DIY or Die

The St. Louis Independent Media Center makes its own fun to raise its own funds

Feb 26, 2003 at 4:00 am
The cavernous downtown Art Coop space will positively bloom with do-it-yourself creativity when Influx8 goes down Saturday. The fundraiser for the St. Louis Independent Media Center HQ turns adults into kids with such activities as electronic-music-making, playing dress-up and making things go with pedal-power.

The IMC is basically a gang of leftists with a Web site announcing various political gripes and protests, along with social get-togethers. Their new home in the Community Arts and Media Project collective in the 3,000 block of Cherokee Street will soon be buzzing, with such groups as the South Side University for crafts and media, eco-friendly journal Confluence, the Center for Alternative Technology and Bike Collective, Beehive Design Collective mosaic art and Food Not Bombs food distributors moving into a shared space.

The annual Influx party promises a bicycle-powered water fountain, the chance to paint over cheesy thrift-store art, an electronic drum circle with lo-fi instruments, a geodesic dome over a fake campfire, a take-home potted plant with planter decorated by you, 100 pounds of clay to sculpt, experimental video and documentary screenings, a "MediaWall" forum for partygoers to comment on the looming war against Iraq, a New York City-style newsstand with alternative and local media, live bands, DJs who want guests to bring records for them to play and a coat-check/dress-up area with "freakish vintage wear and ballerina costumes," explains IMC volunteer Heath Harris.

For more info, see, and be sure to take a gander at the group's manifesto, which reads like a poem:

"Saint Louis: Home of the Gateway Arch and Monsanto/Home of some of the worst urban sprawl in the nation/and a slowly-draining inner city.../We, at the Center/of this jewel on the Mississippi River/As the old money and mores leach away/We fill the cracks left behind with:/Youth -- Active Art -- Alternative Energy -- Eyes -- Ears -- Hands/To reclaim Streets -- Parks -- Wasteland."