BRIDGEPORT — Think of Chicago as a computer’s motherboard, with millions of individuals and groups living together, each contributing something to the platform of the city.
Where do you fit into this “urban operating system?” How do you make it work?
It’s a question that's been posed, more or less, by the organizers of this year’s Version Fest, the annual Bridgeport cultural festival designed to connect communities. This year’s theme is “Urban Operating System.”
As such, the "UrbanOS" aims to bring together a diverse group of civic-minded Chicagoans to “present works and projects that serve the common good, and connect us to services that everyone can use in our neighborhoods and cities.”
Now in its 13th year, Version Fest is slated to take place June 14-22 throughout Bridgeport. It’s produced by the Public Media Institute and various groups and businesses throughout Bridgeport.
Previous Version Fest themes have been "Infrastructure and Territories," "Bridgeport: Community of the Future" and "Immodest Proposals."
In this year's installment, participants will have the chance to exhibit their ideas and demonstrate concepts at the UrbanOS Show, and live art and events — “picnics, tours, public interventions, asphalt canoeing, anarchist marching bands and creative disturbances in public space” — will take place throughout the neighborhood.
Also planned is another installment of The Art Bowl, a project headed by Bridgeport Citizens Group co-founder Dan Pugh, who asks Chicago ceramic artists to donate artsy bowls that’ll be filled with soups from local cooks during the festival. Proceeds from the soup sales will benefit the food pantry program at Benton House.
The festival wraps up June 22 in Bosley Park, 3044 S. Bonfield Ave., with a block party dubbed “Above The Pavement: A City Fair,” featuring a farmer’s market, a flea market, live music, performance art and a networking session for nonprofits and community groups.
A full schedule of Version Fest 13 events will be released later.
For now, the organizers of the event are making a final push to solicit involvement from people and groups looking to be part of the action.
Interested in submitting your idea? Organizers ask prospective participants to send a one-paragraph description of their proposal, any relevant URLs, contact information and one 500-by-375-pixel image to Versionfest13@gmail.com.