Listen to New Voices on Studs Terkel our partnership with 826CHI-here! Read the Story

Welcome to your center for Chicago’s Archive Collective Reuse Competition!

This is your one-stop-shop for everything you need to participate. The program coordinators launched this project because we wanted to give the public a chance to explore the local and lesser-known histories of Chicago and beyond and express their creative skills in the process. Each archive (the Studs Terkel Radio Archive, South Side Home Movie Project, and Media Burn) has collected a subset of programs from our vaults that we are making available on a limited time, project specialized basis for YOU! Any interested participant can download the programs from our directory and create their own absolutely original, reuse project.

Want to learn a little more about the archives sponsoring this project and talk with some of the other participants about their creative process? Come to any of our workshops in our educational series! These are a time in which our contest managers can share a little bit of their expertise and help you along with parts of your project, as well as for you to ask your own questions!

TO SIGN UP FOR WORKSHOPS:  Scroll to the bottom for sign-up forms for each workshop and details on what you can expect to learn from each one.

TO REQUEST MATERIALS FOR USE: Just click on this link!


Choose a topic, and use our archive programs to make your own original project answering the prompt! This can be in the form of a video, like a documentary or oral history, but you can also make it into a whole new medium! Maybe our archival programs made you think in poetry, or perhaps you want to paint a scene about what you learned. It’s up to you!

There are three different topics that participants can address in their work.

1.    Activism through Art
             So much radical change across time has been influenced and powered by artists. Chicago has a long and rich history of those who use their artistic process as a means to incite change. In your project, explore past occurrences of activist artists and their works, and show how the artistic practice and product impacted.

2.    Origin Stories
            The process of learning who we are and where we come from is one that every person goes through in their lifetime. Some find that in their family, and some find it in what practices they care about. In your project, use samples of archival material to inspect an origin — you can look into someone’s whole lifetime, or just a single moment that you think shapes who they are!

You can even do this project on yourself! Tell a story of part of what makes that person who they came to be.

3.    People and their Environments
            Our surroundings affect the people who live there. Everyone has a relationship to the things around them — what place is special to you?  A particular street, a park, a restaurant? In your project, explore how a specific place influences the people who interact with it. What was it like many years ago, and how is it the same or different now? What markers of the past can you still see there?

Learn, Master, Engage, Win

Participants do not necessarily need to explicitly include archival media if their projects reflect and name specific resources they consulted and used to inform their work. Formats can also be combined/manipulated as participants see fit.

•    Documentary — a short research project that explores past and/or current events about the given topic. This can include narration, original video, oral history, and/or any creative storytelling technique (educational skit, writing, music)
•    Oral History - an interview or series of interviews of the given topic, combined with archival materials. This can be recorded as only audio or as a video-recorded interview. Regardless this can be combined with visual elements/archival video to accompany the storytelling process.
•    Poetry and Creative Writing, Original Music. - Create a poem or creative writing piece about the given topic, what subject matter you uncovered in your research, or about the process of historical research itself. Or create a song that tells that story either musically or lyrically!
•    Visual Art - create a piece, either image or video, that tells your historical research story. This is especially pertinent to the Art and Activism category but can be used for any prompt. If you create an image (which can be an image of your art of any medium, like a painting, drawing, textile, etc.), speak about what it means to you and how to relate to your chosen topic. It can even just be recording you next to your piece and talking about what archival materials you used to inform your work!

Southside Home Movie Project Gif 1



•    The submitted project must be original, researched, compiled, and edited by the contestants.

  • All submissions should be between 5-7 minutes in length. 

•    A single project can be done by as many people as are willing to participate. Just make sure to include everyone in the credits!
            o    The project should contain a credit reel of all participants and their role in creating the video.
•    The project should include a list of all material used in the making of the project, either inserted directly in the work or consulted in the creative process  
            o    Projects containing un-cited content or includes a majority of un-original content will be disqualified
•    Videos that contain images or language that is profane, racially insensitive, and/ or sexually provocative will be disqualified

Southside Home Movies Project



Finished projects can be submitted directly by June 4th. Participants should feel free to submit their creative works as an independent file, OR uploaded to a streaming platform such as Vimeo or Youtube.
Independent uploaded files can be made in an MP3 or MP4 format.
All projects can be submitted using this form.


Kick-off Workshop (Tues, 4/13, 3 pm AND Thurs, 5/13 5pm) - Studs Terkel Archive, Media Burn, South Side Home Movies

A welcome to the competition! Our program managers will give a brief introduction to our archives and the collection we are making available. We will then discuss why archives matter, what archival reuse is, and what sort of possibilities you could do in your own project.

April Recording

Meeting Recording (Passcode: S04S9U.i) 

Orientation to the Ellis McClelland Collection (Sat, 5/15, 12 pm)

South Side Home Movie Project Orientation


An orientation to South Side Home Movie Project’s Digital Archive, with a special focus on the Ellis McClelland Collection. The session will include some background on the Project, a guided tour of the online search features, a detailed look at the special collection, and plenty of time for Q&A. We’re excited to introduce members of the McClelland family who will share the stories behind the home movies and the folks who filmed them!

Meeting Recording (Passcode: =.3nO.#j)

Archival Research and Fair Use (Sat, 5/15, 1 pm) - Media Burn

How does one do archival research, and what does that even mean? Dan Erdman talks about how to dig into the archives and libraries available, explore a certain topic of interest, and reuse materials you find in a way that doesn’t erase the work of previous documenters and artists!

Meeting Recording (Passcode: y%jf5*j2)

Collecting Oral Histories + Media Production Skills (Sat, 5/15, 2 pm) - Studs Terkel Radio Archive

What’s the difference between sitting down with someone and asking them about their past and collecting an oral history? The secret is, it doesn’t have to be that different! We explain what oral histories are, why they matter, and how to conduct them in your own life. We will also be going over basic production skills: When you are making a new audio and/or video project, there is a lot that goes into making something authentically yours. What production styles can you play with to create something aesthetically interesting? How can you make a movie with only your phone and a tablet? Join us for the workshop chock-full of information!

Meeting Recording (Passcode: 6a.h+gE^)


Southside Home Movies Project Gif 3


Managers of the Chicago Archive Collective Reuse Project:

Anna Mason, Community Engagement Coordinator, Studs Terkel Radio Archive, [email protected]
Dan Erdman, Archivist, Media Burn, [email protected]
Justin Williams, Archivist, Project Manager, South Side Home Movies Project, [email protected]
Sabrina Craig, Film and Video Projects Manager, South Side Home Movies Project, [email protected]

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