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Posted December 1, 2011

Commemorating a decade 
and looking to the future


Free Spirit Media just had a banner year. In fact, it was one hell of a decade, started ever so modestly in late 2000 with a small experiment in youth sports journalism (aka, HoopsHIGH) and capped with an amazing 10th Anniversary Gala at Café Brauer in June, attended by dignitaries such as Toni Preckwinkle and Jean-Claude Brizard.

FSM had passed a major milestone: over 3,000 students served since the organization incorporated in 2001. Then they won a major grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. Finally, WGN-TV profiled Executive Director Jeff McCarter in their Chicago’s Very Own series. So what else could they possibly do to cap the year?

Only one thing: they produced their very first annual report.

The 24-page book summarizes the origins, mission, and growth of FSM, including every major accomplishment and a few of their many awards. It’s one of the most inspiring projects we’ve had the pleasure of developing in years.

As Alex Kotlowitz (The Interrupters, There Are No Children Here) says in the report: “Let’s offer thanks for Free Spirit Media. It knows the power of storytelling — and the potential of our youth. With verve, honesty and such imagination, the teens involved in Free Spirit Media tell stories that make the rest of us sit up and listen.”

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