CHICAGO — A new pop-up activation has transformed long empty storefronts in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood.

Brown Books and Paintbrushes brings the play to the new Play, See, Shop South Shore pop up near 71st and Jeffery.

Executive Director Candice Washington is also a kindergarten teacher.

“We educate young children; this is our first pop up culturally affirming space. Children and families can come and explore and play,” Washington said.

The activation includes an art gallery and a vendor’s market in the building that also houses apartments.

“The vendor market is here for people to really be able to gain confidence in operating a business,” Damon Smith said.

Damon Smith, the manager of the program run by the South Shore Chamber of Commerce, expressed the importance of all three spaces in the community.

Washington says she hopes her one of a kind, free play space can become a model for what can be done.

“My dream is to create these spaces everywhere free in our communities… safe place that is also culturally affirming that is my dream.”

The pop up is open through the end of March.

For more information:  Childrens Books | Brown Books & Paint Brushes (brownbooksandpaintbrushes.org)