Duke University and the Center for Documentary Studies aspire to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values. The CDS community is committed to sharing values of diversity and inclusion to achieve and sustain excellence. CDS is committed to fostering a diverse educational environment and encourages applications from members of underrepresented groups. Duke University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.
The Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) is both an educational center and a creative catalyst supporting documentary artists in any medium—photography, writing, audio, film/video, and experimental and new media. In all of its work, CDS is invested in how documentary stories engage and transform individuals, communities, and society at large.
Central to the future direction of the Center for Documentary Studies, the DocX initiative builds on CDS’s broad educational base—and its emphasis on all mediums, with production and presentation as integral components—to connect and work with documentary artists on their projects, particularly with makers of color. The DocX initiative is a strategic, multi-year commitment to extend the reach and capacity of CDS, a broad organizational endeavor focused on meeting the needs of diverse documentary artists today and into the future.
Consistent with the CDS mission and strategic priorities, the DocX Director will shape and lead a program focused on teaching, using, and sharing documentary tools in ways that center inclusive, equitable, and diverse experiences and perspectives—mindful of justly navigating the power dynamics inherent in doing documentary work and of increasing access to documentary resources for underrepresented groups and individuals.
The DocX Director will serve in a senior leadership position, developing synergies with all CDS programs, including courses, awards, exhibitions, publishing, podcasting, and the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, to develop and offer artist residencies, workshops, presentations, and opportunities for funding, critique, and mentoring for artists who connect with CDS. The DocX Director will build synergies between the expertise and offerings of CDS / Duke University and the broader documentary field, to expand CDS’s relevance to and support for documentary artists as they engage in creation, production, presentation, distribution, and archiving of their work.
In addition to working with the CDS leadership team on strategic planning for DocX, the DocX Director will be involved in building resources, both financial and human capacity, for the initiative. The DocX Director will also plan and manage programming under the DocX umbrella, working in coordination with CDS staff and faculty, and others on campus and in the CDS community, to grow a vibrant network of engaged mentors and creative partners who interact with DocX artists to realize their goals.
The DocX Director reports to the Director of the Center for Documentary Studies. The ideal candidate for the DocX Director position will have:
- Documentary production experience
- Experience working effectively with individuals from diverse communities and cultures
- Connections and networks in the professional documentary world
- Organizational and management experience
- Teaching and/or mentoring experience
- Experience raising funds
Direct the overall conceptualizing and shaping of DocX activities, including working with current CDS programs that support documentary artists and their directors (awards, publishing, exhibitions, continuing education, film festival) to build out such offerings as workshops and critique sessions for emerging and mid-career documentary artists, artist residencies, works-in-progress presentations, mentorships, and more. Ensure that these activities advance the overall CDS mission as well as organizational goals and priorities set by the CDS Director. Ensure that DocX programming meshes well with other programming offered by the organization.
Provide leadership for and actively engage in DocX programming activities; contribute creative and professional expertise through participation in DocX offerings.
Collaborate with CDS leadership, faculty, and staff to envision and shape programming accessible to and supportive of diverse documentary makers, in response to their needs.
Direct and ensure smooth programming logistics, ranging from artist travel and lodging to space and technology needs; work with staff to execute programming with consistent attention to detail, quality of experience, and appropriate follow-up.
In tandem with the CDS Director and other CDS faculty and staff, build cross-campus teams to engage with DocX artists, matching their project needs with specific expertise available at Duke University and other local universities.
Engage in outreach and relationship building with other organizations in the region, across the U.S., and abroad to cultivate and grow synergies for DocX activities and for diverse artists more broadly.
Work with the CDS Communications Director to publicize and market DocX programming in regional, national, and international campaigns, including messaging and materials.
Work closely with the CDS Director and the CDS Development Director to devise and execute successful strategies for building funding for DocX, to support and grow staff and programming resources. These duties include assisting with grant writing and making foundation, corporation, and donor visits.
Write and share DocX program reports on a regular basis; devise and track DocX metrics, quantitative and qualitative, to demonstrate impact; direct and manage the DocX budget and finances to set and meet projections; work with the CDS business office to oversee and track monthly DocX expenditures and to keep spending within budgeted limits.
Work requires communications, analytical, and organizational skills generally acquired through completion of a Bachelor’s degree program.
Work requires the ability to plan and administer programs and to direct program activities within a specific professional arts and/or arts education space, generally acquired through 5 years of experience. Demonstrated experience working with diverse communities and building successful relationships essential. Demonstrated experience managing a team and multifaceted operations also essential. Experience with providing leadership in organizational change highly desired.
Ability to think creatively and strategically; outstanding collaboration and team-building skills; excellent communications skills, including interpersonal and cross-cultural communication; demonstrated skill in conflict resolution and problem-solving.
Candidates must demonstrate successful project management experience, including meeting numerous deadlines and objectives and managing multiple concurrent projects with limited resources. Need experience and comfort in interacting with people from a variety of different communities, age groups, and professional backgrounds. Required technical skills include proficiency with Word, PowerPoint, and Excel as well as familiarity with technology and software used in documentary production.
Must have a strong work ethic and be able to work in a fast-paced, results-oriented team environment. Ability to work evenings, weekends, and travel as needed. Creativity, adaptability, diplomatic skills, and sense of humor needed to be successful in this job.
Duke University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.
Two (2) steps are necessary. Please note applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
- Send cover letter, resume, and three references to email@example.com or to the mailing address below. (References will not be called without the candidate’s knowledge).
DocX Director Search
Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University
1317 West Pettigrew Street
Durham, NC 27705
2. Go to the Duke University jobs site https://careers.duke.edu and follow the instructions to submit an application for the following requisition number: 30161