Announcing Free Spirit Media’s New Mission Statement

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I’m excited to share Free Spirit Media’s new mission statement with you:  

Free Spirit Media transforms media and society 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.  

This mission, which was developed by a team of creative youth artists, alumni, staff, and Board members, builds on the legacy cultivated by Free Spirit Media's ecosystem of support, which has helped us to build pathways of opportunity for youth on Chicago’s West and South sides to advance their media and life skills as they grow from teens to young adults.  

In our entry-level programs, teen artists pursue their artistic aspirations in spaces designed to foster creativity, collaboration and communication. The students at NLCP are working on their Senior Documentary Projects, and we just hosted the networking event to help connect the high school documentarians with local resources and events.

In our intermediate programs, teen and young adult artists pursue their personal aspirations by honing their craft and taking ownership of their work from ideation to distribution. We recently launched a new In-Depth Features section on the website to highlight the work of our Real Chi Youth artists and provide a space for more detailed reporting across programs at the intermediate level. 

In our creative workforce programs, young adult participants pursue their professional aspirations through internships, mentorships, advanced tech trainings and on-set experience. The InPathways cohort recently got to travel to the New York Television Film Festival for their short film, Drive Slow. We're looking forward to seeing what the next cohort brings! 

We see our organizational success in our alumni community, who have leveraged their skills and experiences with Free Spirit Media to launch their own production companies, produce independent films, join unions and earn regular production work in the film and media industry. 

You are integral to the sustainability of our ecosystem. As a supporter, you ensure the resources, spaces and technology youth need to make strides on pathways through Free Spirit Media. Thank you for being on our team, helping to transform media and society.  


Mission writing meeting

Mission writing meeting


June 14, 2017

Free Spirit Media launched our 2020 Vision, a three-year strategic plan, at a staff meeting. The vision and goals we outlined as reinforced the importance of naming our primary participants as a community of youth artists of color and our spesific geography in the city of Chicago.

June 23, 2017

Board members at their quarterly meeting approved plans to convene a writing team consisting of several youth artists and alumni, staff and board members to update the last mission statement: 

Free Spirit Media cultivates diverse youth voices to transform media and society.

July 25, 2017

A mission writing session brought together youth artists and alumni, staff and board members to develop a draft statement. The team informed the process by brainstorming essential elements, guidelines and language to consider. We iterated from there - with input from staff, youth and advisors – yielding a new draft that was more specific about what we actually do, with whom and why.

August 2017

Guidelines and recommendations from the writing team served as the foundation for a mission that I worked and re-worked with input from staff, youth and advisors over the course of the month.

September 2, 2017

I shared a draft of the new Free Spirit Media mission statement with the Board for final input. The members shared valuable feedback that led us to a final version.

September 22, 2017 

The Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve the new mission statement at their quarterly meeting.