June 3, 2020: Certificate in Documentary Arts Graduates Present Final Projects in Online Event

A screenshot of the class Zoom call featuring Anthony Patterson, Rosa Tobin, and Randy Benson.

Welcome to the Virtual Celebration and Graduate Presentation for the Certificate in Documentary Arts, earned at the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) at Duke University. Typically an in-person event, this is a moment to celebrate the brilliance and perseverance of our graduates as they head into the world as documentary change agents with all knowledge of the power and fervor of their voices in the world.

CDS is proud to recognize Anthony I. Patterson (he/him) and Rosa Tobin (she/her), graduates of its continuing education program, CDS Courses. The artists will receive a Certificate in Documentary Arts and present their final projects to the public in an online ceremony on June 3.

Working in one or more documentary mediums—photography, filmmaking, writing, audio, among others—CDS Certificate in Documentary Arts students complete a program of study and finish a substantial documentary work in a Final Project Seminar, projects that often move out into the world in the form of exhibits, installations, screenings, websites, audio features, and more.

Wednesday, June 3, 7–8 p.m.: Using this link, please join Anthony I. Patterson and Rosa Tobin to celebrate their accomplishments as 2020 CDS Certificate in Documentary Arts graduates and experience their work; read more about the artists and their final projects below.

We normally provide a physical booklet handout for graduates and attendees. We wanted to continue to provide this handout for folks, so we've made it available digitally. VIEW THE GRAD BOOKLET PDF HERE.

Anthony Patterson / Artist Statement

I’m from the Crest Street Community. We are a small, yet powerful, historically black neighborhood on the west side of Durham, North Carolina. We have an incredible story: We are still here after resisting the pressure to relocate due to Durham’s East-West Expressway construction in the 1970s. During this period of Urban Renewal, or as James Baldwin coined it, “Negro Removal,” black families were displaced and shuffled throughout cities across America. Their homes...gone. Their communities...memories; buried underneath some government building or a parking lot. Just as in other cities, Durham was plagued with patterns of discriminatory practices on public projects. Failures to provide fair housing for uprooted residents severed the trust of black citizens and city officials. Tension saturated the air, especially after Hayti, Durham’s largest and very influential black community, was swallowed whole by the East-West Expressway. And like Hayti, many black areas were effectively erased from city maps. But in 1975, with a pause in construction for the East-West Expressway, Rev. Lowery Reid and my grandfather, Willie Patterson of Crest Street, led the “Save Our Church and Community” movement. Unlike Hayti, Crest Street was able to rally support for a realigned expressway, maintain community cohesion, and allocate funding for a new, improved neighborhood within its original borders. All while fighting the government at all levels—local, state, and federal. This movement not only preserved our community, but also cemented us in history with an impact that is still felt decades later.

Here for a Reason, a collaborative documentary with experimental filmmaker Devon Smith and documentary artist Anthony Patterson, will be a portrait of the Crest Street Community. With a combination of interviews, artwork, and archival media, this film will capture stories of growing up in this beautiful neighborhood and also reveal the historical significance of a place you’ve probably never heard of. Here for a Reason will highlight the importance of intergenerational dialogue in order to keep history alive.

A photo of Anthony PattersonAnthony Patterson is a Durham-based documentary artist interested in uncovering hidden or forgotten stories throughout history. His work is rooted in painting, but spans across multiple mediums including installation, storytelling, and photography. In addition to exhibitions and residencies throughout North Carolina, Anthony has: taught small classes, led workshops, participated in panel discussions, and co-curated in partnership with the Black on Black Project.






Rosa Tobin / Artist Statement

 A Practice in Tenderness is an online installation exploring the embodied nature of material objects. These letters coupled with soundscapes create space for challenging the idea that objects are static or passive by providing access points through sound for the viewer to more tangibly attune to their bodily engagement with objects. 

A photo of Rosa TobinRosa Tobin is a sound artist and documentarian pulled toward exploring space and place, and the bodies that are entangled with/in them. She is currently based in Lansing, Michigan, pursuing an MA in Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing at Michigan State University.