The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Southside Hub Of Production Kicks Off Its Tenure In A Style Befitting Its Digs

By Steven Pate in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 27, 2011 8:20PM

2011_09_SHoP.jpg We thought there was an awful lot going on at the grand opening of the Southside Hub of Production (SHoP), a brand-new cultural center in Hyde Park, until we saw that the space the organization will be occupying was the Fenn House, a 16-room Victorian mansion across the street from the University of Chicago Campus. With that kind of square footage, there is room to offer something for everybody, which is what SHoP is aiming to do--and from a decidedly local perspective.

Given a 12-month lease of the house by the Unitarian Church over two years after the literacy organization Blue Gargoyle closed up shop there, SHoP is ambitiously envisioned to be a community-oriented space, with workshops, classes, salons, social clubs, a recording studio, a radio station, a film screening room, a woodworking shop, a time bank, performance spaces and other programs planned in addition to a community art museum. The project is an outgrowth of The Op Shop, itself an experimental, public space intended for an intersection of community and arts activities.

The event is presented in collaboration with John Preus' Dilettante Studios, and Preus' works created from salvaged and repurposed furniture will surely be a draw. An animation showcase featuring works by animators using only their alternative, non-dominant hand, as well as videos from South Side Projections, Amir George and Will Goss will be screened. Literary appetites should be sated by Sally Alatalo and Simon Anderson's "The Doggerel and Poetry Show," and pop culture junkies probably seeking out Y. Vittles of Everything Is Terrible!, but the list of contributors is long enough that you are going to want to check it out for yourself.

SHoP's Grand Opening event, It Is What It Is, happens Saturday, October 1, from 4 p.m. Admission is free, and childcare is provided from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. for a suggested donation of $10-$30.