When Alicia Hempfling heard about immigrant families being separated at the border, she knew she had to do something. Hempfling, who owns a music and dance studio in Rogers Park, started planning a fundraiser. Building it around music made the most sense.
Hempfling is the founder and president of the New Rhythm Arts Center in Rogers Park, which offers music and dance lessons. She organized a blues concert fundraiser at Pub 626, 1406 W. Morse Ave., and booked Shirley King, daughter of blues legend B.B. King, as the headliner.
The concert will be held on Sunday, July 22 from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are 20 dollars, with all proceeds going to the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, a human rights organization that helps unaccompanied immigrant children.
Pub 626 holds about 125 people, and Hempfling is hoping for a full house.
“We are hoping to raise at least 3,000 dollars,” she said. “We wanted to be in a relaxed venue where folks can enjoy a great blues concert, knowing that their contribution is assisting in the fight for immigrant families.”
Hempfling said the relentless flow of troubling stories from the border pushed her to action.
“As I was reading about the immigrant crisis, and seeing a new assault every day, the cruelty of what was happening, and continues to happen, has been heartbreaking,” she said. “Many of us felt like doing something.”