More than a month into the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, more than 800,000 federal employees are dealing with the financial burden of not getting paid.
A number of artists and concerts are doing what they can to provide a bit of happiness and entertainment for these furloughed workers by offering free tickets, meals and even jobs. See below for a roundup of all the events giving out benefits to federal employees.
The crooner is offering 600 free tickets to furloughed workers and their families or friends for his upcoming concert at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland later this week on Jan. 26.
“Like many people, I’m frustrated by what’s happening and my heart goes out to these incredibly hard-working people who provide important service to our country, yet have had their lives, disrupted by circumstances, not of their doing,” Rodgers wrote on his website. “As a two-time cancer survivor, I believe music has a tremendous power and this is a small gesture I can make to provide some joy and healing. In one of my biggest songs I wrote, “We Are Family, I’ve got all my sisters with me”, I consider all of these people to be my brothers and sisters and I hope this lets them know that we are 100% behind them.”
The rock band’s Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley posted a video to their Rock & Brews Restaurant Facebook page last week, announcing that they would be giving free meals to TSA employees.
Beautiful the Carole King Musical
Federal employees can enjoy a night on Broadway with free admission to Beautiful the Carole King Musical on select Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday evening performances. Eligible federal employees can claim their tickets on the day of the performance by presenting valid government identification at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre’s box office on 124 West 43rd Street.
The late night talk host is giving one furloughed federal worker a job on his talk show every day until the shutdown ends. “Tonight and every night until the shutdown is over, we’re going to put a federal employee to work here at the show,” Kimmel told the audience, and introduced his first temporary employee, John Kostelnik, a prison guard at a federal prison in Victorville, California.
The legendary rapper has extended a hand to furloughed workers by offering up free chicken and waffles at his Sweet Chick restaurants for an entire week. All you need to do is show a federal ID and “we hope to serve you as you have served us. LOVE,” he wrote in an Instagram post.
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?” -MLK • today at all @sweetchicklife locations we honor the words of Dr King and in support of our Government Employees we are offering FREE Chicken & Waffles Mon-Friday 11am-4pm to all Federal Employees impacted by the shutdown…please have Federal ID and we hope to serve you as you have served us . LOVE #SweetChickLife
Philharmonics and Symphonies
A number of orchestras are handing out free tickets to their shows. The Philadelphia, Seattle, Boston, Spokane, Hawaii, Des Moines, Omaha, Georgia, Dallas, Akron and Grand Rapids symphonies are available for furloughed workers. The list also includes the Minnesota Orchestra, the Florida Orchestra and the Buffalo, Louisiana and New York Philharmonics.