For over 20 years, Chicago’s Little Black Pearl has been a positive community contributor through its initiatives in arts and education. It has also been one of the South side’s most successful stories of innovation and vision. What started as a small neighborhood youth gathering in the residence of founder Monica Haslip, has since expanded into a 40,000 sq. ft. cultural arts center and CPS Option school in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood.
With its history of forward-thinking, it comes as no surprise that the good people at Little Black Pearl (LBP) are back with another creative endeavor- and it’s an exciting one.
This month, Little Black Pearl will debut Carver 47 Juice and Experiment Bar- a gathering space that’s part café, part experience lab- and totally unique.
Carver 47 is named after one of history’s greatest innovators- Dr. George Washington Carver. Although primarily known for his groundbreaking work with peanuts, Carver’s societal contributions extended well beyond his scientific background. As Haslip points out, “George Washington Carver was a musician, botanist, painter and humanitarian and teacher. He taught at Tuskegee Institute. We have such a narrow view of him. We want to celebrate his impact on American culture.”
Part of that impact was the uplift of the Black community- a core mission of Carver 47. Another part of its mission is to change the narrative about Black culture. Through community service and promotion of our entrepreneurial spirit, Carver 47 hopes to do just that.
AS A COMMUNITY SPACE
With its walkability and upbeat, creative vibe, Carver 47 aims to serve as a positive addition to the Bronzeville/North Kenwood neighborhood. It will offer a welcoming environment to a multigenerational crowd. Visitors can connect for the latest community meeting, or bring a laptop and get work done. Carver 47 will serve premium Intelligentsia coffees, high quality teas, organic juices and other light menu options, served by LBP student staff.
Community members can also take advantage of fresh vegetables and herbs grown from its interior greenhouses- a nod to Dr. Carver’s agricultural endeavors.
For those seeking a rental space, Carver 47 will be available for special events.
A SOCIAL EXPERIENCE LAB
Patrons of Carver 47 will enjoy a variety of social experiences that can’t be found in your typical coffee house. In its experimental lab, you can hop on the “1’s and 2’s” during a DJ demo class, or get a lesson in painting or drawing. The lab will provide a great opportunity to learn new things, and connect with new people. “The beauty is that it’s not a set experience,” shares Yvette Warren, Marketing, Sales, and Special Events Manager. “People will have a new experience each time they come.”
A SHOWCASE FOR EMERGING TALENT
Carver 47 is committed to giving up-and-coming talent an opportunity to shine.
It will host art exhibitions displaying artists in the community, as well as open-mic and poetry nights featuring local talent. Selected Chicago clothing retailers can showcase and sell their wares via Carver 47’s retail pop up shops. And Little Black Pearl students will also get in on the fun, with opportunities to share their musical and artistic talents with the community.
Can’t wait to check out Bronzeville’s next big thing? You’re in luck. Carver 47 Cafe @ Little Black Pearl is a participant in the 2017 Bronzeville Art District Trolley Tour on tomorrow, Friday, June 16. Stop by and enjoy live music and a livelier time. For more information about Carver 47, visit www.blackpearl.org.