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Last Night's Speech - The Life and Thoughts of Zach

May. 13th, 2003

10:53 am - Last Night's Speech

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Councilmembers and Mayor Satterthwaite, thank you for this time. I am going to speak briefly today about the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, the IMC, but I want to be sure you know that I am speaking as a concerned resident of Urbana and NOT as a representative of the IMC.

The IMC's performance venue is a vital part of the downtown Urbana economic ecology. The IMC brings hundreds of people each week into downtown Urbana to produce media, view art, meet with other community members, and to hear a wide range of diverse music. Folks who visit downtown Urbana to come to the IMC may also do business at Strawberry Fields, The Office, Piccadilly, County Market, Courier Cafe, Busey Bank, The Embassy, Record Swap, The Iron Post, or other downtown businesses. I personally know at least half a dozen people who have moved into our community because of the IMC. I know many more, including myself, who have chosen to stay here after college because of the IMC. I am a property tax payer in Urbana entirely because of the inspiration of the IMC project.

The IMC performance space hosts music concerts from local and touring musicians from many different genres from folk to rock to jazz to experimental. The IMC performance space is a safe and educational space for kids who are not old enough to go to bars to spend their weekend evenings.

Local artists and musicians value the IMC. Local community members value the IMC. Local businesses value the IMC.

Last Thursday, the IMC performance space was shut down by Urbana city officials for as yet unenumerated code violations. After a frustrating initial communications breakdown, the IMC is now engaged in productive dialog with the City on how it can understand and resolve the issues. I look forward to moving forward with that process. I want to thank the city staff that have been cooperative and helpful with the IMC. I look forward to reading the reports that will be made available to the IMC on Tuesday. I know that the IMC is committed to ensuring the safety of it's patrons and visitors and that our large pool of volunteers will work together to do what needs to be done to take care of code issues that we are now being made aware of.

The community commitment to the IMC has been repeatedly shown through our well attended shows, our highly successful ongoing fundraising efforts, and finally through the outpouring of emails that I have receieved from people offering to pitch in to help get the IMC up to code and back in action.

While in the short term we may be forced to cancel some performances and relocate other performances to alternate venues, the only long term solution to the current situation that will truly serve the citizens of Urbana in the way that the IMC has for the last year is to have an IMC venue space in downtown Urbana. I entreat the council, mayor, and staff of the City of Urbana to continue to help us in whatever ways you can to continue to maintain the IMC performance space as a valuable resource for downtown Urbana. We all have the same goal of making Urbana an ever better place to live.

Thank you for your time.

Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed

Comments:

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From:soulsong
Date:May 13th, 2003 09:02 am (UTC)
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*applauds*

You're making me want to move there too!
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From:goytoy
Date:May 13th, 2003 10:30 am (UTC)
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Eek! I'm sorry to hear about your trouble. I checked out the media center website last week and thought it sounded wonderful; just the sort of thing I'd love to have around here. I think your comments sound very diplomatic; good luck w/ it.
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From:queerfrosty
Date:May 13th, 2003 01:06 pm (UTC)
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ohmygod! i have been so out of the loop! i didnt even know the IMC was closed! this is terrible!! thats a great speech, makes a lot of good points... hopefully it will persuade people to keep it open.. i think the IMC has really contributed to the once dead c-u music scene (it is reviving again! whoo!). i would offer to help with anything, but i am moving away in two weeks. good luck with it! let me know what happenes cause ill still be home for christmas and will most likely go see bands play there while im here. if it doesnt open again, i think the music scene and the underground/student art scene will take a huge blow...
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From:in_the_end_hope
Date:May 13th, 2003 04:27 pm (UTC)
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the imc is not closed. the only area that is now closed to the public is the shows space.

yes, we know this is going to have a big impact on the local music scene.

yes, we are attempting to do something to rectify the situation.

yes, everyone will be kept in the loop.
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From:queerfrosty
Date:May 13th, 2003 04:28 pm (UTC)

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yeah i realized that it was only the show space... but still!! to me that is the IMC. hmm... well see how it goes ... :/
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From:in_the_end_hope
Date:May 13th, 2003 04:36 pm (UTC)

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it's going very well, actually.

the violations are so severe and expensive that there is really no way we could fix them all and re-open the space. our best option seems to be boosting the hell out of the capital campaign for a new building and relocating shows to some as-yet undiscovered location.

this is something both zach and i have been working on extensively, and trust me, we'll work it out.

:)
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From:queerfrosty
Date:May 13th, 2003 04:37 pm (UTC)

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awesome.. good luck with that.. hopefully when i come home for christmas it will be even more awesome than it was before :) yay!
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From:marezcharz
Date:May 14th, 2003 03:58 am (UTC)

A wish

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I wish you guys the best of luck. None of us can afford to lose places like this. I am fortunate enough to attend art and music gatherings at ever increasing venues in the Phoenix/Tempe/Scottsdale areas. I have many friends opening galleries and hosting shows. Now I've got culture in more places than just my yogurt.

Remember, back in kindergarten, when we learned it is fun to share?

fight the good fight
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From:goytoy
Date:May 14th, 2003 05:13 am (UTC)

Taking donations?

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I saw the mention of a capital campaign.

If so, Zach, when you send me the CDs (hopefully yours will be out w/i a week) send me your literature as well and we'll see what we can spare.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:May 14th, 2003 07:57 am (UTC)
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Will do!
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