Without restaurant jobs, what happens to artists?

Some in the art and music industry worry that the lack of restaurant jobs is putting a strain on New York's creative class. (July 14)

Video Transcript

RACHEL BERRY: This is my space, my home. My whole thing is, like, when you walk into a space it's gotta have good energy, and every part of the space is important.

So my name is Rachel Berry. I am an artist-- a multidisciplinary creative, I guess. I've been in the service industry for a while. The flexibility that comes with part-time work for full-time pay has essentially given me the creative freedom to do anything else I want on the side.

The thing in New York City when you are a creative type, you can always find another bartending, or waiter, or waitress job. That security has completely disappeared. I was fortunate enough to be able to collect unemployment, so that, I think, made it a lot easier to get through, but that's now quickly changing. The federal unemployment assistance is going to be expiring.

I mean, you can't be creative. You can't perform. You can't write when your basic needs are in jeopardy.

Everything that we interact with is creative and artistic, from our phones to the ads that we see. You can't have an apartment without artists. Those are all the creative choices that people make.

JEN LYON: No one can stay here anymore.

My name is Jen Lyon, and I'm a promoter for concerts and festivals. It's pretty stressful. You know, our industry stopped. We're going to be the last industry to open.

All of those artists who were working within the restaurant industry to maintain living in New York to become artists have now had to make different life choices, and have had to leave New York, mainly. I mean, that's the Lady Gaga story. If Lady Gaga didn't play in small clubs in New York, we wouldn't have a Lady Gaga. Aren't we glad we have her? Bruce Springsteen-- you know, I mean, all of these artists that make the stories and soundtracks of our lives.

- And then they're like, oh--

JEN LYON: I think it is important to think about, as a society, how to support artists and that artist clasp. I worry that we're going to lose something, and who knows if we can get it back. That's pretty real, I think.