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Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center

Sounds Like Community

Until the UC-IMC re-opens for physical gatherings, we give you "Sounds Like Community" -- local virtual events that you can attend via Zoom or radio

Some call SLC a variety show.

Others call SLC the best way to hear and see the beauty of the diverse community that we love.


SLC will be resuming in a few weeks!!!

Mark your calendars -- the next show will be:
Date: Wednesday, September 30th, 2020
Time: 7pm-8:30pm (Urbana, Illinois time zone: CDT)
What: A much needed panel discussion: "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) then, the Sounds Like Community volunteers are taking a break. They need the break because, ...

  • SLC has been very successful
  • COVID-19 is going on longer than we had hoped
  • So we are re-organizing and preparing for SLC to continue long term in a more sustainable way.
  • How you can help:
    • email them encouragement! programming@ucimc.org
    • Become part of this much needed community service!
      • Join the SLC team! You can develop new skills or use your existing skills to help the community learn about some of the amazing artists we have right here in Urbana-Champaign: email programming@ucimc.org
      • Suggestions welcome! email programming@ucimc.org

How to watch:Tune in to the live stream, you will be able to CLICK HERE (The link will be posted Wednesday at 5pm, just a few short hours before the event). (we recommend using headphones for better sound quality)

Or you can listen by tuning your radio to WRFU 104.5 FM (low power Radio Free Urbana). 

Past shows are also archived (see below). 

Donate to the particular episode and the presenters HEREwww.ucimc.org/slcdonate. // For each episode, we keep track of the donations made from the-day-of-the-show (Wednesday) to the-day-before-the-next-show (Tuesday) and divide it three (3) ways:

  • 1/3 goes to the first half of the episode (starting at 7pm);
  • 1/3 goes to the second-half-of-the-episode (starting at 7:45pm).  
  • 1/3 goes to the UC-IMC for providing the nurturing infrastructure;
  • Donations made through the following Tuesday will go to the presenters of the past week's show.

Donate to the UCIMC here: Please support the UCIMC: https://www.ucimc.org/support_our_work in this work. We normally rely on venue rental, so our normal monthly income is not happening right now. Any amount you can give will be very much appreciated. Thank you!

Make a Recommendation: Do you want to recommend a local artist, creation, organization, talk, or other content which you would like to see featured in our Sounds Like Community series? Please email us with your recommendations: programming@ucimc.org

Join the SLC team! email tech@ucimc.org and they will put you on the email meeting announcement list. Tell them you want to be part of Sounds Like Community.


About SLC
When: Events (almost) every Wednesday at 7pm-8:30pm Urbana Illinois time which is (CST) Central Standard Time 
until the IMC re-opens for physical gatherings)

Why did SLC get started?:

  • Given that community-based experiences are needed by all of us
  • Given that our definition of "we" and "all of us" is: the diverse community of Urbana-Champaign, especially the artists and the social justice activists,
  • Given that we care for each other,
  • and out of deep love and appreciation for each other, Given that in order to keep each other as safe as possible, we need to be physically distanced during this global pandemic called COVID-19
  • Given that we are deeply diminished by being physically distanced
  • Given that the technology exists to allow us to be socially connected while being physically distanced  

Therefore, the UCIMC created "Sounds Like Community", a weekly production of two 45 minute sets, to help the community, the artists, and the activists re-establish the time-based and community-based experiences that are so deeply diminished in our lives by the physical distancing needed during this global pandemic called COVID-19.


More UpComing events 

sabbatical: Wednesday, September 16, 2020: a rerun of ...

sabbatical: Wednesday, September 23, 2020: a rerun of ...

[as mentioned above] Wednesday, September 30th, 2020; 7pm-8:30pm (Urbana Illinois time zone is in Central Standard Time)

  • Title: "Independent Media: Where we've come from and why we need it more than ever!"
  • Guests: panelists Sarah Lazare, Tanya Parker, and Sascha Meinrath and Danielle Chynoweth (Moderator)
  • This is the first in a 3-part series of anniversary events. Did we mention that the UCIMC has survived 20 years and we are celebrating our 20th anniversary? (You can join the anniversary committee and help us create events to celebrate! -> anniversary@ucimc.org )

[a few open dates]

Wednesday, October 28th, 2020: 

  • 20th Anniversary Panel: "Abolition and Grassroots Organizing" Carol Ammons, James Kilgore, and Malkia Cyril.

