SMALL Showroom opening at Co-Prosperity Sphere

It wouldn’t even be an overstatement to call Ed Marszewski a visionary. The Chicago mover and shaker is not only editor and publisher of art pubs Lumpen and Proximity, and co-owner of Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar, he’s also spearheading the upcoming SMALL Showroom, launching at next week’s Version Fest 12 at the Co-Prosperity Sphere. I’m looking forward to reporting back on what I find at “the People’s Macy’s,” but for now, I had a brief chat with Marszewski about what to expect. “We truly are entering a locavore movement,” Marszewski says. “It makes sense to support people who are doing it.”

The idea: A pop-up shop designed to demonstrate the range of locally manufactured goods available in Chicago. Friday nights in May will host tastings by folks such as Half Acre, Koval Distillery and Few Spirits, to name a few. Saturday and Sunday are the best shopping days, where guests can browse a showroom-style setup featuring over 100 vendors.

The participants: The list goes on and on, including tons of personal favorites: LunaTik, Thrill Jockey Records, Cities in Dust, Co-Op Hot Sauce, Mayana Chocolate, Strand Design, ReBuilding Exchange/RX Made. Furniture, craft, artwork, food.

The vision: For now, the alliance aims to create a network that will help local entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Anticipate talks, tradeshows and a directory that will be distributed throughout the city letting people know who the SMALL members are and where to find them. In 2013, Marszewski plans to open a co-working space that’s a tech incubator and a place for artists and entrepreneurs to get together and basically get shit done, with access to a woodshop, media center and more.

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)