Seattle-based all-ages nonprofit arts and music space The VERA Project is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with a livestream it’s calling Viva Vera!. The show will be broadcast on January 27, at 7 p.m. Pacific on VeraTV.org, and will feature performances from Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard and Perfume Genius. The show will also include appearances from Foo Fighters, TV on the Radio, Tacocat, Jeff Rosenstock and more to share birthday wishes and reflections on the space for the event.
The VERA Project was founded in 2001 in response to Seattle’s Teen Dance Ordinance, which was legislated in 1985 and made all-ages live shows expensive and logistically difficult. Shannon Stewart, James Keblas, and Kate Becker opened the space to provide a venue for youth to visit and hear live music, and early on it got a lot of support from touring indie acts. The organizers who helped open the space put increasing pressure on city leaders, and a year later the TDO was repealed.
Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio says of Vera Project, “I remember getting [to VERA] and 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.”