[a few open dates]

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2020:

  • "Stories from the IMC: A Video Project" Excerpts from interviews with the people who have been a part of the IMC's cultural, political and social life. 

View or Listen to Our Past Shows, archived

  • sabbatical: Wednesday, September 9, 2020
  • sabbatical: Wednesday, September 2, 2020
  • sabbatical; Wednesday, August 26, 2020: a replay of Wednesday June 17th, 2020: Ashanti Files and the Writers of Oya; Maurice Hayes and 40 Days of Peace (see June 17th for the full description).
  • Wednesday August th, 2020: Ibrahim Ouedraogo, Chelsea Birchmier, and Adrien Wong
    • Part 1: Screening Night for the Independent Clapboard Film Festival with Ibrahim Ouedraogo
    • Part 2: Nurturing Networks of Support and Solidarity with the GEO
    • Donations made before Tuesday, August 18th on www.ucimc.org/slcdonate went to these presenters.
  • Wednesday, August 19, 2020: 
    • The Learning Curve: How do we mitigate the effects of COVID on Immigrant Families: Janice Jayes, Nicole Fitting, and Lucia Maldonado
      • Janice Jayes teaches in the History Department at Illinois State University. She writes on current security and humanitarian challenges in the Middle East and Latin America and volunteers with Immigrant Services of Champaign Urbana (formerly CU FAIR).
      • Nicole Fitting is an MLL-SLIFE teacher at Edison Middle School. She teaches middle school-aged multilingual language learners who are brand new to the country and have had limited and/or interrupted formal education. Nicole also volunteers with Immigrant Services of Champaign Urbana.
      • Lucia Maldonado is the Urbana School District Latino Parent Liaison and is a long-time advocate for immigrant families in CU.
    • Jazz with Central High School Students and Alumni
      • A jazz set of standards, featuring Champaign Central High School students and alumni, Henry Morgan (Trombone, ‘19), Ian Wilkey (Guitar/Drums, ‘19), Scott King (Drums ‘19), Matthew Currey (Piano, ‘21), Ben Young (Trumpet, ‘21), Anna Wachter (Bass, ‘21), Conner Branch (Trumpet, ‘22) all students of the renowned local band directors John and Jennifer Currey.
  • Wednesday, August 12, 2020
  • Wednesday, August 5, 2020: Adam Tendler and Susan Parenti ; Recordings of this show will be posted here soon
    • Part 1: Adam Tendler discusses his memoir “88x50” and most recent book “Tide Pools” with readers from the Sounds Like Community audience

    • Part 2: In discussion with composer Susan Parenti, our special guest Adam Tendler performs works Charles Ives, Susan Parenti, and a world premiere by Darian Donovan Thomas

      Donations made between Wednesday August 5, 2020 and Tuesday, August 11th on www.ucimc.org/slcdonate went to these presenters. 

  • Wednesday July 29th, 2020: Eric Wolske and The Sullivan Sisters: Recordings of this show will be posted here soon
    • Part 1: Eric Wolske told us about Agroforestry4Food and happenings at the University of Illinois' Berry Farm

    • Part 2: Bluegrass set with The Sullivan Sisters, CU's award winning diaspora

      Donations made between Wednesday July 29th, 2020 to Tuesday, August 4th on www.ucimc.org/slcdonate went to these presenters. 

  • Wednesday July 22nd, 2020: Shelley Masar, Ja Nelle Davenport-Pleasure, Jose Gobbo, and Jean René Balekita ; Recordings of this show will be posted here soon
    • Part 1: Improvisations in visual art and sound with Shelley Masar, Ja Nelle Davenport-Pleasure, and Jose Gobbo

      Part 2: Multi-instrumental set of musical fusion with Jean René Balekita

      Donations made before Tuesday, July 28th on www.ucimc.org/slcdonate went to these presenters. 

  • Wednesday July 15th, 2020: Cerbo, DJ Kahlil, and Brian and Jesse Stark ; Recordings of this show will be posted here soon
    • Part 1: Father and son hip-hop set with Cerbo and DJ Kahlil

    • Part 2: Fiddle and saxophone duo with Brian and Jesse Stark

      Donations made between Wednesday July 15th, 2020 and Tuesday, July 21st on www.ucimc.org/slcdonate went to these presenters. 

