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  • Resurrecting the 1970s Guerrilla Television Movement

    Resurrecting the 1970s Guerrilla Television Movement

    We have some exciting news about a new project!We’re proud to be able to announce that, after several years of planning and development, we’ve been awarded a nearly half million dollar grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources to lead a collaboration that will digitize and make available more than 1,000 videotapes from media art centers across the country. The University of Chicago Library and Department of Cinema and Media Studies are our main project partners. This three-year … Continue reading

  • 8/12/21: Virtual Talks with Video Activists: Julie Gustafson

    8/12/21: Virtual Talks with Video Activists: Julie Gustafson

    A screening/discussion with filmmaker Julie Gustafson moderated by media scholar Rachel Fabian. Continue reading

  • In Memory of Frank Sullivan (1930-2021)

    In Memory of Frank Sullivan (1930-2021)

    Frank Sullivan, press secretary for Mayor Richard J. Daley from 1971-1976, died June 18 at the age of 91.  Prior to working for Daley, he served as spokesperson for the Chicago Police Department during the 1968 Democratic National Convention protests. Television viewers around the world then were shocked at live broadcasts of police beating anti-imperialist demonstrators. This was unprecedented violence and the origin of the now-famous protest cry, “The whole world is watching!” The independent Kerner Commission report determined that … Continue reading

  • America’s First Drag Queen President

    America’s First Drag Queen President

    “A presidential campaign is like a drag show.” Joan Jett Blakk In 1992, there was another candidate against Bush, and her name? Joan Jett Blakk. For Pride month, Media Burn is highlighting and celebrating the work of queer activists of the past. Blakk was the drag persona of performer Terence Smith, who was a performer and leader of Chicago Queer Nation in the 70s. In the 1990s, Blakk campaigned for various political positions, such as mayor of Chicago, President (as … Continue reading

  • In Memory of Aniello “Red” Fontano (1928-2021)

    In Memory of Aniello “Red” Fontano (1928-2021)

    On Monday, May 24, 2021, Chicago lost a legend: Aniello “Red” Fontano. Known all over Chicago for his famous “Fontano’s Subs,” Red’s story is emblematic of the Little Italy neighborhood. In 1963, Red opened a small grocery store on the corner of Polk and Carpenter with his wife, Gilda nee Eterno, where they would sell authentic Italian submarine sandwiches for over 50 years. While Fontano’s Subs would become successful enough to franchise all over the city and suburbs, the original … Continue reading

  • High Schoolers: apply now for a paid summer job at Media Burn

    Learn more about last year’s cohort and watch their videos: https://mediaburn.org/blog/party-time-premiere-of-student-covid-docs-on-monday/ Fill out my online form.

  • In Memory of Dion Payton (1950 – 2021)

    In Memory of Dion Payton (1950 – 2021)

    On March 12, legendary Chicago blues musician Dion Payton passed away. In an obituary for the Chicago Sun Times, Zac Clingenpeel writes that Payton’s “style, talent and personality inspired many musicians.” With his signature Gibson Les Paul 25/50 Anniversary Edition, Payton entertained Chicago crowds with crisp and climbing blues riffs for over three decades.  With his 43rd Street Blues Band, Payton played regular gigs at Kingston Mines as well as the Checkerboard Lounge. Skeptical of the big business of music and dubious … Continue reading

  • In Memory of Roger Mudd (1928 – 2021)

    In Memory of Roger Mudd (1928 – 2021)

    For three decades, Roger Mudd epitomized network TV news. It is difficult now, in an age saturated with media personalities, to imagine just how influential anchors like Mudd were in their time. Serving as a primary face of news networks from CBS to PBS, Mudd played a crucial role in shaping the political consciousness of the US from the 1960s to the 1980s. Working alongside such noteworthy anchormen as Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, and Tom Brokaw, Mudd addressed viewers with … Continue reading

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