The People’s Media Record was created by the Movement Alliance Project in 2017 as an extension of the belief “that movements begin with the telling of untold stories.” From its founding in 2005 through 2020, the Movement Alliance Project (formerly known as the Media Mobilizing Project) trained hundreds of community journalists in video production and grassroots communication strategies in order to foster unity and build political engagement among primarily poor and working people of color in Philadelphia, including high school students, activists, teachers, nurses, taxi drivers, service workers, artists, and organizers. The invaluable footage that resulted from this work tells a unique story of activism and organizing in Philadelphia. To preserve this work, which spans nearly two decades, a small team came together to create the People’s Media Record. 

More recently we have focused on developing our metadata workflows and began to work on improving our ability to automate these processes with the assistance of a LEADING Data Science Fellow. Since 2017, the Record has cataloged over 22,000 individual records, equivalent to over 1800 hours of raw footage.

When People’s Media Record started we understood that other community organizations were facing similar challenges in the preservation of audiovisual materials, from storage to access. This year (2022) we are working with Scribe Video Center and Philadelphia Community Access Media on the Philadelphia Audiovisual Collections Evaluation (PACE) to better understand the state of archiving and preservation among local community media collections. This assessment will guide us moving forward so that we can build better and stronger resources for archiving community media. 

Who We Are

Helyx Chase Scearce Horwitz – Interim Director

In 2017, Helyx began work on what is now named the People’s Media Record as part of their role as Tech Manager at Movement Alliance Project (then the Media Mobilizing Project). Since 2017, the Record has engaged dozens of volunteers, and more recently its own small staff to catalog thousands of hours of raw media. In their spare time, Helyx creates video art by, about, and for televisions and computers. They have worked in a variety of non-fiction video formats including documentaries, experimental narratives, multi-channel installation, archival video, and oral history production. Helyx holds a Bachelor of Arts from Hampshire College where they studied Video, Education, and Critical Theory. In March 2020, Helyx completed a Masters of Science in Information at Drexel University with a dual major in Library and Information Science and Digital Content Management. In 2019 they received the Universal Studios Preservation Scholarship from the Association of Moving Image Archivists.

Khalila Chaar-Pérez – Digital Archivist

Khalila began with People’s Media Record as a LEADING fellow in the summer of 2021, focusing on the development of workflows for the creation and refinement of descriptive metadata for the archive’s assets. As a Collections Assessment Associate, she continues to assist with the management of PMR’s collections while helping lead our current effort to assess the preservation needs of Philadelphia’s community media archives through a design justice framework that seeks to center and empower our communities. As a native of Puerto Rico who has taught and researched Caribbean cultures for many years, Khalila is interested in liberatory approaches to information literacy and how oppressed communities can harness the power of data–both big and small–to their own ends. Khalila holds a PhD in Latin American Literatures and Cultures from New York University and a Masters in Library Science and Information from the University of Pittsburgh. 

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