  • Wednesday July 8th, 2020: Aaron Wilson and Kevin Cory LeSure ; Recordings of this show are available here: 2020-07-08
    • Part 1: Poetry set with Soul on Sunday's Aaron Wilson

    • Part 2: Musical set with Kevin Cory LeSure

      Donations made between Wednesday, July 8th and Tuesday, July 14th on www.ucimc.org/slcdonate went to these presenters. 

  • Wednesday July 1st, 2020: Karma Carrington and Will Reger ; Recordings of this show will be posted here soon
    • Part 1: Make-up workshop with Karma Carrington. Don't miss Karma's recently launched story hour series on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KCarrington69/

    • Part 2: Poetry reading and interview with Will Reger

      Donations made between Wednesday July 1st and Tuesday, July 7th on www.ucimc.org/slcdonate went to these presenters.

  • Wednesday June 24th, 2020: Kofi Bazzell-Smith and Karena Tse ; Recordings of this show will be posted here soon.
    • Part 1: Manga Storytelling Workshop with Kofi Bazzell-Smith
    • Part 2: A Soulful Singer-Songwriter Set with Karena Tse

      Donations made between June 24th, 2020 and Tuesday, June 30th on www.ucimc.org/slcdonate went to these presenters.

  • Wednesday June 17th, 2020: Ashanti Files & The Writers of Oya; and Maurice Hayes ; You can listen or watch the archive of this show here.
    • Part 1: Poetry by youth, led by Ashanti Files, recipient of an Urbana Arts and Culture Grant 
      Ashanti Files and the Writers of Oya Program:
      Ashanti Files: “For me, poetry is an echo of what the heart senses. While emotions are difficult to put into words, the art and craft of poetry is my attempt to do justice to the heart by reaching the minds of others. I am a Registered Nurse by trade, a wife by choice and a mother by fortune.

      "After the murder of my brother in 2017, I felt myself desperately looking for something to hold on to; to help me through the grief. I turned to poetry. As a child, I struggled with anxiety and was encouraged to write in order to recognize and release pinned up feelings. After his death, I utilized that skill and was appreciative that once again, writing had saved my life.

      "The Writers of Oya Program [pronounced "Oh yeah"] allows me to teach that skill to other girls who are fighting their own unnamed battles. It allows a safe judgement free space for girls to reflect on their struggles, write their fears, and release their anxieties about the challenges that they are facing.”

      [For a longer description of The Writers of Oya (WOO), click here]

    • Part 2: Maurice Hayes introduces 40 Days of Peace and Community Building
      Maurice Hayes is a writer, poet, spoken word artist and motivational speaker with a calling to empower people to take control of their lives and define themselves for themselves.

      40 Days of Peace and Community Building directs focused attention on cultivating trusting and positive relationships among community members, city officials, churches and neighbors.

      "We will take this synergy into High Hope Communities affected by the disproportionate distribution of resources and support. Our purpose is to Restore confidence, Education, Advocacy, Care and Hope (REACH) by expanding within neighborhoods the connections to and communications with resources available throughout the region.

      "Our Vision through collaborative effort is to promote the importance of peace, community engagement, and participation while encouraging the continued 40 Days of Peace and Community Building to sustain its focus beyond the initial 40 Days. Our Vision also is to bridge the gap of communication with residents, city officials, educators and Community Leaders to address the concerns and issues affecting their neighborhoods.

      "Our goal is to attract interest and foster sustainable synergy to fulfill the covenant of R.E.A.C.H (Restore,Educate,Advocate,Care and Hope)

      The project will run from Jettie Rhodes Neighborhood Day (June 27, 2020) to CU Days (August 7, 2020)--Literally 40 Days!

      For more information on Hood Votes / Neighborhood Transformations click see HVNT's website.

      Donations made between Wednesday June 17th and Tuesday, June 24th went to these presenters.  

  • Wednesday June 10th, 2020: Neely Bruce, Shirley Blankenship, and James "TYGAR" Corbin; 
    • You can listen or watch the archive of this show here.
    • Part 1: "Old Friends Trade Improvisations" with Neely Bruce and Shirley Blankenship.
    • Part 2: A Discussion of the George Floyd Uprising - is this a Moment or a Movement? - with James TYGAR Corbin, Tzia Hibler and Heather Rose. // Presenters invited donations to First Followers Reentry Program.
  • Wednesday June 3rd, 2020: Dr. Ming Kuo and Robin Kearton & Tom Faux
      • Send a donation to Dr. Ming Kuo on Paypal at ming123[at]mac[dot]com
    • Part II: Robin Kearton and Tom Faux are founders and directors of the Community Center for the Arts

