NIVA’s fundraising branches off as National Independent Venue Foundation

The UC Theatre, National Independent Venue Association, NIVA, NIVF, National Independent Venue Foundation

The UC Theatre photographed on Sept. 27, 2020. Onome Uyovbievbo/STAFF.

The National Independent Venue Association has reorganized, with a separate nonprofit National Independent Venue Foundation (NIVF), whose mission will be to partner and fundraise through individual, corporate and foundation donations to expand upon NIVA’s mission to save music venues, as well as support entertainment industry workers and artists.

While NIVA remains the advocacy, sponsorship, and membership trade organization branch, the foundation will focus on financial resources, including obtaining emergency relief funds. It will be led by President Hal Real, who’s also the president of World Cafe Live in Philadelphia and secretary of NIVA.

“The Foundation hopes to learn from existing best practices and training programs undertaken by NIVA’s members and expand upon them to provide education and community programming, employee training and support, and economic development initiatives to further develop both organizations’ efforts to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion,” Real said in a news release. “Long-term, we hope to establish an endowment fund to assure sustainability of NIVA and Foundation programming for years to come.”



The board of NIVF includes David M. Mayeri, founder and CEO of The UC Theatre in Berkeley.

MIVA currently includes 2,900 members.

“While we wait for Congressional support that would allow our industry of independent venues and promoters to survive, I’m excited to be working with the National Independent Venue Foundation on next steps that, once we are back in business, will allow every member of our community the equal opportunity to thrive,” said Tobi Parks, NIVF vice president in the news release. “It’s more than just that feeling of being in an audience, surrounded by other fans of all backgrounds who are connecting in that moment. Our goal is to support diversity, equity and inclusion in all levels of our industry.”

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