Ball State’s Institute for Digital Education and Entertainment and the Center for Middletown Studies jointly produced Changing Gears, a feature-length documentary film about the 2009 closing of Muncie’s century-old Warner Gear auto parts plant and the loss of industry in the city.

A bookend for the original Middletown research into the impact of industrialization, the film explores the meaning and significance of deindustrialization by examining the experiences of the plant’s workers and the community. In doing so, the project touches on several parts of the center’s agenda. It documents the experience of deindustrialization in rich fashion, it creates and exploits digital resources connected with Middletown research, and it provided a group of Ball State students with a unique immersive learning experience. Fifteen students participated in the filming, editing, writing, and historical research connected with the film, which aired on PBS stations throughout the United States. View the film. To order a copy, contact the Center for Middletown Studies at 765-285-8037.