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 ;).


Susan said...

I work with youth in Boston and saw this link in a post at the blogsite unapologetic mexican. I listened to a few of the audios and enjoyed them! Keep moving because this is GREAT and IMPORTANT work. Find ways to share this with others, too.

Hey, I would love to hear the June Jordan program you did the night before the elections. Can you post it on the website? I'm on my way to the library to get Affirmative Acts because I have never read it and was inspired by your enthusiasm for her --- I have her collected poems but have never read her essays.

Peace and love, Susan from Boston

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