Thursday, June 17

Kansas City music venues, artists rally for support

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Enrique Chi and his band, Making Movies, should have spent 2020 touring and performing in front of live audiences. Instead, the novel coronavirus changed the band’s plans.

“It’s difficult not to connect with people in a physical space,” Chi said. “Music is healing to me. There is a bit of medicine that is no longer in the equation, so that’s been challenging.”

With gathering restrictions in place, many music venues have had to temporarily close their doors. Money from the federal CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program haven’t applied to these venues either.

It’s a silence Patrick Sprehe fears could continue if the community does not rally and support the industry.

“I think what we might discover unfortunately, like scientists discovered with the ecosystem, is that one of these small things that seems to go unnoticed is then taken out, that ripple effect is just you can’t even estimate what will happen,” he said.

Sprehe co-owns Center Cut Records, which represents Kansas City artists who depend on music venues like recordBar.

On Wednesday, Sprehe hosted an event on Facebook, featuring local musicians, artists and venues, to bring awareness to the music industry. He said he hopes the community will take action and contact lawmakers, asking them to provide relief for venues. His mission is part of the Save our Stages Act.

“We’ve got all these small venues,” he said. “Musicians can’t just start at a huge, 20,000 seat place. They start in places like recordBar.”

Chi agreed.

“They gave us a chance to play, a chance to expose ourselves to audiences and gave us opportunities that opened doors for us in the future,” Chi said. “It’s worth being uplifting to these people in this time because they have lifted up so many folks. I owe great debt to venues like (recordBar).”

To learn more or to watch the benefit, visit Center Cut Record’s Facebook page.

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