The Year in Chrysalis

After 20 years of creating, connecting and transforming our community, the Allied Media Conference took a one year break. We used this year to devise a new shape that could hold healthy, purposeful growth over the coming years. We called this period the Year in Chrysalis.

What did the AMC do during the Year in Chrysalis?

Throughout the Year in Chrysalis we gathered AMC community members far and wide to help us explore the questions: How do we want to grow? What are the key ingredients that make the AMC special? What parts of the conference can become something new?

We gathered quantitative and qualitative data to understand the last seven years of the conference (during which we experienced the most significant growth). We convened the Chrysalis Creative Team, a body of long-time and newer AMC participants to guide the strategic direction of the Chrysalis process. This body held two visioning retreats, and collaboratively gathered input from approximately 200 people through a series of listening “living room” sessions. These sessions helped us learn about what AMCers need from the conference and provided vital feedback on various iterations of the next shape of the conference.

After spending the year in reflection, deep-dive evaluation, research, and development we emerged with a new conference design. Read on to learn about the new shape of the conference.

Tracks at the AMC

What belongs in the “Media for Liberation” track?

Network Gatherings and Sessions that explore all forms of media (art, technology, design, storytelling, journalism, etc.) and how our media-making can further liberation as an ongoing process of as personal, collective, and systemic transformation.

What belongs in the Visionary Organizing track?

Network Gatherings and Sessions that grow our organizing capacity to envision and create a world in which we: care for ourselves, each other, other species, and the planet; dismantle supremacist systems as they operate upon us and within us; assume responsibility for creating new liberatory ways of being, and; cultivate life-affirming joy.

Network Gatherings

What are Network Gatherings?

Network Gatherings are one- or two-day mini-conferences convened by a local or national network at the AMC. Through an open call for proposals, the AMC accepts a total of 20 Network Gatherings.

The purpose of Network Gatherings is to provide focused space for planning, skill-sharing, and community-building within the AMC for networks of people who are already organizing together around an issue or shared identity.

Do I need to have attended the AMC in order to coordinate a Network Gathering?

In order to coordinate a network gathering, you need a team of at least two people – with a minimum of one person who has attended the AMC.

What is my role in coordinating a network gathering?

  • Convene a group of up to 150 people in your organization, network or community for a one day or two day-long gathering on the Thursday and Friday of the AMC that explores how to apply media-based organizing or visionary organizing within the context of your work.
  • Support your participants in proposing and presenting at least two sessions during the AMC that connect with the content of your network gathering.
  • Fundraise to support the participation of presenters and participants who will enrich your content area.

What if I have an idea but no other coordinators?

Because of the large number of proposals for Network Gatherings – we only accept proposals from teams with a minimum of two fully committed coordinators. If you are unable to have at least two fully committed coordinators, please consider proposing a session or community meet-up at this year’s conference.

Coordinating teams will have the opportunity to add or remove coordinators after the proposal has been accepted.

Can youth apply to coordinate?

Absolutely! We are really excited to receive content that is youth-driven. We would like youth submitting proposals to have adult allies with whom they can work to coordinate logistics and other details.

What is the timeline for organizing a Network Gathering?

The general timeline is as follows:

Select and finalize descriptions of Network Gatherings.

Coordinators recruit sessions related to their content
Coordinators participate in virtual planning meetings
Each Network Gathering releases their Call for Participation
Coordinators begin fundraising for their Network Gathering.

Network Gathering fundraising and logistical planning continues.

Fourth weekend in June: The AMC happens!

Approximately how much time will it take to coordinate a Network Gathering?

Each Network Gathering should have at least two coordinators who can commit several hours per week between December 2019 and June 2020. The time you spend coordinating will vary and may be more like two hours per week earlier in the year and closer to 15 hours in the final weeks leading up to the AMC.

What support will I receive from AMP?

AMP staff will advise on the development of the vision and content of your Network Gathering and facilitate connections between coordinators, potential participants, and potential funders.

Coordinators must have at least one representative present for virtual planning meetings. AMC2020 Planning Meetings will cover essential information and skill-development for the AMC organizing process: facilitative leadership, popular education, grassroots fundraising, communications strategy, and accessibility.

All coordinating teams receive:

  • Complimentary registration for your coordinating team
  • Support from AMP staff in planning your gathering through a series of virtual meetings
  • Support with fundraising and a mini-grant (up to $1,000) to seed grassroots fundraising efforts
  • Meeting facilities on or around the Wayne State University campus
  • Assistance with recruiting participants
  • Support with managing registration

Do Network Gathering participants have to register for the AMC?

Yes. All Network Gathering participants will need to register for the AMC. If you have participants who plan to attend the Network Gathering but not the rest of the conference the AMC offers a day-rate of $60.00.

Can I bounce my ideas and questions off somebody at AMP before submitting my proposal?

Yes! Email

Who Can Propose a Session?

Anyone who is using media and or visionary organizing for liberation. We define “media” as anything you use to communicate with the world. We define liberation as an ongoing process of personal, collective, and systemic transformation towards the world we need.

The AMC is especially excited about sessions that center voices that are marginalized or less often heard, such as: Detroiters, youth and elders, parents, immigrants, queer and trans people, Indigenous communities, black people and people of color, deaf, disabled and chronically ill people, non-conventionally educated people, poor/economically disadvantaged people, sex workers or people working outside the conventional economy, and formerly incarcerated people.

What makes a good proposal?

  • A clear connection to media-based organizing and or visionary organizing.
  • Holistically explores solutions that span the internal, interpersonal, and systemic dimensions of a problem
  • Result in tangible resources and strategic next steps
  • Creates collaboration and connection. (We love AMC sessions designed by multiple organizations or individuals, and that connects to an ongoing organizing process that extends beyond the conference.)
  • Aims to be accessible to as many people as possible, people of diverse abilities, experiences, ages, and backgrounds.
  • Hands-on, creative, imaginative, and fun

We prioritize sessions that are led by people most impacted by the topics being discussed. For example, sessions exploring youth media making should include youth presenters.

We look for sessions that offer a range of learning opportunities: from beginner to advanced.

Sessions can be hands-on skill-shares, panel discussions, strategy sessions, performances, presentations, meetups, or a mix of formats.

Who reviews session proposals?

The AMC organizes a review committee made up of long-time AMCers and organizers within the Allied Media Projects Network to review sessions in collaboration with AMC staff.

What is the timeline for review?

Session proposals are due at the first week of February and session review will take place through February and early March. Applicants will find out if their session is accepted by late March.

How many sessions are accepted?

Due to the high number of applications and the physical and time constraints of the conference, we typically accept less than half of all proposed sessions.

Can I propose multiple sessions?

Yes! But we will only accept a maximum of two sessions per presenter.

How does the AMC support accepted sessions?

The AMC will share best practices for presenting a session during an online webinar. These practices are also documented in the Presenter Guidelines zine. The AMC also offers some travel and registration support for presenters. Information about this support will be available in early 2020.

Once my session has been accepted what happens next?

You will finalize your session details in the session finalization form, which you must submit in order to confirm your participation at the AMC. In mid-May you will need to join an online presenter webinar. Leading up to the AMC, session presenters will also promote their sessions online.

How do I promote my content?

The AMC will send you a link to your session description after it has been added to the AMC online schedule in May. You can share this link on social media and with your networks. You can also create promotional graphics using the AMC design toolkit. Check our website for the design toolkit due to release in January 2020.

How do I change my session information as a presenter?

If you would like to update your online session description, or change your session time or location, email If you need to cancel your session please email us as soon as possible.

Field trips at AMC

AMC Field Trips are opportunities for AMCers to engage with local community organizations on day-long off-site sessions exploring the historical, cultural, and media-based organizing landscape of Detroit. Field trip content may include panel discussions, skillshares, hands-on media making, and service work. AMC Field Trips are curated by Allied Media Projects in collaboration with a local organization.

How are Field Trips different than tours?

A Field Trip is a day-long off-site session providing AMCers with a more in-depth learning experience in Detroit.
A Tour is a 3-hour off-site experiential learning session


How do I register and how much does it cost?

You can purchase registration online on the AMC website, as well as in-person during the conference at the Wayne State University Student Center.

The AMC offers the following rates:

AMC All-access Standard Rate – $200This is the general registration rate.
AMC All-access Reduced Rate – $100 The reduced rate is intended to make the AMC more accessible to people whose participation we want to prioritize:
Long-time Detroiters (people who have lived in Detroit for more than 10 years)
Low or no-income people
AMC Day Pass – $60A day pass includes access to both day and nighttime activities for one day.
AMC True Cost Rate – $400 If you work for a large institution, who can help cover your registration, we encourage you to select this registration rate, which reflects the true cost of the conference.
AMC Supporter Rate – $600Your support helps subsidize the reduced rate registrations. We will consider the registration amount you pay in excess of $200 as a tax-deductible gift to Allied Media Projects.

Can the AMC support me with registration?

Yes. The AMC provides a limited number of complimentary registrations. We’ll release an application for support March 2020.

What does my registration cover?

Registration includes access to the 300+ hands-on workshops and events that take place during the four days and five nights of the conference. It also includes access to many AMC@Night events.

When is the deadline to register?

There is no deadline to register. You can register online through the last day of the conference and you can also do walk-up registration inside the Wayne State University Student Center.

Can groups register?

We do not offer a separate large group registration rate or process. You can register up to 10 people at one time on the online registration page.

