The Crusader Newspaper Group

Art Festival to activate storefronts during Small Business Saturday

Magnifying the indigenous cultural and artistic assets signature to the South Shore community, Alderman Leslie Hairston (5th Ward), Special Service Area (SSA) #42, and the South Shore Chamber of Commerce, have partnered with Eric Williams and Rob McKay of the famed Silver Room in Hyde Park to curate, ‘Connect South Shore.’ This 3-day pop-up marketplace will dwell in storefronts along 71st Street, on the weekend following Thanksgiving, November 24 – 26, 2017.

Connect South Shore will feature a tapestry of local and nationally regarded retailers, artists, musicians, and filmmakers, illustrating the richness of cultural expression, while generating small business revenue. Likewise, this enterprising marketplace is intended to stimulate visionary thinking and striking development opportunities for a community disproportionately impacted by patterns of disinvestment.

“Following last month’s epic unveiling of the Renew 71 project and advisory committee, Connect South Shore will serve as the next logical step along our journey to revitalize, not only 71st Street, but the entire South Shore community and surrounding neighborhoods,” says Alderman Hairston.

Given the inflated shopping trends, which historically occurs the weekend following Thanksgiving, the South Shore Chamber and SSA #42 keenly selected this season to help promote profitability of the local small business community. “Supporting our local businesses particularly during the weekend of Small Business Saturday is critical for the local economy,” remarks Tonya Trice, Executive Director, South Shore Chamber of Commerce and Service Provider for SSA #42. “We encourage business owners to take charge of the day by helping them to create incentives designed to attract community residents who   will begin their holiday shopping close to home.”

In recent years, the intersection between economic and social justice causes have resulted in mass protests and boycotts of high-end stores along the Magnificent Mile, intended to impact mainstream commerce. According to Eric Williams, “As conscious-minded individuals it is imperative for us to exercise our right to expression by participating in a different form of mass demonstration. It is time for us to demonstrate the cultural and artistic talents which have to empower and transform our surroundings and create strong economic pathways.”

At the center of the festival is that of local participation, both through vending and patronage. Local vendors are strongly encouraged to partake by executing the application. Selections will be made based upon available space and need for a suitable mix of merchandise and services. To learn more, visit:

Following is a deck of happenings at each respective location:

1906 E. 71st

Artist, Lashun Tines will showcase, ‘The Art of Blackness’, an amalgamation of 4-8 artists with tunes from a live DJ.

1908 E. 71st

Artists Norman Teague and Fo Wilson will be curating visual art and small objects.

2100 E. 71st

The official #ConnectSouth- Shore Vendor Marketplace and live performance stage. Approximately, 30 vendors will transform this space into a matchless gallery of splendor. In addition, featured musical artist Res will grace the microphone on Saturday at 4 p.m., with opening by DJ Duane Powell at 2 p.m..

2226 E. 71st

The film fest will be curated by Jackie Stewert and Danielle Echols.

This is event is sponsored by 5th Ward Alderman Leslie A. Hairston, SSA #42 and the South Shore Chamber of Commerce.



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