Sunday, June 08, 2008

Next Generation Durham Project

The Next Generation Durham Project is a series of audio reflections about Durham’s growth and development from a teen perspective. We felt it was important to explore how Durham is changing because as future leaders we are the ones who will have to deal with both the positive and negative ramifications of decisions made today about Durham’s growth and development.

Over the course of the 2007/2008 academic year we met with community members who share our interest in Durham’s development. We talked to bloggers, environmentalists, community activists, city councilors, and private and community developers. We looked at how the local press has been covering the issue and watched documentaries about development to get a sense of how other communities have dealt with issues like gentrification and displacement.

We’ve created a series of audio reflections in the form of song, poem and documentary about where Durham’s been and where we might be headed. The work talks about where Durham has been, where it's headed and what we want to see included in the discussion about how Durham should develop. This work originally aired on WXDU 88.7 FM

We’d like to thank everyone who agreed to be interviewed for the project and the guest speakers who helped us learn about development in Durham.

This project would not have been possible without the support of The City of Durham and The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

Please take a listen and let us know what you think of the work.

Quality Products Quality People by Anya Sippen

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My name is Anya Hope Sippen. I've been studying audio production for several years with Youth Noise Network. "Quality Products, Quality People" is definitely one of my favorite pieces of the small collection I've produced. The piece is a poem that touches on a couple of different topics surrounding development in Durham.
It talks specifically about the impact urban renewal and the construction of Highway 147 had on the Hayti neighborhood, an African-American community located just south of downtown Durham. The piece also talks about the struggles faced by businesses on Parrish Street, known as "Black Wall Street" for its role as the heart of African-American commerce throughout the South East.

The title of the piece comes from an old sign that used to hang over the old tobacco warehouses downtown. It was a pretty big shock to me when developers tore the historic landmark down in the process of turning the warehouses into loft apartments. I was inspired to write a poem and then alter make this piece. I hope you enjoy it!

Supporting Local Business by Martin Krzywy

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My name is Martin Krzywy. I joined YNN last October, and am a rising freshman at Riverside High School. Before I joined, I attended the “Speak Up and Make Some Noise” workshop on audio documentaries. I decided to join YNN because I was interested in finding a new media in which to express myself. This piece, the first of many I hope to create during my time at YNN, deals with the subject of local businesses and chain stores. It tells of my experience growing up with local businesses in Durham, as well as my personal opinion and the story behind my featured interviews with Tom Campbell of the Regulator Bookshop and Paul McKenna of Offbeat Music. I was inspired to produce this piece because I feel that local businesses are one of few things that retain a community’s unique character in a prepackaged world; and by supporting these entrepreneurs, we keep our money in our area and help our city and state.

On the day that I broadcasted my piece, I also had the chance to interview Frank Hyman, a former City Council member and owner of landscaping/design/build company Cottage Garden Landscaping. He talked about his own experience with local businesses, including how he worked to help them while on City Council, as well as the great benefits that come from shopping at local businesses.

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Garrett Farms by Cameron DuBois

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My name is Cameron DuBois, and I am fifteen years old. I live in Southwest Durham, and during this past year the area surrounding my neighborhood has been dramatically changed by development; new subdivisions are popping up everywhere. One place that is being lost during this change is the historic Garrett farmhouse, which has been standing for almost eighty years. The house and the land around it are soon to be replaced by a 300-unit apartment complex.

A group of neighborhood people organized to fight the development, and I wanted to find out about them, and how they were going about it. I interviewed Claire Jentsch, one of the founders of the group, to find out about her views and about the effects that this new complex would have on our area. We discussed the plans for development and the negative impact she thought that the new apartments would have on nearby communities, as well as planning and development in Durham overall.

Sounds of Durham by Josiah Sage

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My name is Josiah Sage. I am a graduating senior at Durham School of the Arts. I plan to attend Winthrop University and get a BA in both music and communications.

I have been in YNN for only one year. This piece is my part of the Next Generation Durham Project. The goal of the project is to show how Durham is developing through a radio piece. I chose to make a beat using sounds that I collected throughout downtown Durham. The beat consists of 4 different parts which is meant to show the diversity of downtown Durham. The sounds are laid under the beat to create what I am calling “Developmental Music”. I encourage you to listen to it all and please give me feedback.

Impact of Development on the Environment by Kiah Green

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My name is Kiah Green and I am Durham, NC born and raised. At age 17, I am a junior-almost-senior at Hillside High School, as well as a producer for the Youth Noise Network. I love art, music, writing, and all things creative, and I confess to being something of a tech geek. Even though art and technology are a huge part of my life, I can’t ever lose passion for the things I loved as a kid, before I learned the joys of guitars, expensive markers, and pushing buttons: nature and animals. I wrote and recorded my Next Generation Durham piece on the environment with that sentiment in mind, going back to the way I thought of South Point Mall’s construction when it happened and combining that view with a(n) (un)healthy dosage of my personality. The result was a playful audio fairytale, minus the happy ending.

I also did a show about the impact of development on the environment.

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Thanks for listening!

Durham Skateboarding by Che Nembhard

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Hey my name is William Che Nembhard, but my friends and acquaintances just call me Che. I am 16 years old and attend Jordan High School. I am an avid skateboarder, and a music and sneaker lover. I’ve been doing YNN since January-ish and I like it lot and am proud to be a part of the program.

