLC, the La Crosse Center, La Crosse Performing Arts Center, Pump House Regional Arts Center, Shenanigans of Wisconsin, Warehouse Alliance, Onalaska Omni Center and the Heider Center Arts Board Inc. in West Salem.

A full list of recipients can be found here.