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Aside from helping others, Clark says, there are other advantages to obtaining a 501(c)3 status for the club, such as having more resources available, tax write-offs and free publicity. That money can instead help the needy, and the nonprofit status can help make sure the club sticks around to help preserve "the soul of American music," Siembieda says.
"This is not a scam," Clark says with exasperation, knowing full well he will have many questions to answer and his share of skeptics if his idea comes to fruition. If Harvelle's becomes a nonprofit, he will become a board member and remain as a staff member who receives a modest salary.
The organization pledges 100 percent transparency, unlike other businesses in the music industry that claim to be nonprofits but really aren't. (We're looking at you, ASCAP and BMI, which are not classified as 501 corporations and do not support any charities but represent themselves as nonprofits.) Clark hopes his business model, if it works, will catch on. His dreams for Harvelle's include being able to service more shelters, maybe even build some, he says.
201 E. Broadway
Long Beach, CA 90802
Category: Bars and Clubs
Region: Long Beach
The even-more-ambitious dream is to create a Service Your Soul record label with artist management, which will be—you guessed it—nonprofit. "We're not just promoting the music for the music's sake," Clark says, "but we can connect people through music and give them a sense of community, too."
So the artists will still make a similar amount in royalties, but instead of the chunk that would normally line the fat pockets of a record label, it will be used to benefit the artists, with a percentage going toward putting nourishment in someone's stomach. "We're trying to create an ecosystem of music within blues and rock," Siembieda says. "It's about helping the artists and helping people."
"This patchwork system the way it's been working is very greed-based," Clark says. "There are a lot of people who are falling through the cracks."
Clark, Siembieda and company want to spackle in harmony.