Lewis Hine Documentary Fellow 2006-2007
Though she was born and raised in Lawrence, Kansas, Libby Conn quickly fell in love with her adopted home of North Carolina while studying as an undergraduate at the Center for Documentary Studies. At CDS, Libby was encouraged to explore her new community by undertaking various documentary projects. Working over the course of four years with photography, video, writing, and audio, she collaborated with many individuals to explore such topics as health care for the disabled homeless, the death penalty’s impact on family, local reactions to the invasion of Iraq, young mothers transitioning from welfare to work, evolving traditions in African American quilting, and voting practices in rural North Carolina.
In the summer of 2003, with help from the John Hope Franklin Student Documentary Awards program at CDS, Libby had the opportunity to live in the Mississippi Delta, where she worked for a summer youth program as a counselor and oral history teacher. She and fellow Duke student Laura Tobolowsky worked to produce The Sunflower County Freedom Project, a film about the students they met there.
After graduating from Duke University in 2004, Libby worked in Washington, D.C., as a production coordinator for York Zimmerman Inc, a documentary film production company dedicated to making films about people and ideas that change the world. As a Lewis Hine Fellow, Libby worked with Project Hope in Boston to document the transformation that young women at risk of homelessness experience when they get involved with the organization’s programs.