Old residents, new residents, developers, artists and more were just some of the people interviewed to create The Mill Creek Documentary: Past, Present, and Future, a new documentary created through a partnership between the Mill Creek Community Partnership and Eli Lu Productions.

The documentary serves as a bridge that seeks to connect the past to the current revitalization effort in the neighborhood. MCCP was founded in 2004 to serve as a catalyst for innovative, economic and community development, and to connect artists to the neighborhood, bordered by 44th and 52nd, and Market and Girard. The neighborhood is named after Mill Creek, which was buried at the end of the 19th century.

Burying Mill Creek

“We wanted to do it in a way where it shows how the community was revitalized,” said Cassandra Green, president and co-founder of MCCP. Part of that motive includes “making sure legacies aren’t forgotten.”

A grant from the Preservation Alliance helped fund the project, which is part of MCCP’s Artists Initiative. Eli Lu Productions is the company of sisters Eli and Lu Bevins. Coincidentally, the sisters were involved in MCCP’s first Artists’ Initiative in 2005 called Fine Art Through Our Eyes. MCCP’s current artists’ initiative has grown out of that original workshop.

“We thought it would be a good vehicle to bring the community together,” said Green.

The old Mill Creek Social Club. Image grabbed from documentary trailer.

So do we. We think it would be a charming idea if there were similar documentaries created by neighborhood groups across the city. Sounds like there could be an idea for a large project here. For now though, we offer kudos to the folks at MCCP and Eli Lu Productions for this innovative approach to documenting neighborhood history and hopes for the neighborhood’s future.

The movie premiered in late December, and there will hopefully be additional screenings soon. To see the trailer for the documentary, click here.