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Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center

Contact Us | Staff | Board of Directors| History | Annual Plan 2020

Our Mission

The Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center’s mission is to foster the creation and distribution of media and art that emphasizes underrepresented voices and perspectives, and to promote empowerment and expression through media and arts education. To that end we operate a Community Media and Arts Center out of the historic downtown Urbana post office building, which we purchased in 2005, located at 202 S. Broadway Ave., Urbana. 

The UCIMC is a central hub for creative activity in East Central Illinois with:

The UCIMC also collaborates on programming with several partners: The Bike Project, School for Designing a Society, Build Programs Not Jails, Restorative Circles, and other fiscally sponsored projects. UCIMC is a leading member of MediaJustice - a national network of 175 grassroots organizations dedicated to media access, rights and representation. 

Who We Are, What We Do

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. Our vision was long term: we carefully crafted a decentralized structure aimed at growth and sustainability, gained 501c3 status within our first year, and saved 10% of all income to purchase a permanent home.

The UCIMC soon became a Midwest nexus for independent media and arts projects. Members started the only independent newspaper in town, opened a gallery space showcasing emerging artists, and built an all-ages performance venue. Bursting at the seams, the UCIMC purchased the downtown post office building in 2005 through creative negotiation with the US Postal Service.

The move to the post office opened up room for dozens of new UCIMC projects including, Books to PrisonersMakerspace Urbana, OddMusic, the Costume Closet, the Campaign for Prison Phone Justice, and dozens of fiscally sponsored projects.

The UCIMC is able to serve the community because of our members and generous donors. Help us continue our work by becoming a membermaking a donation, or one of the many other simple ways you can support the UCIMC in your every day life.

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Working Groups

Working Groups do the programmatic work of the UCIMC, have autonomy to make most decisions over their area of responsibility, represent their working groups needs on the IMC Board and Committees. Working group meetings must posted on the IMC calendar, must be held regularly and invite open participation from the public. For more about working group roles and responsibilities, see the IMC Board of Directors Page

Current Working Groups 

Fiscally Sponsored Projects

The UCIMC supports the production and distribution of media, arts, and narrative to support social justice movements and community expression. UCIMC has fiscally sponsored over 30 organizations, helping to incubate dozens of non-profits. We sponsor groups that have a clear mission fit and show they can be reliable in meeting our requirements.

Current Fiscally Sponsored Projects