Rebuild Foundation––the platform for art, cultural development, and neighborhood transformation founded by artist and social innovator Theaster Gates––announced that Chicago-based record shop Miyagi Records will open in April on the Arts Block, a vibrant collection of cultural and commercial spaces in Chicago’s Washington Park neighborhood.
Miyagi Records, a local record resale concept store, will provide the South Side with a space to purchase vinyl from a selection of curated records through Rebuild Foundation’s Creative Entrepreneurship Program. In partnership with Retreat at Currency Exchange Café, Rebuild’s creative coffeehouse and incubator for emerging culinary artists, Miyagi Records will co-host music programming, in-store performances, and community listening activities across the neighboring spaces.
Miyagi Records will open its doors on the South Side on April 14, 2023, at 307 E. Garfield Blvd.
The brainchild of musicians and collectors Nigel Ridgeway and Marco Jacobo, Miyagi Records began as a humble project operated out of a storage unit with the ambition of growing into a physical shop. Inspired by the hyper-curated, hidden away vinyl shops of Tokyo, Miyagi Records will enrich the existing artistic amenities on the South Side by showcasing the vibrant musical legacy of Chicago with vinyl from a wide range of genres, including blues, soul, house, jazz, hip-hop, and more.
“The preservation, curation, and recirculation of Black music that Miyagi Records brings to the Arts Block demonstrates the depth of creative entrepreneurial talent that lives in our communities,” Gates, Founder and Executive Director of Rebuild Foundation, said. “We are proud to partner with a growing number of multidisciplinary artists—from music to the culinary arts—who are recognizing and investing in the value in their craft. As we kick off Chicago’s EXPO ART WEEK, I’m excited to welcome Nigel and Marco to our spaces as we continue to grow the footprint of emerging Black and Brown businesses on the South Side.”
Miyagi Records is the latest artistic enterprise to take part in Rebuild’s pioneering creative entrepreneurship residency program which has incubated emerging hospitality businesses such as Monday Coffee Company, Pour Souls Chicago, Dozzy’s Grill, Ctrl Z Coffee and the culinary practices of Chef Jazer Syed and Chef Ariya Taylor. As the Foundation continues construction on the forthcoming 40,000-square-foot incubator for artists and creative entrepreneurs at the site of the shuttered St. Laurence Elementary School, Miyagi joins a host of rising Black and Brown small business owners that are participating in Rebuild’s initiative supporting artist-led businesses on the South Side with financial support, space, education, and mentorship.
This partnership with Miyagi records continues Gates’ own artistic investments in preserving and amplifying culture through Black objects, archives, and collections, evident in Rebuild Foundation’s stewardship and digitization of the Godfather of House Music, Frankie Knuckles’, personal vinyl collection.
Located along Garfield Boulevard between Prairie Avenue and Martin Luther King Drive in Washington Park, the Arts Block provides the Washington Park community with a series of storefronts that provide residencies for Black and Brown artists, artist-led programming, and exhibitions enhancing the role of arts amenities in the community. The Arts Block is operated by Arts + Public Life (APL), an initiative of UChicago Arts at the University of Chicago launched in 2011 by Rebuild Foundation’s Executive Director and Founder Theaster Gates.
“I had a hunch that collaborating with Theaster and his organization would be productive. But the more it is happening, the more exciting it is to realize that, really, his vision and Miyagi Records’ ideas for preserving culture on the South Side are cut from the same cloth,” Nigel Ridgeway, co-founder of Miyagi Records, said. “Finding a good accomplice in a creative endeavor as well as a business project is most certainly rare, and we are grateful for it.”
Miyagi Records will be open Thursdays from 4 PM to 9 PM, Fridays from 12 PM to 9 PM and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 AM to 7 PM. To learn more about Miyagi Records, please visit www.miyagirecords.com.
“Owning a record store is not just about selling music, it’s about curating a cultural experience and building a community around the art of listening,” sMarco Jacobo, co-founder of Miyagi Records, said. “The game has changed but the dream is the same. Music is art and vinyl is forever.”