Mixing It Up is a 60-minute documentary on the demolition of Chicago’s most iconic public housing project, Cabrini Green, and the subsequent gentrification of the Near North neighborhood in which it is located. This demolition is central to Chicago’s massive plan to tear down over 25,000 public housing units across the city as part of a nationwide trend to transform ‘the projects’ into economically and racially mixed-income neighborhoods. Critics contend that the motivation for these demolitions is economic gain, as the prime real estate on which public housing is located has become too valuable for low-income Black communities to live there.
Mixing It Up gives voice to this historic neighborhood transformation through the personal stories of three African-American characters: Mark Pratt relocated his family from Cabrini to Chicago's South Side; Londa Gray is the first Cabrini resident to move into the North Town Village (NTV) mixed-income community; and Raymond McDonald is a teenager who still lives at Cabrini. The film follows the redevelopment story over a fifteen-year period as families struggle with the impact of social policy on their community. By putting faces to the story of Cabrini Green, the film provides a lens for analyzing the larger picture of economic and racial injustice.
Mixing It Up follows the story begun in Ronit Bezalel’s Voices of Cabrini: Remaking Chicago's Public Housing (1999), a film chronicling the initial demolition of Cabrini Green from the perspectives of residents, community activists and local business owners.