Rachel Cromidas: April 2010 Archives

(reposted from the Film Studies Center website)
Representing Chicago: Experimental Video and Television at the Media Burn Archive

Screening and Discussion with Tom Weinberg and Sara Chapman
Thursday, May 6, 2010 - 7:00pm

Introduction by Judy Hoffman, Department of Cinema and Media Studies

Media Burn founder Tom Weinberg and Executive Director Sara Chapman will showcase gems from the Mediaburn.org collection - from interviews with Studs Terkel and Nelson Algren to footage of Mick Jagger and Muddy Waters at the old Checkerboard Lounge. In its evolution from fledgling archive to media savvy digital presence, Mediaburn.org has become a model of how archives can use new technologies to position historical moving image collections for public access, and of how doing so makes archives active and conversant with contemporary media culture.

The Media Burn Independent Video Archive captures the cultural history of video and television experimentation from 1968 to the present. It contains over 6,000 videotapes shot from a perspective rarely seen in traditional media, often critiquing and revealing the way media itself is constructed. The collection represents a history of independent video movement, and is a counterpoint to the official histories of the 20th Century, featuring people from all walks of life: musicians, politicians, authors, and community organizers. It captures events and moments of importance to American life, from garbage collection to political conventions.

Until recently, the work contained within the Media Burn Archive was largely unknown and impossible to access, but now over 1,500 rare historical full-length videos are streaming online.

Tom Weinberg, founder of the Media Burn Independent Video Archive and President of FITV, has been producing ground-breaking video and TV programs for over 40 years. He began his career with alternative video pioneers TVTV, and his credits include more than 500 nonfiction television programs and educational videos as producer, director, and executive producer.

Sara Chapman is Executive Director of the Media Burn Independent Video Archive. At the University of Chicago (A.B. '04), she spent a year collecting oral histories of Chicago's 1970s radical video collectives for her B.A. thesis in Cinema and Media Studies. Over the last six years, she has been central to Media Burn's growth, helping Media Burn develop into an internationally recognized non-profit organization.

Funded by grants from the University of Chicago Arts Council, Franke Institute for the Humanities, and the Chicago Studies Program.

In the Spotlight: Diverse Groups Unite for Pride

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By Chelsie Sluyk, staff writer for the University Community Service Center Newsletter

It's spring in Chicago, and that means humid April showers are beginning to project rainbows across the city. The University of Chicago was one of the earlier communities to launch their spring Queer Pride festivities last Thursday with a sea of pink T-shirts that shouted, "I'm [fill in your identity] and I'm proud!," This year's Pride Week, taking place between April 16-24, will culminate this Saturday with a drag and genderqueering ball which, according to their website, promises to be a "thrilling climax."

According to co-organizer Nicholas Cassleman (BS '13), Pride Week had three main goals: to help inspire unity, raise awareness, and provide fuel for conversation.

Last Thursday's loud pink T-shirt distribution was followed on Friday by a day of silence and a vigil to raise awareness of ongoing anti-LGBTQ violence and harassment. Over the last week, students have participated in events ranging from RuPaul's Drag Race Marathon on the Quad to Rapid HIV testing and a discussion with Cathy Cohen on the importance of forming queer coalitions.

Students also went out into the community to participate in the Spring Quarter Day of Service. Eight students formed a Pride group and joined up with Community Service RSO WYSE (Women and Youth Supporting Eachother) to clean and spread wood chips at Ogden Park in Englewood.

"We wanted to reach out to as many kinds of people as we could," Cassleman said. "By having this variety, we hope to link together important ideas and the ways they can be expressed in ways that are accessible to many."

The goal of Pride Week is to be inclusive, and many of the events addressed issues that crossed over boundries between marginalized groups. Thursday night, as part of an event put on by the Organization of Black Students and Queers and Associates, students gathered at 5710 S
Woodlawn to discuss how race, class, religion and other identities intersect with queer identities.

The evening began with a performance by About Face Theater, a group that travels to high schools across the city to perform short plays about race, gender and identity issues. Afterward, as the floor opened for discussion, students asked questions like, "What does it mean to be a diverse university community if people don't engage with one another and discuss these important issues?" and "What are positive and productive ways to bring LGBTQ and race issues to light and talk about them with friends and classmates?"

"It's exciting to talk about queer people of color," said Malik White, a participant at Thursday's event, "They're so often pushed out of view."