I chose to do a peace on BULL CITY (Durham) skateboarding because the true voice of the average skater has gone unheard in Durham. The piece, just like the average skater, is hectic and slightly abstract, but I wouldn't rather have it any other way. I’m proud of it and I hope you enjoy it too ;).

Youth Noise Network Celebrates Successful Year!

Come join the Youth Noise Network in celebrating a successful year and the completion of the Next Generation Durham Project, the WD Hill Broadcasting Project and the Durham School of the Arts Audio Review Project.

Listen to a selection of Youth Noise Network audio pieces followed by a reception.

Everyone is welcome!

Wednesday, June 11th
Center of Documentary Studies | Auditorium
1317 W. Pettigrew St.
Durham, NC 27701

For more information please contact Tennessee Watson. 919.660.3696 |

Hope to see you there!

Tennessee Watson and the Youth Noise Network Crew

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Speak Up and Make Some Noise: A Radio Workshop for Durham Teens
September 29, 2007 (Section 1)
October 6, 2007 (Section 2)

Get involved—Speak Up and Make Some Noise

The Center for Documentary Studies and Youth Noise Network present an intensive one-day immersion into documentary storytelling and radio production. This workshop is offered exclusively for teenagers (ages 13–18) living in Durham County.

This workshop is mandatory for teens applying to participate in YNN. If you aren't interested in joining YNN, you are still welcome to apply to attend the workshop.

You'll learn hands-on skills in recording and digital audio editing; practice the art of storytelling; discuss why it's important for teens to make media; and produce a short audio piece with teens from all over Durham.

Recording equipment, computers, and editing software will be provided. No experience in audio production is required. All you need to bring is your lunch.

The workshop will be facilitated by Tennessee Watson, Youth Noise Network Coordinator; and Kim Arrington, Durham-based poet and educator.

DEADLINE: Apply by September 14, 2007


Section 1
Date: Saturday, September 29, 2007
9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Course fee: $25

Section 2
Date: Saturday, October 6, 2007
9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Course fee: $25

Partial and full scholarships are available. See the application form for details.

For more information contact:
Tennessee Watson, Youth Noise Network coordinator
919-660-3696 /

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

YNN Summer Broadcast Schedule

Youth Noise Network will be broadcasting this summer every Sunday from 2-3pm.
Tune into WXDU 88.7 FM or stream on the web at
Check out the schedule below to hear your favorite YNN DJs:

June 17: Manny, Swati, AJ , Kiah

June 24: Lena

July 1: Manny, Lena, Mya, Kiah

July 8: Lena, Anya, Swati

July 15: Lena, Mya, Kiah

July 22: Lena, AJ

July 29: Anya, Mya, Kiah

August 5: Lena, Manny, Mya

August 12: Manny, Swati, Kiah

August 19: Anya, Swati

August 26: Anya, Swati

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Passionate Citizens Pieces

Youth Noise Network is proud to present our Passionate Citizens pieces from our project earlier in the year. You can click to listen, or even download the mp3s to your computer if you click on them.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007


The Youth Noise Network podcast is officially up and running. Listen to any of our past radio show broadcasts from this year, courtesy of Duke University's DukeCast.


Monday, February 12, 2007


Youth Noise Network is now back on WXDU Durham 88.7 every Sunday from 2-3pm.
Tune in the old fashioned way, or stream the show at
Every other Sunday we'll be bringing you top notch audio documentaries about public affairs, arts and culture from a teen perspective. The remaining Sundays we'll bring you the best in youth made music, read from our eclectic youth events calendar, and expose you to teen perspectives on issues covered in the local media.
Tune In. And remember to Speak Up And Make Some Noise.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

passionate premiere

To the Youth Noise Networkers:

This is the third year in which I've had the honor of working as a work-study student with the Youth Noise Network crew. And geez, I don't think I've ever been so blown away and deeply impressed by you all. I've heard some amazing pieces from YNN in the past, but I think seeing and hearing your work today was definitely something new and something special.

I am kind of amused when I think about what I'm saying, because I remember the beginning of last year when the whole PCP was introduced, and I was definitely just as skeptical as all of you were about the prospect of doing an intense and serious work that had to fit someone else's guidelines. But I have to admit that some of what was successful about today's premiere had to do with those grant guidelines. The idea of focus, having a theme, being more rigorous, gathering people and actually presenting to a live audience (as opposed to broadcasting to an anonymous crowd over the radio) all had a lot to do with the impact of your pieces as a cohesive whole.

But all of that stuff aside, what made me really smile was the fact that even given these elements, you guys still found a way to make it your own. From Manny and Anya's awesome introduction to the humorous spins and the personal perspectives you put in your pieces, the little bit of satirical wit reminds us of the presumptuous tendency of some of this stuff. Bring it back down to earth. Remind us that even these "passionate citizens" are just people. Go ahead and admit your own fear of your interviewee. You're people too.

Hopefully you got a sense of the impact of what you do from some of the audience's feedback. I think that's a really important element to your empowerment and the realization that this is about community and "civic engagement" and things that are larger than yourselves even though it is also very much about yourselves and your perspectives.

Ultimately, I don't want to say that I am "proud" of you all because that's a probably too patronizing for what little I contributed. But I am definitely really amazed, and I am thrilled to be working with you.