      • Zines mentioned: Working It, Learning Good Consent, Reclaiming Harm Reduction

      • Related resources: Smile Politely Article: "When Yo Re-Opening Ain't My Re-Opening"

      • Support the Community Center for the Arts with a donation at http://c-4a.org/ (Donate button at the very bottom)

  • Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 : Stefanie "Frank" Smith and Comedy "From the Queerantine"
    • You can listen or watch the archive of this show here.
    • Part I: Stefanie "Frank" Smith shares "Writings from Isolation, and Harm Reduction Strategies during the Reopening" // Support for Stefanie “Frank” Smith - https://www.patreon.com/TraumaMonster/posts
    • Part II: “From the Queerantine,” a set of comedy and drag featuring The Beast, Nymphie Mania, Xavi Cado, and George Cruickshank. // 
      • Support:
        • -Venmo: NymphieManiaInstagram: @nymphiemania
        • -Venmo: @Allison-Martell-1
        • -Venmo: @George-Cruickshank-1Twitter: @GenericJokeHere
        • -Cashapp / Venmo : XaviCado
  • Wednesday, May 20th : Sam Natla and Chris Logan
    • You can listen or watch the archive of this show here.
    • Part I: Sam Natla, who hosts a weekly show on WRFU called Prison Justice, will visit Sounds Like Community for a short talk on police brutality across the United States and how communities have responded. 
    • Chris Logan founded his company CHRIS LOGAN Graf-X in 2006 gave an airbrush demonstration and talked about his art and small business. Learn more about his art and view samples on his facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/chrislogangrafx/.
    • Presenters invited donations to Aleyah Lewis' Legal Defense Fund
  • Wednesday, May 13th, 2020: Ja Nelle Pleasure and Neely Bruce
    • You can listen or watch the archive of this show here.
    • Part I: Ja Nelle Pleasure shares poetry with improvised responses by Neely Bruce.
    • Part II: Neely Bruce shares original compositions and improvisations with thematic responses by Ja Nelle Pleasure. 
    • Performers invited donations to The Eastern Illinois Foodbank.
  • Wednesday, May 6th, 2020 : Brazilian Music and Poets Speak Justice for Aleyah

    Resources to support Ms. Lewis' Case and Legal Defense Fund: 

    :

    • Part I - Brazilian & Afro-Brazilian folkloric and popular music by Sr. Wilson Roca
    • Part II - Champaign-Urbana Poets Speak Justice for Aleyah
    • The guest MC was IMC Executive Director Miriam Larson.

    Performers invited donations to the Sr. Wilson via his friend Mark's Venmo (@Mark-Becker-26) or paypal to mark_becker_b@gmail.com and Aleyah Lewis' Legal Defense Fund

    You can access the archive of the first half here and the second half will be posted soon. 

  • Wednesday, April 29th, 2020 : Miriam Larson and Stand Up Comedy

    Our guest MC’s for the week were Jane McClintock and Ibrahim Ouedraogo. Ibrahim gave an introduction in French to the evening’s performers. 

    • Part I: Miriam Larson shares Irish, New England and old-time tunes on flute with layered backup on jaw harp. She’ll intersperse some favorite contemporary and traditional folk tunes by artists including Lhasa de Sela and John Prine.

    • Part II: Four local comedians will bravely experiment with virtual comedy. Farah, Tanya, Andrea and Annie, frequent performers at local Broad Comedy nights, will give the audience something to laugh about in these difficult times. 

    Performers invited donations to the Independent Media Center COVID-19 Revenue Recovery Campaign, Tanya's Venmo Account @tany4nyta, Doctors Without Borders and Chicago's Food Bank.

    You can listen or watch the archive of this show here.

  • Wednesday, April 22, 2020 : the Earth Day edition of Sounds Like Community

    • Part I: How Local Food Systems Heal Our Bodies and Our Soil with Dr. Anita Ung and Dr Japhia Ramkumar.
    • Part II: Cosmic Charlie Harris tells the story of the Rose Bowl Tavern's successful leap into live streaming, explains the RBTVmedia calendar, and then joins Cody Jensen to share folk tunes on bass, banjo and more in their celebrated duo, Bones Jugs. Donations are being shared between Bones Jugs and The Rose Bowl Tavern via omella.com/o/MFeqU. To purchase digital downloads of Bones Jugs music through bandcamp: https://bonesjugs.bandcamp.com/

    More Resources:

    • Slides for the Local Food Systems presentation can be found here.
    • And you can listen along with the the slides with the audio recording coming soon from WRFU.
    • Links to some of the projects mentioned during the Local Food Systems presentation:
      • Drawdown Project on climate solutions: Drawdown Project's website and the book, Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. (2017). by Paul Hawken.
      • Pollinator Pocket resources from the University of Illinois' Extension here
      • The Randolph Street Garden (in Champaign, IL) is welcoming volunteer gardeners. Find out more on their facebook page.

