Changing Gears

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What We Are: Changing Gears is a public media project that looks at the reinvention of the industrial Midwest. It is a collaboration by WBEZ Chicago, Michigan Radio, and ideastream Cleveland. In news reports, features, documentaries and long-form journalism, Changing Gears is looking at the future of the Great Lakes region. It also hosts public events.

Where We Are: Changing Gears' Web site is On Twitter, follow @ChGears. Changing Gears is also on Facebook.

Who We Are: Senior Editor Micki Maynard; Cleveland reporter Dan Bobkoff; Chicago reporter Niala Boodhoo; Ann Arbor reporter Kate Davidson; Senior Web Producer George Nemeth.


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37 Pieces

Changing Gears explores the economic transformation of the industrial Midwest, through the stories of people driving and experiencing this change.


Caption: This is a view of a brownfield across the street from Exelon City Solar. The plant cleaned up about half the brownfield space in Chicago's 34th Ward.
Long-abandoned factories have scarred the Midwest landscape for generations. Tens of thousands sit vacant across the region, the tally growing by ...

  • Added: Jun 07, 2011
  • Length: 06:27
Caption: Brothers Justin and Derick Jewell, 22 and 24 years old. Justin is a two-tier worker and makes $16 an hour. As a traditional worker, Derick makes $28 an hour.
The American Dream is that each generation will do better than the last. But the families of auto workers no longer have that expectation. As Detro...

  • Added: Jun 07, 2011
  • Length: 06:15
Caption: Behind the register at Moveable Feast Geneva , Credit: Niala Boodhoo
Over the years, the Oprah Winfrey show and its famous host have influenced politics, literacy - and hundreds of small businesses – who have been se...

  • Added: Jun 03, 2011
  • Length: 04:48
Caption: Hard to Count: The Barbara in Southwest Detroit
Imagine trying to prove that thousands of people exist, when you have no idea who they are. That’s the dilemma facing officials who think their co...

Bought by New Hampshire Public Radio

  • Added: Jun 03, 2011
  • Length: 03:55
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Zachariah, left, and Craig Boyd, Saturday morning regulars at Gary Public Libary's main branch. , Credit: Niala Boodhoo
What happens when your local library shuts its doors? That’s a question Midwestern towns from Evanston, Ill., to Troy, Mich., are asking as local l...

  • Added: Jun 03, 2011
  • Length: 04:06
Caption: People line up outside the Dim and Den Sum food truck for gourmet tacos and kimchi mac and cheese.
Food trucks have become all the rage in big cities like L.A., New York, and Boston. They’re transforming the way people think about street food and...

Bought by and New Hampshire Public Radio

  • Added: Jun 03, 2011
  • Length: 03:30
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Sears on State Street, Chicago, Credit: Niala Boodhoo
Sears & Roebuck has been a dominant retailer in the Midwest since it was founded in Chicago almost a 120 years ago. It’s hung on while other brands...

  • Added: Jun 03, 2011
  • Length: 04:02