by Blake Tyson, CBS Chicago
CHICAGO (CBS) — The impact of closing Chicago’s bars and restaurants reaches far beyond food industry workers.
Many entertainers rely on weekly bar or restaurant gigs to keep up with expenses, but may not be getting the benefits that others are during Chicago’s Coronavirus outbreak.
“We don’t want to fall the cracks on this whole thing,” said Kice Akkawi, owner and operator at Treblemonsters and Treble Recordings. “It’s a sector that’s not really thought of. The service industry is thought of and you absolutely understand that, but we’re the guys that are the grassroots, the marketing, the photos, the videos of this whole thing… We’re really of a significant impact on their nightlife at least, or their happy hours, so we’re keeping people there.”
Since many entertainers live paycheck-to-paycheck, several musicians have banded together to try to help each other out by starting chicagoentertainmentrelief.com where restaurant deals, job opportunities, and other resources are compiled.
“It was definitely a really good feeling to see a lot of people trying to and help the situation and helping others because there are some who are better off than others,” Akkawi said. “It doesn’t matter what tier you’re in, how big you are, or how big of a name. We’ve seen all kinds of tiers of talent and artists jump in and try to offer resources in the group.”
If you’re an entertainer being affected by shutdowns or you just want to help some struggling artists, visit chicagoentertainmentrelief.com for more information.