Imagine that you’re listening to a podcast full of stories from everyone in a neighborhood, now imagine that those stories are set to dope beats, and now imagine that they’re full of poetry, singing, and rapping. Plus, it comes along with a zine full of lyrics, artwork, and pictures. Something like Storycorps, but you can jam to it. That’s the Community Sourced Mixtape Project. We harness the power of media and technology-based arts education to amplify the individual and collective stories of marginalized communities.
For the past two years professional educators Jess Gold and Amos Levy have piloted this project at the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, working with youth (and sometimes moms) who have experienced domestic violence in their homes. The project was so successful that we’re eager to bring our media-making workshops to other communities, creating a larger platform for others to share their stories.
Our workshops consist of poetry writing, beat making, zine creation, song recording, blogging and podcasting. All of the writing and zine making, facilitated by Jess Gold, centers around personal narrative storytelling. Beatmaking and recording is facilitated by Amos Levy, who helps craft the stories into finished songs. Once we have a collection of songs ready, we share them with the world through podcasts and zines. We’re also planning to present all of this work as an art show that features work from sites that we work with all over the city. Although we focus on youth, we’re excited about the potential for bringing this program to other marginalized communities. This summer, we’ll be leading a mixtape camp for youth at Assemble, a community space for art and technology in Garfield, Pittsburgh.
Our goals are empowerment through creative expression and the development of media technology communication skills. We help communities realize the potential of 21st century music making and DIY publishing technologies to create their own content,
Funded by Pittsburgh, PA (August 2016)