While these issues will remain hot topics on campus, Pride Week's celebration will come to a close with Saturday's genderqueering ball. The event, featuring a drag show and music by Chicago-based Earth Tone DJs, starts at 9pm on the Third floor of Ida Noyes. It is open to
everyone, and will be followed by an afterparty entitled Last Night in Babylon.

Find more information at http://pride.uchicago.edu/

by Anne Groggel, UCSC Staff Writer

According to the Clean Air Council, the United States produces only 4.39 pounds of trash per day by the average person. The only two manmade structures large enough to be seen from outer space are the Great Wall of China and the New York landfill, "Fresh Kills". In recent years countless lectures and carbon emission policies have been leading stories but abstract talks often negate individual actions. Student lifestyles like our housing in an on-campus dorm room or off-campus apartment , or even what we eat, can contribute to the greenhouse gas emission that are contributing to global warming. Issues like global warming seem too large for college roommates or even a university campus to tackle. Yet, there are many things each of us can do to reduce carbon emissions.

Necessary change must come from both the smallest and largest national levels. One person picking up a single piece of trash is one singular clean spot of landscape. But a team of volunteers on one Saturday can remove litter from an entire park. On April 17th, UCSC kicks off its Annual Spring Quarter Day of Service. Students have the chance to take a few hours on a Saturday morning picking up material from a local playground. Or, students can repay Mother Nature for their share of printing by mulching Washington Park trees. Meaningful change all starts small. Unplug your computer and phone charger when not using them. Turn off the water facet when brushing your teeth and take advantage of the service day to get out into our community and do some good. Our generation will be faced with the consequences of the growing environmental issues like climate changes more than any other.

The Day of Service is a service project from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm for University of Chicago students, faculty and staff members to join with the Friends of the Parks and the Chicago Park District for an Earth Day of Service completing projects at one parks, community garden gardens, and other natural areas.

U of C volunteers will volunteer with a number of community organizations ranging from community gardens to food pantries. Benjamin Murphy, Garden Coordinator for the 65th & Woodlawn Community Garden is eager for volunteers helping to expand the garden. "The garden is almost tripling in size and the volunteers will help prepare the ground for new plots. We really appreciate the help making a place for people to enjoy in the community."

Whether building new garden plot, helping to renovate the Broadway Youth Center, working with the Hyde Park Kenwood Food Pantry for this Day of Service, U of C volunteers will have the opportunity to work with a number of important Chicago community-based agencies. Spending time in service allows us all to beautify our community while heightening awareness of social concerns. Graduate student Barton Willage looks forward "to getting off the University of Chicago campus and to helping out the community by giving my time."

Pre-registration is required and students can sign up at http://tinyurl.com/spring-dos or learn more about University Days of Service page at http://ucsc/programs/days-of-service/ .

Spring means Short Shorts

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Check out this new contest for Chicago in 60 Seconds!

Give us UChicago in 60 seconds or less and you could win a cool $100 in time for the hot summer.

Contest Overview

Show us the University of Chicago College in all its idiosyncratic, colorful, dynamic splendor--on video. Any aspect of the College experience is fair game as long as the video is 60 seconds or less. Be wildly creative--or just plain wild. Amaze us with your masterful cinematography, or send us an unedited clip already sitting on your camera--it doesn't matter! No genre is out of bounds, no format too unique. Just, you know, keep it legal.

If you have the drive but lack the tools, we have you covered. Just stop in at the Communications reception desk on the 2nd floor of the Administration Building, south wing. We have three HD Flipcams available for check-out to University affiliates. Just bring your University ID when you come.



All University of Chicago College students, faculty, staff, and alumni are encouraged to participate. The video can use any audio/visual multimedia (e.g., raw video, flash, animation, cell phone, slideshow) as long as the work is 60 seconds or less. Subject matter needs to be suitable for public distribution. The best submissions will offer a glimpse of life in the College from your unique perspective. There is no limit on the number of videos you can submit.

How to Submit

Submissions will be accepted from April 1 until April 23. All entries must be in a digital format, uploaded to YouTube. Participants must then provide the link to the video through a simple online submission form. Entries will appear on the UChicago IN:60 Seconds web page on the College Admissions site.

How could we ever determine whether one slice of life is better than another? We can't! For this reason, all entrants will get free UChicago gear. We will randomly select a clip to win the cool $100. Just in time for the hot summer!

How to Contribute

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