The JUTP inbox has been slowly filling with word that the Washington Area Music Association (or WAMA) has thrown its support behind Live Nation's plans to open a Fillmore music club in the former J.C. Penney building in Downtown Silver Spring. WAMA, who sponsored its yearly Wammie awards for local musicians two weeks ago, sent the Montgomery County Council and Executive Ike Leggett a letter Thursday endorsing the Fillmore. That same day, the County Council decided to approve $2 million in funding for the controversial venue.
In other news, I.M.P. Productions, whose counter-proposal to run a club in the same space was repeatedly thwarted by Montgomery County, is now in talks with the District of Columbia to lease the D.C. Armory as a concert venue. I.M.P., owners of the 9:30 Club on U Street, would be allowed to hold shows for between 1,000 and 5,000 people at the Armory. The Fillmore, meanwhile, will have a capacity of roughly 2,000 people standing and fewer seated.
Also, if you'd like to have some sort of say in how the Fillmore or other arts and music venues in Silver Spring are run, Ike Leggett would like to hear from you. The County is taking applications for positions on a new Silver Spring Arts and Entertainment District Committee. Resumes are due March 21.
WAMA's letter to the County Council follows AFTER THE JUMP . . .
February 28, 2008
Dear President Knapp and Members of the County Council:
We are writing to you to voice our strong support for the Fillmore music hall in downtown Silver Spring.
The Washington Area Music Association (WAMA) is an umbrella organization for Washington DC- area musicians, concert promoters, lawyers, recording engineers, managers, graphic artists and others working in the music business.
Among its other activities, WAMA annually sponsors the Washington Area Music Awards - also known as the Wammies - to recognize significant career achievements by area musicians, now in its 22nd year.
This project will significantly benefit economic revitalization in Silver Spring and will produce a significant public profit/benefit from the very beginning. And it will be a space that is available for community use.
You'll forgive us, though, if we focus on what's most important to us - the music.
We are very excited by the prospect of opening a Fillmore in Silver Spring. Such a world-class venue means more opportunities for area musicians to be heard and more opportunities for music fans throughout the region to sample the best of a whole range of musical styles in formats ranging from tables to chairs to theatre seating to stand-up.
This live music and entertainment venue will enrich Silver Spring, the whole County, and the region enormously.
We urge the full Council to approve the rest of the funding needed to make this music venue a reality. The sooner the building starts, the sooner the music gets made and heard.
Thank you for your consideration and for your support of this exciting project.
Washington Area Music Association