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Version Fest Takes Over Bridgeport In May

By Julia Weeman in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 22, 2012 8:00PM

reallyboringVersion Fest 2009 featured an opening at Co-Prosperity Sphere.
Version Festival is just around the corner. This year’s iteration of the month-long annual event, Version 12: Bridgeport: The Community of the Future, features a diverse mix of cultural workers, community developers, urban planners, artists, foodies, designers and more getting together for what they call a “month-long urban experiment" in Bridgeport.

The plan is to open 12 temporary spaces, businesses, enterprises, and projects to invigorate the neighborhood. So far, there are plans in the works for a bookstore, a music performance space in a church, a home brewing center, a department store/gallery featuring locally made products, community kitchens, flea markets, a tourism bureau, and a donut shop/art gallery, among others.

The opening weekend will include a show called “Act of God”, curated by Jake Myers & the Octagon Gallery on May 5 from 7-11 p.m. The work will focus around the uncontrollable forces of nature and how we respond and hope to rebuild what was lost. The lineup will feature music by Joe Sepka & Allison Trumbo, Maribelle, Volcano!, and Odd Obsession. Visual artists include Jenny Kendler, Sam Sieger, Jeriah Hildwine, Stephanie Burke, Theodore Darst, Robin Kang, Aaron Orsini, Adam Rux, Kent Bamberger, and Luke Bradley. Admission will be free and the show will take place at 643 W 31st Street in Bridgeport.

Also launching is "Mash Tun: A Craft Beer Journal," a new publication that will explore the many facets of craft beer and how it functions in relation to food, culture, and society. It's launching during Chicago Craft Beer Week (May 17-27) during a mini festival at Version, the Mash Tun Fest. Beer fans can also check out the home brewing center, where they can learn tips from the pros and perfect their craft.

We’re excited to browse the SMALL showroom at Co-Prosperity Sphere, which will be open for the entire month of May and will feature locally manufactured products. The showroom will be like a department store showcasing a variety of different types of locally-made goods. There will be promotional events featuring creators of the products and a SMALL directory to launch awareness of SMALL members’ products and services.

To learn more about the individual spaces, check out Version’s website or the video on their Kickstarter page. The festival is co-produced by Public Media Institute (PMI) and neighbors, community groups, friends, and business owners in Bridgeport.