The Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center Foundation (UCIMC) is a grassroots organization that supports the creation and distribution of media and art that emphasizes underrepresented voices and perspectives, and promotes empowerment and expression through media and arts education.
Media + Art + Tech for Social Change!
The UCIMC was founded in 2000 by a collective of artists and activists who wanted to democratize access to arts and media production in the wake of media consolidation and the defunding of the arts. Racial and economic divides were widening, and our creative community was stifled by the limited ability of media outlets to present local artists.
The UCIMC founders aimed to invent the space, resources, and atmosphere to draw artists and community members together to investigate local problems and design solutions. We envisioned a center where collaboration, cross pollination, and serendipitous interaction were encouraged; where youth could participate in a creative "third space" as an alternative to home or school; where consumers could be producers; and where the power of media, art, and narrative to transform our community could be realized.
UCIMC's 20th Anniversary Events: Sept 2020- Sept 2021 -- all the events will be virtual.
- Wed 9/30/20; 7pm / "Independent Media: Where we've come from and why we need it more than ever!" / with panelists Sarah Lazare, Tanya Parker, and Sascha Meinrath and Danielle Chynoweth (Moderator).
- Wed 10/28/20; 7pm / "Abolition and Grassroots Organizing" / with panelists Carol Ammons, James Kilgore, and Malkia Cyril.
- Wed 12/2/20; 7pm / "A Lifeline to Those Behind Prison Walls: The History and Impact of UC's Books to Prisoners" / with panelists Barbara Kessel, Jobie Taylor, James “Tygar” Corbin, Jay Schubert, and Lolita Dumas
In 2021, there will be multiple events around the topic of "A Storytelling Workshop: Laying a Cornerstone Skill in the Time of a Pandemic." Can we hear about the lived experiences of people outside our tightened circles? Can we still experience other cultures if we cannot travel? Storytelling is a vital skill for journalists, history professors, union organizers, social activists, community-builders, poets, artists, musicians, and even nonprofit boards. Now is the time to sharpen our storytelling skills in order to create the world we need.
Wednesday, January 13, 2021 / "The importance of storytelling to historians, labor unions, and community-building." / with panelists Gus Wood, Stephanie Fortado, and others
These events are made possible, in part, by a grant from the Urbana Arts Grant Program
To learn the details about our 20th Anniversary events, how to attend these events virtually, or if you want to see or hear the archived recordings of the events.
Looking for UCIMC's new virtual event series, Sounds Like Community?
- Join us, local artists and sharers each WEDNESDAY from 7pm (CST).
- Is there an artist, creation, organization, talk, or other content you'd like to see featured in our Sounds Like Community series? Email us with your recommendations at firstname.lastname@example.org
- The UCIMC Programming Committee created Sounds Like Community to help artists and activists re-establish the time-based and community-based experiences that are so deeply diminished in our lives.
About our space and activities:
We rent out our event spaces, but we are so much more than a really great venue. We are the home of UC Books to Prisoners, Makerspace Urbana, the Bike Project of UC, the Public i newspaper, WRFU 104.5FM, The Radical Librarians and Anarchist Archivists collective, a world-renowned zine collection, and so much more. We are THE Place to plant your ideas.
Stay informed! Sign up for our periodic newsletter - you do not want to miss out on events, shows, meetings, workshops, and much more! Especially our 20th anniversary events!