The New York Times reported that the biggest Broadway hit in decades ‘Hamilton’ could receive up to $50 million as pandemic relief under the federal government’s Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program. The $16 billion program provides aid to live-event businesses. This relief program for live entertainment and cultural programs that suffered through the pandemic as all of them closed shutters, months on end.
Some of the events eligible for funds include:
- Music clubs
These productions can avail funds up to $10 million, depending on gross revenues earned in 2019. According to the Small Business Association over 14,000 applications for the grants have been put in by small businesses. Although the disbursement is slow, most of the applications for aid are expected to be processed by early July.
The grant program could disburse $10 million for each program. The Tony award winning musical “Hamilton” is eligible for up to $50 million as it was shuttered in Broadway as well as at four other venues. It has already received grants for three of them. There is a production at London, England but overseas production are ineligible for grants.
Hamilton was playing to full houses right from its opening in 2015. There are critics who believe that successful events do not need relief, but producer Jeffrey Sellers told the New York Times that funds will be used to return the musical’s finances to pre-pandemic levels.
Sellers told the agency that the money will be used for
- reimbursements for expenses related to the pandemic
- expenses related to rehearsals with actors, musicians, and stagehands
- workshops for new hires
- repairing equipment
- replacing equipment
- transportation of people
- transportation of sets
- COVID 19 safety personnel
The money will not be used by producers, investors or as royalties.
The Small Business Association records also show that Nederlander Organization, owner of nine theaters in New York and Jujamcyn Theaters which has five theaters and whose current production of the Book of Mormon is on, will also receive $10 million grants.
CNBC contacted Hamilton for comment but there was no immediate comment from a spokesperson.