    The archive of this show is in two parts: slide show and audio.

  • Wednesday, April 15, 2020: Elizabeth Simpson and Michael Holt
    elizaBeth Simpson (founder of the We Wanna Woke community Justice choir) and Michael Holt (performer/author and house culture advocate) performed live, and shared conversation on what's they're doing to "rehumanize music."

    Tip Michael and ElizaBeth through ko-fi HERE. Donations are being shared with Cidadania em Cena

    Find the archived show at (link coming soon):

  • Thursday, April 9, 2020: Amanda Pankau, Scott Allen, and Cate York; and Ibrahim Ouedraogo; Find the full archived show https://vimeo.com/405241518.
    (yes, our first two shows were on Thursdays)

    • Part I: "How to Access Solar" with Amanda Pankau (of Prairie Rivers Network), Scott Allen and Cate York (Citizens Utility Board), and Susan Parenti (School for Designing a Society/Cassandra Project).
      Resources from the Talk "How to Access Solar":How to Save With Solar (PDF)

    • Part II: West African music by Ibrahim Ouedraogo. Ibrahim requested that donations be directed to the Eastern Illinois Food Bank

  • Thursday, April 2, 2020: featured singer-songwriter Emily McKown and members of the band Meadowhawkfiddle/guitar duo Matt Turino and Claire Johnson. Donations for this show went to the Channing Murray's Bucket Brigade -- delivering essential groceries to extremely low-income families in Urbana who are recommended by Cunningham Township Supervisor’s Office. UPDATE: The show raised $200 dollars, according to the Channing Murray Foundation!

    Find the archived show on the UCIMC's facebook page.


August 26 2020 Ashanti Files

Poster for Wednesday, August 26, 2020: a re-run of the Ashanti Files and the Writers of Oya; Maurice Hayes and 40 Days of Peace SLC from June. 


poster for Wednesday August 5th: Adam Tendler and Susan Parenti


poster for Wednesday July 29th: Eric Wolske and The Sullivan Sisters


[missing] Poster for Wednesday July 22nd: Shelley Masar, Ja Nelle Davenport-Pleasure, Jose Gobbo, and Jean René Balekita 


Poster for Wednesday July 15th: Cerbo, DJ Kahlil, and Brian and Jesse Stark


[missing] Poster for Wednesday July 8th: Aaron Wilson and Kevin Cory LeSure


[missing] Poster for Wednesday July 1st: Karma Carrington and Will Reger


[missing] Poster for Wednesday June 24th: Kofi Bazzell-Smith and Karena Tse


Poster for Wednesday June 17th: Ashanti Files & The Writers of Oya and Maurice Hayes 


Poster for Wednesday June 10th: Neely Bruce, Shirley Blankenship, and James "TYGAR" Corbin


Poster for Wednesday June 3rd: Dr. Ming Kuo and Robin Kearton & Tom Faux


Poster for Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 : Stefanie "Frank" Smith and Comedy "From the Queerantine"


Poster for Wednesday, May 20th, 2020 : Sam Natla and Chris Logan


Poster for Wednesday, May 13th, 2020 : Ja Nelle Pleasure and Neely Bruce


Poster for Wednesday, May 6th, 2020 : Brazilian Music and Poets Speak Justice for Aleyah


Poster for Wednesday, April 29th, 2020 : Miriam Larson and Stand Up Comedy


flyer for April 22 2020 Sounds Like Community

Poster for Wednesday, April 22, 2020 : the Earth Day edition of Sounds Like Community


Poster for Wednesday, April 15, 2020: Elizabeth Simpson and Michael Holt


Poster for Thursday, April 9, 2020: Amanda Pankau, Scott Allen, and Cate York; and Ibrahim Ouedraogo (yes, our first two shows were on Thursdays).


[missing] poster for Thursday, April 2, 2020: featured singer-songwriter Emily McKown and members of the band Meadowhawkfiddle/guitar duo Matt Turino and Claire Johnson.