UC-IMC Highlights

Since the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center's inception, we have provided innovative programming for the local (and eventually the national) community. Our mission is to foster the creation and distribution of media and art emphasizing underrepresented voices and perspectives and to promote empowerment and expression through media and arts education. To that end, UC-IMC.

To that end, we operate a community radio station, media training facility, performance venue, public access computer center, computer help desk, and art gallery and studios. We host these projects in the downtown Urbana post office building, which we purchased in 2005 and have since converted into a Community Media and Arts Center, while retaining the postal services downtown by providing free rent. The UC-IMC:

  • Is powered by 1 staffer member, 11 AmeriCorps members, and over 1200 volunteers, serving 65 organizations and 284,002 members of the public in 2009.
  • Serves vulnerable populations such as the working poor, African-Americans, Latinos, immigrants and new Americans, and youth.
  • Helped bring $22.5 million dollars in broadband stimulus funds to our community, playing a lead role in organizing civil society participation in the grant process.
  • Our leaders spoke on a panel before the FCC in June 2010 about the role of Community Media in the Future of Journalism, and have hosted workshops in Burma, Thailand, Kenya, Italy, Mexico, and the U.S.
  • Shipped 50,770 free books to Illinois prisoners and created 2 new jail libraries and won Governor's Hometown Award for this work.
  • Recycled thousands of bikes back into the community through the Bike Project.
  • Provides free community web hosting and listservs to 204 organizations such as the Red Cross.
  • Developed CUWiN (cuwireless.net), an internationally recognized leader in open source mesh network software. Deployed the first open wifi network in Champaign-Urbana, Homer, Illinois, tribal lands of the Mesa Grande Reservation, and the townships of South Africa.
  • Is an internationally recognized model for how a local community media center can be used by residents to transform and empower their community, changing policy and transforming lives. Foe example, residents of a contaminated Champaign neighborhood used the IMC to organize a series of toxic tours. On these tours, they revealed the history of cancer around the site, taping the testimonials to produce a multi-media piece called "Toxic Legacy: Douglas Park Residents in Their Own Words." This helped get the attention of the local city council and Illinois EPA, and the power company is now cleaning up the site with oversight from the neighborhood.
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Economic Impact Fact Sheet -2010.pdf81.52 KB
Illinois Arts Council Narrative 2010-11.pdf176.08 KB

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