Two Chicago cultural icons, The Silver Room and The Chosen Few DJs, have teamed up to raise money for students interested in studying music in college.
Thursday, May 16 at 7 p.m., they will host “A Conversation with The Silver Room Sound System Block Party and The Chosen Few DJs Picnic.” It will take place at the Promontory at 5311 S. Lake Park Blvd.
Proceeds will benefit an artistic and house music scholarship fund for students at Kenwood Academy High School.
Eric Williams, owner of The Silver Room and founder of The Silver Room Sound System Block Party, said he was thinking about ways to connect with young people in the community.
“A lot of high school kids come to the store,” he said. “I would love to make a connection [with] these kids.”
Williams also wanted to raise money for the students to go to college, so he came up with the idea of doing the talk back. It will feature an hour and a half question-and-answer session followed by music. The conversation will be moderated by Mario Smith of the Promontory.
Both The Chosen Few DJs Picnic and The Silver Room Block Party have become economic engines for the South Side with close to $4 million in revenue generated for their respective community footprints. It is also notable to mention that both events are family-friendly and incident-free.
Alan King, member of The Chosen Few DJs, said when Williams approached him with the idea of doing a conversation, he thought it was a good idea.
“It’s important we support each other. It’s nice for the community to see these two events align,” King said.
The proceeds will go to two Kenwood high students; the school’s principal will choose which two.
“It’s a great gift for these students,” he said.
King said he is also working with the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District to do free house music events.
“It’s an overall violence-prevention strategy and a way to bring some positive events to different parts of the city,” he said.
Williams said he hopes the scholarship will be a way to expose young people to house music.
“We can use this as way to make a connection and build a bridge — have them understand the importance of house music,” Williams said.
King said he wants the conversation to be a way for people to find out more about The Chosen Few DJs Picnic and The Silver Room Block Party.
“I think it’s important for us that people better understand what goes into these events…that when they support these events, they’re supporting events that have significant cultural impact,” he said. “Hopefully they’ll understand they’re a part of something important on the South Side.”
The Chosen Few DJs Picnic will take place on Saturday, July 6 in Jackson Park. The Silver Room Block Party will take place on Saturday, July 20 in Downtown Hyde Park. The cost is $15 in advance and $25 at the door. To purchase, visit tinyurl.com/yyqq6axc.