The folks behind all-ages music and arts venue The Vera Project are celebrating their 20th anniversary with style, with events planned throughout 2021, starting with a livestream show featuring Perfume Genius, Foo Fighters, Ben Gibbard, TV on the Radio, Jeff Rosenstock, No Age, Tacocat, and Mike Park.
Starting off the celebrations, the livestream will feature performances and birthday wishes from the artists, alongside former Vera board and member alumni and all-ages DIY activists across the country, broadcasting on VeraTV.org on Wednesday, January 27 at 7 p.m. PST.
More special events and fundraising efforts are planned for throughout 2021, culminating in a large-scale blowout slated for fall 2021.
Find out more about the livestream, and grab your tickets here.
Born in rebellion of the Seattle legislation the Teen Dance Ordinance, which essentially banned all-ages and youth-driven concerts by making events with attendees under 18 prohibitively expensive and logistically difficult to produce from 1985 to 2002, it’s thanks to The Vera Project’s activism that the legislation was repealed.
The Vera Project co-founder and current King County creative economy director Kate Becker says:
“It’s ironic that as Seattle was becoming an international mecca for music, the city’s young people were living a Footloose existence, prohibited from coming together to dance or see live shows. What’s always been inspiring to me is that discriminatory law translated into civic engagement, galvanizing young activists to organize and lobby local government. To this day, that energy is still at the heart of VERA.”
The Vera Project is so much more than just a venue hosting local and touring artists; they also have a screen print shop, recording studio, art gallery, educational institution, and pride themselves on being a safe space for radical self-expression.
Artists such as Perfume Genius, Fleet Foxes, and Macklemore were forged under their roof, as well as sound engineers, managers, publicists, label execs, tour managers, and more. Acts such as TV on the Radio, Sleater Kinney, The Shins, PUP, Rico Nasty, Pussy Riot, and The Evens were given a space to play in the early days of their careers. To this day, the project disburses tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships and contributes nearly $100,000 to emerging, BIPOC-led spaces.
TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe says:
“The sense of community and love for the space and the people who were in it was immediate and palpable. It makes me so happy that it’s still around to provide that inspiration and that community to anyone who shows up because that’s a life-changing quality.”
Even throughout the pandemic, they’ve continued their work through virtual fundraising events.
Ricky Graboski, executive director of The Vera Project says:
“As America’s music industry and arts scene start to rebuild, we have an incredible opportunity to make something better. Something centered on empathy, equity, and community. It is our collective responsibility to build an infrastructure that’s resilient and responsive enough to meet the needs of the moment. And Vera is leading the charge.”
Check out the trailer for Viva Vera 20 below, and find out more/get involved with The Vera Project here!
Images courtesy of The Vera Project.