Words by Allied Media Projects
Dear beloved community,
We are wishing you all an easeful solstice.
2023 has undoubtedly been a challenging year for us all. As we bear witness to the ongoing genocide in Gaza, we are determined to continue cultivating the world we know we need. We will continue to call our representatives for an immediate and permanent ceasefire, create art, have courageous dialogues, and pray for a Free Palestine. As we enter the longest evening of the year in the northern hemisphere, we are reminded of the potency of the solstice: the darkness contains the seed for the light emerging. This is true in our present moment. We make it so.
Allied Media Projects is honored to be in a mycelial network of artists, change makers, visionaries and truth tellers. We are powerful in our togetherness. As an organization, this year was rooted in reflecting on our purpose and asking ourselves how we are best positioned today to provide infrastructure for the people and projects cultivating media for liberation. This year has been a year of letting go, of grappling with capacity, identity, and legacy. We feel grateful and humbled to be able to celebrate our highlights of 2023 with you as we look ahead to 2024.
Let us remember that what we are doing is not futile, we are powerful!
1. We shifted our work to focus on fiscal sponsorship, and reached the milestone of supporting our projects in accessing over $100 million since we began this work.
The Sponsored Projects Program was born out of a desire to support the liberative visions and transformative organizing happening through the Allied Media Conference and Detroit Future initiative. Fiscal sponsorship provided us a way to keep our movements resourced, safe, and supported to continue their media-making and organizing year-round. 2024 will mark a decade of learning and cultivating our knowledge of fiscal sponsorship and facilitating access to critical resources. We are excited to continue to build out and deepen our approach with a dynamic team fueled with the desire to help each of our projects realize their missions and collectively thrive.
2. We moved into the LOVE Building!
After five years, we finally moved into AMP’s official new home, the LOVE building!
The LOVE Building is a commitment to community rooted development and liberation, justice, and joy for all Detroiters. We share this vision with LOVE Building partners: Detroit Justice Center, Detroit Disability Power, Detroit Community Technology Project, Detroit Narrative Agency, and Paradise Natural Foods.
For nearly 25 years, the AMC was an elaborate, ephemeral container for our movements to envision and practice the worlds we need. The LOVE Building is the embodiment of that in permanent form, a home for visionary organizing and transformative media making.
Our beautiful LOVE Building Blessings video, produced and scored by Venusloch commemorates our journey to this moment. It is a love letter to our beloved AMC, our hopes for the LOVE Building, and the community that have made all of this possible. Venusloch, and adrienne maree brown, through her vocals, in “This is the LOVE Building ” transport us into a visual and sonic melding of our past, present, and future. The video reminds us of Octavia Butler’s words: “All that you touch, You Change. All that you Change, Changes you. The only lasting truth is Change. God is Change.” We invite you to visit us at the LOVE Building and be part of this change.
3. We sunset the Allied Media Conference and Seeds programming.
The heft of bringing the full vision of the LOVE Building into being and the growth of our fiscal sponsorship programming brought us to a moment of deep contemplation. We revisited our guiding compass in Grace Lee Boggs’s question, “What time is it on the clock of the world?” We considered how to be of best service to our movements today, what we need to build the worlds we long to see, and asked ourselves: how to know when it is time to let something go? The decision to sunset the AMC came with tremendous grief and a deep understanding that the spirit, community, and learnings of the AMC ripple through all we do. We profoundly understand how the AMC has been more than just a conference for many; the AMC was a political home, a place to question and explore, a community that transcended place and time. We appreciate your trust in knowing that the energy of the conference has only shape-shifted and that we will continue to let the AMC work through us in new and uncharted ways.
4. We dispersed generative seeds at the finale of the AMP Seeds Series as we sunset the AMP Seeds Program.
From exploring neighborhoods as resistance with Hood Work, to fostering community nourishment with the ‘Gather’ film screening to Waging Love: Building an environmentally just Detroit, we were able to gather together in person to imagine new worlds. This four-part series, curated by Nandi Comer, Liz Kennedy, and Brenda Hernandez, featured DanceAbility Detroit, Asia Hamilton, Tyree Guyton, Bryce Detroit, Scheherazade Washington-Parrish, Twilia Cassadore, Nephi Craig, Kristen Kirby-Shoote, Chrystal Ridgeway, Ahmina Maxey, and Norrel Hemphill. Thank you to our many collaborators, food vendors, attendees and thought partners for making these events so meaningful.
5. We grew our team and expanded our capacity.
Throughout 2023, we focused on growing our team to ensure we can offer the expertise and support to the people and projects within our network. We are so proud of the team we are building.
Please send a warm welcome to:
- Suzanne Abouzenni, Director of Finance, and Hannah Clark, Finance Administrator
- Shatona Holcomb, Director of People and Culture, and Dominique Artist, People and Culture Manager
- Chiara Francesca Galimberti, Creative Director
- Olivia D’Amato, Development Manager, and KT Taylor, Development Administrator
- Dagny Hill, Executive Assistant
Interested in working at Allied Media Projects? AMP is looking to add three more folks to our dynamic team!
6. We welcomed and celebrated the work and impact of our projects.
We are constantly humbled and in awe of the amazing people and visions we have the honor of supporting daily. As we continue to expand our capacity, we will be able to welcome more projects to our fiscal sponsorship.
This year, we welcomed seven new projects to our Sponsored Projects Program. Please check out each project and their contributions to visionary organizing.
- Ohana Gardens (Detroit)
- TeMate Dance Institute (Detroit)
- adrienne maree brown Project (national)
- Respair Production and Media (Chicago)
- Youth Development Resource Center (Detroit)
- Strategies for High Impact (national)
- Disability Visibility Project (national)
Alongside welcoming new projects, we celebrate the organizations who have transitioned into their own 501c3s as they continue to advance their critical work. Cheers to Kairos, Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, and Transforming Power Fund. We urge you to continue to follow and support them as they embark on this new journey.
We look forward to building and growing with each of you in 2024 and beyond.