An urban education model that responds to the crisis in community participation and political representation by circulating different ways of thinking and making


Mixing on the Mile

A project engaging voices from a neighborhood in transition through interviews and conversations with students and residents

Fields of Knowledge
  • Comm. Development
  • Memory
  • Public culture

Organizing Institutions

Slought, People's Emergency Center, and Village Amp


Jeannine Cook, Anastasia Colzie, Aaron Levy


Brittney Jackson, Kalasia Irvin, Jayla Green, Jonisha Roseborough, Jahnet Williams, Tysheera Robinson, Francis King-Harvey, Julie Louineus


Jaron Burnett, William Curry

Process initiated


Opens to public





Mixplace Studio
4017 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104


50% Formal - 50% Informal

Mixplace Studio is pleased to announce "Mixing on the Mile," a project engaging voices from a neighborhood in transition through interviews and conversations with students and residents. Join us for a cookout celebrating the launch of the project on June 11, 2016 from 12-3:30pm at 38th and Lancaster Ave in West Philadelphia. Live music, free barbecue, and games and activities for youth of all ages will be provided.

The cookout has been organized by youth from People's Emergency Center's Teen Technology Network program, who have spent the Spring 2016 semester at Slought engaging West Philadelphia residents and students in conversation. Through over one hundred interviews, these "digital organizers" have generated a sound recording that seeks to convey the lived sense of a neighborhood in transition. This work built upon the understanding that an interpersonal divide exists between residents and students that has resulted in distrust and division. The digital organizers sought to create an alternative space for open discussion and reflection about the politics of community development and the possibility of a broader sense of community.

Looking to music as a practice of listening, the digital organizers collaborated with conversants as well as musician Jaron Burnett to explore voice and sound as unifying devices. They intertwined perspectives from individuals and groups that they interviewed along ten blocks in West Philadelphia that extend from 40th and Walnut Street to 40th and Brown Street. The blending and mixing of these voices, and the overlap of their thoughts and ideas, creates an acoustic mapping of tensions and aspirations in West Philadelphia. Through this effort, we become aware of the possibilities and complexities of learning and connecting across boundaries.

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About the Linear Mile

Our project focused on ten blocks in West Philadelphia that extend from 40th and Walnut Street to 40th and Brown Street that we refer to as "the linear mile." We understand the uneven distribution of economic opportunity, institutional access, and social relations along these ten blocks as a metaphor for the divisions that define Philadelphia.

More than just a spatial concept, this "linear mile" is a psychological device and a visual tool that focuses our attention on questions of equality and co-existence. We hope our attentiveness to these questions fosters community participation and political representation on the linear mile and beyond.

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About our Curriculum

Mixplace Studio is a process-based learning environment that balances structured and unstructured learning through facilitated conversation and collaboration. A primary goal of the studio is for participants to develop a sense of social agency, interpersonal trust, and digital literacy.

Our activities are guided by the creation of social contracts, which are short films that articulate mutual responsibilities and expectations among the various individuals and institutions involved. The curriculum is designed in the form of a menu. Our focus this year is on the people, issues and places of West Philadelphia.

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"In the course of events and life stories, in the ups and downs of individuals and communities entangled in scarcity, ethnographers can apprehend larger systems falling apart or in the making and engage the local knowledge that comes with being governed in this or that way or not at all."

-- João Biehl, Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment, 2005