How do I bring a group?

If you’d like to attend the AMC as a group, you can apply to be a delegation. Delegations to the Allied Media Conference are groups who collectively fundraise to get to the conference, roll together during the conference, and reflect on the conference as a group after it’s over. Delegations receive a $500 mini-grant to support the group’s fundraising efforts.

In order to qualify as an officially recognized delegation to the AMC, you must:

  • Have a minimum of 5 participants in your delegation
  • Represent a common identity, practice, issue area, or place
  • Plan to collaboratively fundraise to attend
  • Submit a post-AMC “report back,” including a short video, audio or written summary and links to any media that you created or shared at the conference.

I’m registered, how do I find housing?

The AMC offers on-campus housing as an affordable option for our participants. All participants will need to book their own housing either on-campus or off-campus. Here are the housing options on-campus:

Ghafari HallMost rooms include two extra-long twin size beds, two desks and closets, a private bath, air conditioning, laundry facilities, and a staffed 24-hour reception desk with card access system. Rooms with wheelchair accessible bathroom/showers are available upon request.
Towers Residential SuitesMost rooms are suite-style, containing four private bedrooms with a twin XL bed attached to a shared living space. Included is a private bath per suite, air conditioning, laundry facilities, and a staffed 24-hour reception desk with card access system. Rooms with wheelchair accessible bathrooms/showers are available upon request.

We will release more information regarding housing and hotels in January 2020.

We have compiled a list of hotel options, and community housing resources, to help you get started in your housing search. We suggest reserving your hotel accommodation as early as possible to secure a spot. If you need support, email

I have accessibility needs. Where can I get more info?

When you register for the AMC, please let us know if you have an accessibility need such as ASL interpretation, scent-free space, or wheelchair access. We will do our best to provide in each area.

Please email advance of the conference with specific questions about what we will be able to provide. Learn more about accessibility at the AMC here.

Is there transportation to and from conference events?

If you need a ride from one place to another on campus, the “Unicorn Flight” Golf Cart pick up station is outside the Towers Dorms entrance (at the intersection of Anthony Wayne Dr. and Kirby).

A shuttle will run between the official housing sites and all nighttime events.

We have a wheelchair accessible van that can provide rides to other campus buildings and most off-campus locations. You can request a ride at the Info Desk.

Where does the AMC take place?

The AMC takes place in Detroit at the Wayne State University Student Center and other nearby campus buildings. The conference weekend will also feature several off-campus events at venues in the midtown Detroit area.

The primary location is the Wayne State University Student Center at 5221 Gullen Mall on the campus of Wayne State University.

This is my first time in Detroit, are there suggestions for what to experience outside of the conference?

The AMC offers a wide range of tours that share the history and current developments in Detroit. Tours are included with your registration. Check the online schedule to see what tours are available and how you can sign-up.

Attend & Participate

How can I see what is happening through the conference weekend?

The AMC will post the online schedule of the conference on our website in May. The online schedule includes the most up-to-date information about sessions including session location, day and time, and a detailed description.

What ages can participate in the AMC?

The AMC is for people of all ages! We have programming specifically geared towards kids, as well as childcare during the daytime hours of the conference. Sessions are geared towards learners of all levels including beginning, intermediate, and advanced.

Who can participate in AMC@Night events?

AMC @ Night events are open to all ages. Every year there are sober and kid friendly events to choose from, as well as parties Thursday-Sunday nights.

How can my organization sponsor the AMC?

Learn more about sponsorships opportunities here. If you are interested in supporting the AMC, please contact us at to discuss our various sponsorship packages.

Does the AMC offer interpretation?

The AMC provides interpretation from English-to-Spanish, Spanish-to-English and ASL. Ask a volunteer at the info desk or email if you would like to coordinate interpretation services ahead of the conference.

I’m a vendor. How can I get a table in the exhibition area?

The exhibition area is in the ballroom of the Wayne State Student Center. The ballroom has the capacity to host about 60 tables and has wireless Internet access. Each full table is 6 feet long and the price per table is $125 for the three days of the AMC. Learn more and purchase a table here. Tables sell out every year, so reserve your spot!

Can I document my experience at the AMC? What are the guidelines for capturing photos and videos?

We encourage you to document and share your experiences online through social media and blogging. Tag the @AlliedMediaConf in your posts. Please note that anyone wearing a purple lanyard at the conference does not want to be recorded or photographed.

What resources for community safety does the AMC provide?

The Safety Team is on call daily throughout the AMC from 10:00 AM – 12:00AM. The goal of the Safety Team is to practice transformative justice and to support the emotional health and well-being of our participants.

If you or someone you know experiences a situation of harm or abuse, is trying to negotiate sharing space, or is going through a rough time and needs some support, please text or call the Safety Team at the number listed on the back of your name badge.