Tonight, the Emmy-winning organization FREE SPIRIT MEDIA commemorates 20 years of transformative digital media arts, journalism, and creative workforce programming and powerful content creation. Join FSM this evening from 7:00-8:00 p.m. Central for its annual FOCUS celebration and fundraiser, which will be hosted virtually. Registration is free, and you can purchase raffle tickets and make donations online to be a part of this momentous virtual fundraiser and celebration with Chicago’s civic, film, and media leaders, creators, partners, change makers, philanthropic and community members. FSM will be presenting an incredible lineup of live music, comic relief, youth-generated content, and special guests including Free Spirit Media creators.
The festivities will be hosted by emcees Jill Hopkins, host of Vocalo’s The Morning AMp and WBEZ’s Making Beyoncé podcast, and Brian Babylon, Chicago native, comedian and radio personality.
Since its inception, Free Spirit Media has been on the forefront of using media to activate change and to shift the landscape of media to include Black and Brown creators and leaders. Free Spirit Media uses digital media arts, journalism, and creative workforce development programs to transformmedia andsociety by providing opportunities for emerging creators, primarily from communities of color, to produce and distribute original content and to pursue artistic, personal and professional aspirations.
Meet the New Executive Director of Free Spirit Media
Tonight also marks a new era for Free Spirit Media with the announcement of their new Executive Director, Aurora Toshiko King.
Aurora Toshiko King most recently served as Director of Education at the Chicago youth organization, Marwen, where she worked to support an organization-wide transformation of practices, policies, and vision to center the leadership, brilliance, and sustainability of intergenerational community-based artists. Her work derives from her life as an ongoing learner, as well as from her experience working as a teaching artist, passionate convener of people, creative administrator, artist, mother, and her own personal struggles navigating education systems. Aurora envisions a world where young people have everything they need to step into their power and brilliance, community-based artists are thriving, and everyone has access to holistic creative spaces that uplift our collective humanity and our interdependent liberation.
Up Next for FSM: From FOCUS to Now Filming
Tonight’s FOCUS fundraiser and celebration will be immediately followed by a leap into production. This weekend, FSM’s Industry Pathways Program will forge ahead into filming its next short film project, BERMUDA, in Chicago. Written by Chicago native Jasmine Ogunjimi, BERMUDA tells the story of a Nigerian-American woman in her mid 20s that is in pursuit of self-liberation upon her new found adulthood and sexual freedom.