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Creating Knowledge Together

Inspired by the tradition of cooperative extension, the Dornsife Center hosts creative, collaborative activities that bring the University’s academic mission of teaching and research together with the interests of neighborhood stakeholders.


Working with the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement and with faculty across the university, during each of Drexel's academic terms we offer Side-by-Side courses that invite neighborhood residents to participate in Drexel courses at no charge. Topics vary widely but have included Philadelphia history and literature, culinary arts, philosophy, sociology, and more. 

Drexel and community students in a Side-by-Side course at the Dornsife Center


The Dornsife Center has hosted local, neighborhood-driven placemaking projects, including the family tile-making workshops that were the heart of the Brandywine Street pocket park re-branding. 


Programs like Writers Room offer a place for both Drexel students and neighborhood residents to create and tell their stories together - through Side-by-Side courses, visiting artists, participation in One Book, One Philadelphia, and focused writing workshops. The Department of Physics brings us The Sky in the City, a monthly public astronomy program that invites participants to view planets and stars through telescopes on the Dornsife Center's lawn, and to talk with Drexel astrophysicists about their science. Drexel's Department of Performing Arts supports our commitment to arts programming with both dance and music performance classes, and the Music Industry department gives residents hands-on experience with the creative technologies behind music production.

A Writers Room participant reads her work for the program's Anthology release event


Programs like the Remix, hosted by the Drexel Black Graduate Student Union, create a forum for members of the Mantua, Powelton Village, and Drexel communities to think together about shared challenges and community concerns. 


We are available to host neighborhood committee meetings, working groups, and other civic functions.