The Community Folklife Documentation Institute, an initiative of the North Carolina Arts Council in partnership with the North Carolina Folklife Institute and Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, is an intensive folklife documentation training program offered to members of communities across North Carolina. It provides community scholars with professional-level instruction in documentary techniques, digital media, and the philosphy and ethics of folklife documentation. Participants receive mentoring from accomplished professionals in the field, including folklorists, filmmakers, photographers, and audio documentarians.
Eligible community scholars
*have a folklife documentation project planned or already underway,
*are not enrolled college students, and
*are nominated and sponsored by an institution in their home communities.
Those community scholars selected to participate come to Durham for an intensive five-day training session at the Center for Documentary Studies, a leading institution in the field of documentary work worldwide, with state-of-the-art technology with which participants will train. During the five days of instruction, participants develop a work plan for their own community research projects. Over the course of the next several months, they carry out their documentary fieldwork and create their projects with ongoing assistance from their professional mentors.
At the end of the program, the scholars, instructors, and mentors reconvene at the Center for Documentary Studies for a weekend-long convocation, in which final projects are presented to a public audience, and the participants and staff discuss and plan for new directions for ongoing community documentation. In addition to the valuable documentary fieldwork experience that the scholars gain through the program, the Community Folklife Documentation Institute creates new and lasting connections between institutions and individuals, enhancing and strengthening North Carolina’s folklife infrastructure.
For more information about the Community Folklife Documentation Institute, please contact Sally Peterson (email@example.com), Folklife Specialist at the North Carolina Arts Council.
Community Folklife Documentation Institute alumni and their projects:
2006 – 2007 Community Scholars
- Ronda Birtha, Andrews (film about community member’s healing)
- Lana Carter, Riegelwood (aftermath of Riegelwood tornado)
- Laura Stevenson Daskal, Rockingham (pine needle basketry)
- Tony Jones, Happy Valley (history of Happy Valley)
- Kay Oxendine, Pembroke (pine needle basketry)
- Debby and Ed Rolly, Canton (Haywood County blacksmithing)
- Karen Taylor, Robbinsville (native plant lore of the Smoky Mountains)
- Heather White, Greenville (educational programming)
- Shelia Wilson, Burlington (Sappony quilt traditions)
2007 – 2008 Community Scholars
- Karen Amspacher, Harkers Island (Core Sound maritime traditions)
- Bridgette Burge, Garner (oral history of labor movement)
- Niki Litts, Kinston (African American music traditions in Eastern NC)
- Starr Oldorff, Fayetteville (Fayetteville community development)
- Jerry Pope and Rebecca Williams, Swannanoa (oral history of the Beacon Mill)
- Marty Richardson, Hollister (powwow drum traditions)
- Touger Vang, Greensboro (Hmong funeral traditions)
- Shelly Romero, Pembroke (oral history of a housing project)
1. Kay Oxendine, Karen Taylor, and Laura Daskal learning digital photography. Photo by Cedric N. Chatterley.
2. Rebecca Williams and Starr Oldorff edit their interview with Marvin Gaster using Final Cut Pro. Photo by Ronda Birtha.
3. Shelly Romero works on her project with audio documentarian Shea Shackleford. Photo by Sally Peterson.
4. CFDI Director Sally Peterson helps Helen Barrow prepare for woodcarver Frank Barrow's interview with community scholars. Photo by Sarah Bryan.
5. 2006-2007 community scholars and staff. Photo by Cedric N. Chatterley.
6. 2007-2008 community scholars and staff. Photo by Katherine Reynolds.
7. (Below) Ronda Birtha gives Lana Carter tips on framing a photo. Photo by Cedric N. Chatterley.