The 18th International Youth Media Summit

was held in the beautiful city of La Crosse, Wisconsin, situated on the banks of the iconic Mississippi River from July 24 to August 6, 2023.

Eagle Hall at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (UWL) became our home base, but our delegates also spent a lot of time with the warm and gracious citizens of La Crosse. Five public events were held:

  • IYMS 2023 Opening Ceremony at the UWL Student Union Theatre
  • IYMS Talent Show at the Pump House Community Arts Center
  • Three events at the historic Rivoli Theatre
    • Screening of the IYMS Films co-production of the Pakistani feature film, JOHN
    • Screening of episodes from our webseries, SANATIONE – including two episodes filmed in La Crosse
    • The IYMS 2023 Closing Night Ceremony

51 delegates from 21 countries worked in person in La Crosse, while another 17 special envoys from 12 countries collaborated over the internet with their issue groups.

During the Summit, the delegates produced seven short films which addressed seven urgent social issues. These productions also demonstrated the power and joy that can result from collaborating across borders.

Tuesday, July 25

18th IYMS – Opening Ceremony

7:30pm – 9:30pm
UWL Student Union Theatre, 521 East Avenue N
Help us give our delegates from over 20 countries a warm welcome to La Crosse as we kick off the 2023 Summit. La Crosse musicians will provide music during the Ceremony and for the Post-Ceremony dance party, open to all attendees.

Special guests will include:

  • Wisconsin State Senator Brad Pfaff
  • Carol Abrahamzon, Executive Director of the Mississippi Valley Conservancy
  • Keynote Address by IYMS delegate Arman from Afghanistan. A story of courage, determination and community support after the fall of Kabul in 2021.

Ticket requests to:

Friday, July 28

Talent Show

Doors open 7:00pm, show starts at 7:30pm
Pump House Regional Arts Center, 119 King St

Our delegates share their cultures through music, dance and art. A beloved Summit tradition, shared with a public audience for the first time.

Come around the world with us! Our delegates will share their cultures through music, dance and spoken word performances.  La Crosse will be the first community ever invited to share in this beloved Summit tradition. 

Ticket requests to:

Sunday, July 30

Screening of the Feature Film JOHN
An IYMS Films Co-production
Q&A with writer/director Babar Ali

Doors open 7:30pm, show starts at 8:00pm
Rivoli Theatre, 117 4th St N

Pakistani Writer/Director Ali grew up surrounded by the effects of violence and has made it his personal and artistic mission to see that other young people can be spared that trauma. He says, “JOHN is my attempt to understand what it takes for a human to take the life of another human being. Perhaps we can bring a change if we can understand it.” The film just opened in Pakistan to rave reviews! “Brilliant cinematic style…immersive storytelling… Pakistani cinema taken to the next level!”
(not suitable for young children)

For Free Tickets:

Thursday, August 3

Screening of select SANATIONE Episodes
With filmmakers from La Crosse & around the world

Doors open 7:30pm, show starts at 8:00pm
Rivoli Theatre, 117 4th St N

In March 2020, when the world entered crisis mode, a group of filmmakers across the globe grabbed their cameras. They captured everything – isolation, coping, kindness and joy.  Join us to watch selected episodes, several of which were filmed in La Crosse!

For Free Tickets:

Friday, August 4

La Crosse Queen Cruise

Assemble at 9:45am
Cruise 10:00am – 12:00pm
405 E. Veterans Memorial Dr.

Join our Summit delegates on the La Crosse Queen Cruise as they experience sailing down an American icon – the fabled Mississippi. The ultimate La Crosse Summit photo op! (Seating limited – first come, first served)

Ticket requests to:

Saturday, August 5

Closing Ceremony and Screening of Completed Films

Doors open 7:30pm, show starts at 8:00pm
Rivoli Theatre, 117 4th St N

This is it – the big Summit finale. The delegates will screen their seven short films, filmed around La Crosse and produced in two short weeks. Celegrate with them. And be among the first to see: “2024 – The Big Reveal” and discover the location of next year’s Summit!

For free tickets: