One Chrysalis Leads to Another
The growth and evolution of the AMC is a microcosm of larger changes within the organizational body of AMP as a whole.
Since becoming a non-profit in 2002, the work of Allied Media Projects has evolved from being exclusively the Allied Media Conference; to being the AMC plus a collection of community media programs in Detroit; to being the AMC plus a vast network of media-based organizing initiatives that spans the country.
When we launched our Sponsored Projects Program in 2014, we were providing fiscal sponsorship for 12 smaller projects. Today, we are working with more than 100 projects. Combined, we are managing more than $7 million on their behalf. Some projects arrive at AMP with seedling ideas that we help nurture into full-blown gardens of programming. Others come to us with long track-records of previous work and are looking to AMP for very specific support services. As we adjust our staff capacity, systems, and workflows to meet these growing and varied needs, the Sponsored Projects Program will be putting a pause on accepting new applications. We will not actively accept new projects after May 1; we’ll reopen the application process in fall 2019. If you have been considering becoming a sponsored project, be sure to submit your “Become a Sponsored Project” application before April 30.
To secure a long-term home for AMP and our partners amidst an increasingly prohibitive Detroit real estate market we recently purchased and are renovating a 27,000 square foot building. In addition to AMP and several AMP Sponsored Projects, this will be the future home of the Detroit Justice Center and Detroit Disability Power. We’re working with an incredible team of architects (Designing Justice, Designing Spaces, and Centric Design Studio) to dream up a space that integrates disability justice, environmental responsibility, community connectivity, and that is also wildly beautiful.
This growth is natural and in many ways thrilling. It has emerged out of the clear needs of our communities and the strategies we’ve devised to meet those needs, one after another. We love seeing visionary, radical, media-based social justice organizing flourish with our support.
Moving Forward with Intention
There are also risks to this growth. We risk becoming a mechanized institution, growing for the sake of growth and out of alignment with the heart of who we are. We are more powerful as we grow and also more visible, more open to attack. We are more interdependent as we grow and therefore the actions of one part have implications for the whole.
In this context, we have entered what feels like an AMP-wide Chrysalis process of reorganizing our internal organs. We are restructuring roles and programs and staffing up, and studying how anti-authoritarian organizations can live at large scales. We are grappling with the tensions between risk-management and revolutionary imperatives. We are growing our capacity to be resilient and support the resilience of our projects.
In whatever new shape AMP may take, we know we will need a strong heart. For this reason, we started our organization-wide Chrysalis process by updating our mission, vision, and goals. We needed to ensure that these speak to the truest parts of who we are and what we’re trying to do. We are excited to share the near-final version of those updates here.
While the AMC has paused it’s regularly scheduled program to do its chrysalis work, other parts of AMP are reflecting and remaking amidst the continual flow of day-to-day activities. If we have been quiet lately, less engaged online or in person, slower to respond than usual, we ask for your patience and understanding. We will be emerging soon with glorious wings.