What can non-professional production and small audiences offer that nation-wide television can't?
Social change. 1
Minneapolis was a hub for Midwestern interest in video, proving that video activism was not solely a bicoastal phenomenon. 2 The people who flocked to video in the late '60s in Minneapolis were more likely to be drawn by its utility as a social change agent than by its potential as a medium for artistic expression. This was due as much to a legacy of Midwestern populism and progressive values as it was to the zeitgeist. Thus the three young men who joined forces to create University Community Video were '60s students already using video as a tool for community activism. In 1971, Stephen Kulczycki--a University of Minnesota journalism and television student influenced by the Challenge for Change ideal--went to work for the American Friends Service Committee using video as a vehicle for community organizing. Ron McCoy, a Minneapolis College of Art and Design graduate, joined the staff of the Model Cities' Communications Center, where he used video in citizen participation projects. And Miles Mogalescu was hired by the University of Minnesota in 1972 as the video access coordinator for the West Bank Student Union's storefront community center. 3
The University of Minnesota was largely a commuter school with 40,000 students and three student unions dating back to the '30s. In 1972 the student government set up three nonprofit corporations, an attempt by the relatively weak body to generate income and interest. Ron McCoy was hired as Coordinator of the University Student Telecommunications Corporation (USTC), responsible for developing a radio station, investigating cable television, and programming the