To support the next generation of storytellers and our work at the Center for Documentary Studies, CDS is launching a Young Affiliates Network (approximate ages 21–40) for alumni and friends in the CDS community interested in staying engaged and giving back.
Benefits of Young Affiliates Network (YAN) Membership:
- Three videoconference calls a year with CDS director Wesley Hogan and guest artists
- A safe space to discuss contemporary social issues peer to peer and hear new perspectives; topics will also be examined through a documentary lens
- Connect with fellow YAN members across the country; optional collaborative doc project
- Crowdsource ideas, collaborators, and resources for your own projects
- Hear firsthand updates and provide vital input and feedback on the activities of CDS
- Doc Club: monthly recommendations of exciting new documentary artists/work to view/discuss
- Annual YAN event in Durham (during a prominent Duke event such as Alumni Weekend)
- Invitation to CDS events in other cities (e.g., New York, L.A.)
- Special recognition on CDS website
- Weekly CDS eblasts
YAN Members Commit to:
- Making an annual contribution to the Center for Documentary Studies; suggested amounts:
- 0–5 years out of undergraduate, please consider a gift starting at $50–$100
- 5–10 years out of undergraduate, please consider a gift starting at $100–$250
- 10+ years out of undergraduate, please consider a gift starting at $250–$500
- Gifts can be paid in installments
- Annual donors of $250+ are also eligible to receive CDS Circle benefits
- Hosting or cohosting at least one YAN gathering per year in your city, or inviting friends to local events featuring CDS work
- In order to: build stronger community among young CDS affiliates, infuse CDS with new ideas and contacts, facilitate a stronger national network of documentary artists and audiences, and identify new potential CDS supporters
- Program/content for your event(s) will be supported by CDS
- Attendance/YAN membership is open to all – being a Duke alum and/or a working artist is not required
- Being a champion for CDS – share our work with others and get them excited about the Center
Testimonial from YAN Chair Kevin Tolson
Unlike most Duke students, I heard about "The Center" before I stepped onto campus. On my first day of classes, I found a work study job at CDS. Little did I know, I found more than a work study role that day — it was the start of building a second home. It has been more than ten years, and since then I have been able to expand my knowledge across documentary mediums: film, audio, documentary writing, and photography. I have been involved in countless community building programs, from painting murals for the Face Up Project, to assisting community activist Brother Ray in his documentary work around Hurricane Katrina. I could fill many pages with how grateful I am to have found the Center for Documentary Studies. It is a special place that made a kid from Baltimore feel a little more at home in a new city. I am proud to have graduated with distinction with my Certificate in Documentary Studies, to have been involved in the local Durham community, but most importantly, to have a built a lasting relationship with the quality people that work there.
I am no longer the 18-year-old kid that found his way to CDS so many years ago. I am well into my corporate career as a Brand Manager, still using the same skills of documentary and storytelling. I am a proud CDS Board Member, honored to have the chance to bring the excitement of documentary to other young people who love the medium. Beyond all those things, I am recently engaged and, as you might expect, I proposed in the very place I wandered to 10 years ago—the Center for Documentary Studies.
Testimony from YAN Member Rebekah Fergusson
My first experience with CDS was in front of the camera as a subject in a documentary by my Duke Soccer teammate, Gwendolyn Oxenham. When I saw the final film, I was amazed by how much of our inner world — as single-minded, competitive soccer players — she was able to capture. I started signing up for classes at CDS, and eventually landed in Gary Hawkins' film classes. Sports, at that time, were my life, and immediately became my focus as a student filmmaker. I made films about an overly competitive youth basketball coach, a residential dojo in Durham, and a film about what happens when competitive college athletes graduate and are supposed to "move on."
After graduation, I teamed up with fellow CDS and Duke graduates Gwendolyn Oxenham and Ryan White to direct Pelada, a documentary about street soccer around the world. I continued to work with Ryan as a co-producer and camera person on his HBO documentary, The Case Against 8. Most recently, I produced a short documentary for Amazon called The Hell-Raiser with directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman.
I'm based in Berkeley, CA, surrounded by a great community of strong, independent documentarians. I continue to develop new projects with filmmakers in my area, but I always look forward to trips back to Durham and to CDS.