The Silver Room and Connect Gallery to host Connect South Shore Art Festival

Staff Writer

Eric Williams, owner of the Silver Room, 1506 E. 53rd St., and Rob McKay, owner of Connect Gallery Hyde Park, 1520 E. Harper Court, will partner with Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th), Special Service Area (SSA) #42, and the South Shore Chamber of Commerce to host ‘Connect South Shore Art Festival,’ held from Friday, Nov. 24, through Sunday, Nov. 26, along the 71st Street business corridor.

Williams and McKay, who will curate the event, will host an opening reception on Friday, Nov. 24, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Followed by a marketplace event held on both Saturday and Sunday, from noon to 9 p.m.

The three-day pop-up marketplace event will dwell in storefronts along the 71st Street business district, and will feature a tapestry of local and nationally regarded retailers, artists, musicians, and filmmakers to help illustrate the richness of cultural expression, while generating small business revenue, according to a press release from the South Shore Chamber of Commerce.

The marketplace is also designed to help stimulate visionary thinking and strike development opportunities for a community, which is known for being a disproportionate area impacted by patterns of disinvestment.

According to Williams, 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. The event is designed to bring awareness to the area.

“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,” Williams said.

The South Shore Chamber of Commerce and SSA #42 has keenly selected this season to help promote profitability of the local small businesses in the community, due to the inflated shopping trends that historically occur during the weekend following Thanksgiving, according to the South Shore Chamber of Commerce.

“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,” Hairston said.

The organization is currently accepting applications from local vendors who want to participate in the event. Selections will be made based upon available space and need for a suitable mix of merchandise and services.

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