Owner of NoDa performing arts venue frustrated over lack of COVID-19 relief

CHARLOTTE — The entertainment industry was hit hard during the pandemic and many local venues say they’re still waiting on federal relief.

Joe Kuhlmann, co-owner of The Evening Muse, a local performing arts venue, is among more than 14,000 owners nationwide who reached out for federal help after more than a year of no shows while bills piled up.

The SVOG grant program was signed into law in December 2020, but Kuhlmann said he has not seen a dime of relief.

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“We were told to expect April before any money was going to be showing up and honestly, the window for applications wound up not even happening until April,” he said. “We’re not able to go every night of the week like we used to and even with that, it was difficult making ends meet.”

In the video at the top of this webpage, reporter Dashawn Brown speaks with the owner of the NoDa business about the long and frustrating process.