From WILL - The Public Square -

Durl Kruse on the 10th Anniversary of the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center

Hello. My name is Durl Kruse. This year, an all-too unrecognized local institution is celebrating its 10th anniversary. That institution is the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, usually referred to simply as the IMC.

The IMC's mission is to use media production and distribution as tools for promoting social and economic justice in the Champaign County area. It accomplishes this mission through the creation and distribution of media, art and narratives emphasizing underrepresented voices and perspectives while promoting empowerment and expression through media and arts education.

In 2005, five years after its founding, supporters raised funds to acquire the historic Post Office building in downtown Urbana and have put their investment to good use for the community ever since.

During the IMC's first ten years, a number of significant organizations have developed under its broad non-profit umbrella: a monthly newspaper named The Public I, providing an outlet for local voices on social issues; a low-watt radio station, WRFU found at FM 104.5, doing the same but with music and culture thrown into the mix; the Books-to-Prisoners program bringing literacy, learning and personal growth to inmates throughout Illinois; the Bike Project; and many others. It should be noted that the Books-to-Prisoners program won a Governors Hometown Service Award in 2009. Information about these and many more of the IMC's programs can be found on its website ucimc.org.

Tomorrow evening, October 16, from 7:00-9:00 in the Post Office Building at the corner of Broadway and Elm in Urbana, the IMC is hosting an Open House in celebration of its 10th anniversary to offer the public an opportunity to see its facilities, learn about its programs and meet its staff and volunteers.

In addition, dedicated IMC members will announce creation of a Sustaining Fund to insure the financial viability and stability of this vital community institution for years to come. Contributions will be used to pay down the mortgage, underwrite annual physical operations, and provide for emergency expenditures. People are encouraged to consider contributing to the Sustaining Fund and showing their support for the IMC.

Please consider taking some time tomorrow evening to come by and learn more about the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center. Thank you.