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  • Kids event: make a video time capsule on May 18!

    Kids event: make a video time capsule on May 18!

    Media Burn Archive works to preserve important videos so they’ll be able to be watched far into the future. At the Video Time Capsule Workshop, families will be able to preserve their own memories and create a special message for their future selves! You’ll work together to write and produce video time capsules, explore kids videos from different eras, learn about the ways videos used to be made, and showcase your creativity with a Polaroid craft. The Video Time Capsule … Continue reading

  • Democratic Powerhouse Thomas Hynes Dies at 80

    Democratic Powerhouse Thomas Hynes Dies at 80

    Thomas Hynes, Chicago Democrat who held office for more than 40 years, died May 4 after a long illness. He was an influential member of the Democratic National Committee. First elected to the Illinois Senate in 1970, he became its youngest President at 31. From his base in Chicago’s 19th ward, he was long-serving Cook County assessor. He also decided to run against Harold Washington in the 1987 Chicago mayoral race. While he was a part of the Democratic party, … Continue reading

  • Remembering Activist and Radio Host Blase Bonpane

    Remembering Activist and Radio Host Blase Bonpane

    Earlier this month, activist and radio host Blase Bonpane passed away at the age of 90. He hosted and produced the radio show, “World Focus,” for progressive L.A. radio station, KFPK, for fifty years. The show focused on peace, justice, and human rights, with Bonpane interviewing guests to talk about contemporary issues. You can listen to past episodes here. He also wrote six books, including his autobiography, Imagine No Religion. Before dedicating his life to activism, Bonpane went to USC … Continue reading

  • Back By Popular Demand: Erwin Helfer and Mama Yancey Screening at Old Town School of Folk Music

    Back By Popular Demand: Erwin Helfer and Mama Yancey Screening at Old Town School of Folk Music

    After a sold out event in January, Media Burn presents a second showing of archival video featuring legendary pianist Erwin Helfer and the late blues singer Estelle “Mama” Yancey on Saturday, April 27, as part of a celebratory evening of live gospel and blues music at Old Town School of Folk Music in Ravenswood.  In 1982, future Chicago Blues Festival Coordinator Barry Dolins filmed an intimate performance and conversation between Erwin Helfer and an 86 year-old Mama Yancey at the … Continue reading

  • Telling the People’s History From the Cutting Room Floor

    Telling the People’s History From the Cutting Room Floor

    We strongly believe that camera original documentary footage (or “outtakes”) is the most significant untapped historical resource available today. It offers viewers the chance for an in-depth first person experience of past people, places, and events, as well as the potential to craft new stories. In a unique collaboration between Media Burn, Skidmore College, and documentary filmmakers Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller, students were given the opportunity to be the first to review and use the 85 hours of source footage shot for the 2004 feature … Continue reading

  • Don’t Miss Our Documentary: WE ARE COLUMBINE

    Don’t Miss Our Documentary: WE ARE COLUMBINE

    Laura Farber’s powerful film, WE ARE COLUMBINE is finally available for pre-order on iTunes. Her (and my) work on it began 17 years ago when she was a student of mine in a Columbia College documentary class. She was a freshman at Columbine High School in 1999 when the shootings happened. The film focuses on four of her classmates who reenact and reflect on that insane day 20 years ago, then reveal the drama and stories of their lives since. They are fascinating … Continue reading

  • Jane Byrne and Harold Washington: Two ‘Firsts’ for Chicago

    Jane Byrne and Harold Washington: Two ‘Firsts’ for Chicago

    Lori Lightfoot’s election as Chicago’s mayor marks the first time that a black woman, and openly gay person, has held the position in Chicago’s history. In honor of this historic event, look back at two of the city’s mayoral firsts: Jane Byrne, Chicago’s first female mayor, and Harold Washington, Chicago’s first black mayor. Jane Byrne Not only was Byrne the first female mayor of Chicago, but she was also the first female mayor of a major city. Before becoming mayor, she served as … Continue reading

  • We Have Runoff Elections Because of the 1983 Mayoral Race

    We Have Runoff Elections Because of the 1983 Mayoral Race

    Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle are posed to make Chicago history as one of them will become Chicago’s second elected African American mayor, second woman mayor, and first African American woman mayor. The two candidates will face off in a runoff election on April 2. If Lightfoot wins, she will also be Chicago’s first openly gay mayor. In 1983, reluctant outsider candidate Harold Washington achieved the impossible when he defeated incumbent mayor Jane Byrne in the Democratic primary, a victory … Continue reading