Documentary Diversity Project

Boys Hospital Lane, Nassau Bahamas, 2015. Photograph by Tamika Galanis, inaugural post-MFA Fellow in CDS’s Documentary Diversity Project. 

“One of our priorities is to diversify the nonfiction storytellers of this country, so that in twenty years’ time they will more accurately reflect who we are, and the astonishing range of experiences and backgrounds of Americans living in a global world.”
—Center for Documentary Studies director Wesley Hogan

Who gets to tell the stories that shape our world view?

The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University (CDS) is creating a more inclusive answer to that question with the Documentary Diversity Project (DDP). The three-year pilot program builds pathways for more people of color to become nonfiction filmmakers, audio producers, photographers, writers, and new media artists. DDP participants, working closely with CDS faculty, staff, and visiting artists, expand their skills and portfolios during extended residencies that pay a living wage. Both the Post-MFA Fellows in the Documentary Arts as well as the Emerging Documentary Artists—18-24 year olds from Durham who are not in school full-time or employed full-time—access the resources of the university while also engaging with undergraduates in the classroom and in fieldwork projects.  

“Offering these longer-term opportunities meeting living-wage standards means overcoming family and individual resource restrictions, a fundamental reason many emerging, underrepresented artists of color cannot enter—or eventually drop out of—the field.”
—DDP program coordinator William Page

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization affiliated with Duke University, CDS relies on the support of individual donors to carry out our mission and strategic priorities, including the Documentary Diversity Project. Make a tax-deductible donation to CDS today to keep all of our programs strong!

Questions about supporting the DDP? Contact CDS Development Director Mike Gulley: (919) 660-3699 or Michael.Gulley@duke.edu