Support Media Burn with an end of the year gift

We’ve accomplished a lot this year, thanks to YOU… our friends who help in every way!

As we did a year ago, we’re asking you to contribute now to help us continue to grow and thrive.

Media Burn matters:

We got this letter from Japan after posting a video of two-time world heavyweight boxing champion Floyd Patterson. In our 1985 video, Patterson attributes his retirement from boxing to marrying his second wife, Janet, and discovering that he “had a greater love for her than for boxing.”

“Thanks for Floyd’s 1985 video. I sent to his wife Janet and she had never seen the video nor heard something like that before. She was so happy to hear of what Floyd had said about her on the video. She called me back tonight and she actually cried on the phone. It meant so much for her. And it meant so much for me too. It made all of us so happy.” Floyd Patterson, 1985
Studs Terkel: Listening To America On May 5, we attended the Chicago premiere of HBO and Eric Simonson’s Studs Terkel: Listening To America at the Gene Siskel Film Center. We got to know Eric, Adrian Marin, and the production team over the last few years as they watched dozens of hours of Terkel footage from our collection. It has aired nationally several times on HBO to excellent notices. 30% of the footage in their documentary came from the Media Burn Archive, a testament to just how significant and unique our Studs collection is.
On July 12, counterculture poet, performer, and Fugs co-founder Tuli Kupferberg passed away. We were very lucky to have recently received funding from the National Archives to restore and transfer a rare Videofreex tape of Kupferberg’s 1971 “Revolting Theater” performances in Montreal. We put the video online near the end of 2009, and a few months later, we were contacted by one of Tuli’s friends, Thelma Blitz. Thelma interviewed Tuli and other participants to create a firsthand record of the performances and their social and political context. This incredible resource is now online with the video, and it would not have been possible only a few months later. It is a race against time is to save our videos both from physical deterioration and from the loss of crucial information about the creators and participants. Tuli Kupferberg, 1971

We are continually invigorated by the contributions of bright and talented students who compete every semester to gain internship positions at Media Burn. We even had a group of four bright University of Michigan graduate students volunteer to spend their spring break with us, working on our website capabilities instead of heading to Miami. Their reflections show just how much of an impact we have on students’ lives, and their improvements can be seen on the home page of

University of Michigan students “Breaks from work were filled with stimulating conversations on how people’s access of information and film has changed over the past thirty years. What Media Burn lacked in grand financial and infrastructure resources, they made up for with inherent virtues (dedicated staff, incredible videos, unique purpose, strong connection to the history of Chicago and its citizens). I am amazed at how quickly I was able to adapt to the challenges I found there. What a great feeling to work in a friendly and welcoming place that makes you part of a community.”
It has been a wonderful and remarkable seven-year journey.
We haven’t asked for your contributions in more than a year.
We want to do even more to engage and inspire audiences in 2011, but we can’t make it without your help.

If you contribute $60 or more by December 28, you will be entered into a drawing to receive an HD Flip Cam. Every contributor of $1,000 or more will receive a complete set of 6 brand new Media Burn Reframe dvds. Everyone who contributes at least $25 will receive a Media Burn t-shirt. Please make a tax-deductible donation of $25, $60, $100, $250, $500, $1,000, $2,000, or whatever you can afford today.

Donate through Paypal

You can also send a check to Media Burn, 4270 W. Irving Park Rd. Chicago IL 60641. Contact us at (773) 794-0058 or if you have any questions.

As always, we thank you.

Tom and Sara and the Media Burn Board of Directors and Advisory Board

A few current Media Burn highlights:

–our videos have been viewed more than 6 million times (majority on YouTube);

–we’ve preserved, digitized, and made available online more than 1500 videos, and are planning to digitize and preserve at least 2000 more high-priority videos;

–we’ve been recognized by the National Archives as a part of “America’s documentary heritage essential to understanding our democracy, history, and culture”

the Huffington Post’s David Murray said that Media Burn is “always playing Chicago’s past, and always playing the good stuff.”

–Chicago Tribune has been using Media Burn videos in its new Chicago Live shows as part of Rick Kogan’s Almanac;

–we contributed two screenings as part of the 50 Aldermen/50 Artists exhibition at Johalla Projects last spring, and did an in-depth presentation on the history of Chicago independent video at the University of Chicago;

–we are now distributing 6 dvds from the archive through the Tribeca Film Institute, with several more to follow;

–our partnership with Loyola University Chicago continues and we have three substantial grant applications pending which will be announced next spring;

–the recognition of our accomplishments as an innovative 21st century digital archive is blossoming. We are routinely invited to present to national audiences, as we did in November at UCLA’s Reimagining the Archive Symposium.



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