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Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center

Frequently Asked Questions


Why rent from UCIMC?

  • Connect with diverse UCIMC artists in residence for additional artistic support and inspiration.
  • Transportation to and from UCIMC is easy.
    • Visitor parking: City parking meters in the downtown Urbana area are enforced Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Parking in the municipal garage at 100 W. Main St. (just kitty-corner from the IMC) is available for 25 cents an hour for the first two hours and 50 cents for each additional hour.
    • The local bus system, the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, operates a main hub right across the street from the IMC. The 3 closest MTD bus stops are: (2 on Broadway) Lincoln Square Garage East and Lincoln Square Courthouse, Lincoln Square Garage South (on Elm Street).  
  • WRFU 104.5 FM (Radio Free Urbana) is on-site and available for you to broadcast shows in areas of your expertise or simulcast your event.

How much does it cost?

How do I get member discounts?

What if I want to collaborate or propose a co-sponsored event?

  • For events aligned with our mission, our programming committee may consider co-sponsorship. You must be a member of the IMC for your event to be eligible for IMC co-sponsorship. Submit a co-sponsorship by filling out this form.

Contact us today: Program Director <[email protected]> or call 217.344-8820

What are the COVID-19 Safety Protocols for Phase 5? (Updated 6/15/21)

  • All participants must be asked to stay home if they have experienced any COVID Symptoms or been in contact with someone exposed or with symptoms 
  • All visitors for events, gallery, computer lab, or other visits must wear masks (Yep! Even if you're vaccinated)
  • For meetings with 25 people or less, masks are required unless the whole group consents to vaccinated individuals removing their masks.
  • For events, the total number of participants may not exceed 100 and the maximum number of unvaccinated people is 50. 
  • Sanitation checklist used before and after all events.
  • Hybrid events encouraged for more vulnerable individuals to be able to participate. 
  • When possible, hold meetings and events outside
  • If inside, continue to social distancing
  • All private rental events must end by 9pm and clear the building by 10pm

What else do I need to know?

  • Photo ID is required at time of contract signing. Minimum age to rent space is 18 years of age.
  • Youth events must have adequate adult supervision (25 years of age or older).
  • All events must end by 12AM and the building must be clear and locked by 1AM (Note: Temporary Phase 5 limit requires private events to end by 9pm. Co-sponsored events may run longer)
  • Absolutely no fire arms or weapons are allowed in the building. 
  • All events are drug free. Absolutely no illegal narcotics are allowed. 
  • The building is smoke-free. Event attendees can smoke outside, but must be 15 feet from an entrance in accordance with the Illinois state law. 
  • IMC is an all ages venue. Most events welcome all ages. For meetings, we do have children's books in the library and a cart of children's art supplies.
  • Parties and music events will need a written security plan. Usually that means 2 to 5 people doing safety checks throughout the event. You and your security people are empowered to ask any people violating the venue rules to leave.  
  • Our NO ALCOHOL policy is strictly enforced. We are a community arts center where people of all ages are welcome and encouraged to attend.
  • To have alcohol at an event, it must be well-controlled and covered by your insurance. You must have all of the following documented:
    • A licensed server.
    • Liquor liability insurance. Most caterers have both a trained server and liability insurance, so this is the easiest way to accomplish these.
    • A written security plan.   
    • You will need special permission granted to you by the IMC Board.
    • The City of Urbana also has ordinances about alcohol at public events. So you will need a special event permit and a temporary liquor license from the city.
    • Unless you have all of the above, our NO ALCOHOL policy will be strictly enforced. The IMC is an all-ages community arts center and a safe environment.  
  • The IMC reserves the right to shut down an event. 

How does the sound system work?

For events requiring a sound system, there are three options:

  1. You provide and use your own sound system
  2. You can reserve an IMC sound technician for $20/hour. 
  3. We can have an IMC sound technician train you as a sound tech for events with one microphone or recorded music. Then you only pay to use our sound equipment at $12/event.

    Sound Tech Training
    • Sound equipment tech training is available by appointment. Contact the Program Director <[email protected]> to schedule a training.
    • Please take the training! It is fun and enlightening!  
    • Only venue approved sound technicians are allowed to use the in-house sound system and access the Venue Equipment Cabinet.
    • No venue-approved sound technician means no use of our equipment. Please do not attempt to use our sound equipment without training -- it takes our volunteers a lot of time to get the settings correct.

I want to organize a show with a couple of local bands. We don't have any money for renting the space. Is there any way we can use the IMC as our venue?

While we are not currently able to offer the space for free, we have significantly reduced prices for co-sponsored events. Strong preference is given to local bands and performers. One person must take the hosting responsibility and they are encouraged to recruit a crew of volunteers to support set-up, clean-up, publicity and other tasks. The host must be responsible, understand and value the IMC's house rules, and respect the space.
  • You are strongly encouraged to make a donation to the IMC (utilities alone cost us up to $4,000 a month). While we love to have artists use the space, we must also be able to keep the space financially stable. Please help us recommend our amazing venue for private rental to help offset mission-aligned events. 
  • Our calendar is here: https://www.ucimc.org/calendar Please check it for available dates.
The IMC is an alcohol-free, drug-free, and weapon-free venue -- the IMC strives to be a safe space for all ages and it is your responsibility, as host, to keep it a safe space.

As host, you will need to:

  • have someone trained on our sound system and to get access to the microphones and wiring.
  • make sure your guests respect the space.
  • take out the garbage and clean up at the end of the event
  • return the space and sound board to its original state
  • fill out and follow-through on a security plan for events with more than 75 people
Let us arrange an appointment for you and your helpers to see the space. Contact the Program Director <[email protected]> or call (217)344-8820.