Pabst Theater Group Creates Employee Relief Fund
More than $34,000 has already been donated to support over 200 employees.
The group employs more than 200 people in the Milwaukee area during its shows. These workers include ushers, bartenders, box office representatives, event staff, stagehands and photographers, all of them now without income. Many of these service industry and part-time staffers have been with the theater group for years. Gary Witt, Pabst Theater Group CEO, joined the organization in 2002 and said some of the staff have been there longer than he has.
Witt said the header that currently sits on the Riverside Theater marquee best encapsulates the theater group’s gratitude towards its staff. It reads: “If you love what we do, then you love what they do. Because they are… Pabst Theater Group.”
The group is offering a range of gifts for various levels of donations ranging from free tickets and swag to VIP box seats.
Witt said he was “pleasantly surprised” to see the outpouring of donations, adding that it is “heartwarming to see that a concert venue has had such an impact on people’s lives.” At the time of publication, the campaign has raised $34,252 from 315 people.
The Pabst Theater Group was started in 2002 by Witt and his business partner Matt Beringer as the booking and management arm of philanthropist Michael Cudahy‘s Pabst Theater Foundation. In 2016, the theater group split off from the foundation and took responsibility for all the financial risk related to running shows.
This outpouring of support is, perhaps, best captured by a comment left by a former employee when he donated.
Andy Nelson wrote this “THANKS FOR GIVING ME MY START.” “Here’s to many, many, many, more wide-eyed music lovers getting their start with the Pabst Theater Group.”
Nelson worked for the group for 10 years, after that he was the Director of Marketing and Communications for Milwaukee Public Schools and he’s currently the “Hype Man” at Bader Rutter.
Nelson went on: “From stacking chairs at 1am at Turner, to the adventure of putting up posters in the Riverside lobby, to meeting friendly and not so friendly people when flyering countless events, to so many odd jobs like replacing lightbulbs in the Pabst Theater seats, to the wild adventures of WSP weekend, to the ‘normal, tame shows’ always being the shows where something weird happens. More importantly, here’s to the friends you earn along the way.”
Nelson said his 10 years at the Pabst Theater Group were “some of the best times of my life.” He added, “My heart and thoughts are firmly with the folks that keep these cherished places running and full of life. May you be back working inside those walls soon.”
- WI Daily: Wisconsin Reports Biggest One-Day COVID-19 Case Increase - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 4th, 2020
- Beware of Contact Tracing Scams - Bridgit Bowden - Jul 4th, 2020
- WI Daily: COVID-19 Spread Keeps Accelerating in Wisconsin - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 3rd, 2020
- Milwaukee Moves Backward In Fight Against COVID-19 - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 3rd, 2020
- State Unemployment Insurance System Failing Many - Bram Sable-Smith - Jul 3rd, 2020
- Racial Disparities Found in Safer-At-Home Arrests - Edgar Mendez - Jul 3rd, 2020
- Johnson Discusses Small Business Recovery at Axios Virtual Event - U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson - Jul 3rd, 2020
- The City of Milwaukee Phase 4 Assessment Update - City of Milwaukee Health Department - Jul 3rd, 2020
- WI Daily: 14-Day Positive Case Rate Continues Upward Climb - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 2nd, 2020
- City Hall: What Should Or Shouldn’t Be in Milwaukee Mask Mandate? - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 2nd, 2020
Read more about Coronavirus Pandemic here