Summer Audio Institutes 2007

Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University
Durham, North Carolina

Association of Independents in Radio (AIR) Members: Receive a $400 discount on Hearing Is Believing I or II!  Only TEN spots available at the discounted price - apply now!  Support to attend "Hearing Is Believing I" is also available through the Eric Estes Scholarship Fund.

TO REGISTER FOR INSTITUTES: * 919-684-6259  or see below.

Hearing Is Believing I: An Audio Documentary Summer Institute

JUNE 17-23
with John Biewen, Joe Richman, Ann Heppermann and Kara Oehler
Fee: $775.
Enroll by 6/1: $745 (includes lunches and one dinner).
Course ID: 10820 (details)

Hearing Is Believing II: Making It Sing

AUGUST 13-18
with John Biewen, Deb George and Cheryl Devall
Fee: $775.
Enroll by 7/31: $745 (includes lunches and one dinner).
Course ID: 10822 (details)

Course descriptions and teacher bios

Hearing Is Believing I: An Audio Documentary Summer Institute    
JUNE 17-23
Sunday, 3 p.m., to Saturday, 3 p.m.

The Center for Documentary Studies presents a weeklong, morning-till-night immersion in audio documentary work. You'll learn hands-on skills in recording and digital audio mixing; discuss issues such as the ethics of documentary work; explore varied uses for audio documentaries (it's not just radio anymore); and hear accomplished producers play and talk about their work in evening presentations. During the week you'll work with a fellow student to produce and edit a short audio documentary, from the first interview and sound-gathering to the final mix.

Computers and editing software will be provided for your use in completing your institute project. Students should bring field-recording equipment, including recorder, microphone, headphones, and tapes, minidisks, or flash cards. No experience in audio production is required. A basic comfort level with computers is desirable.

The institute will be led by John Biewen along with other staff members of the Center for Documentary Studies. The visiting artist and guest instructor will be Joe Richman, and the audio-duo Ann Heppermann and Kara Oehler.

John Biewen is the audio program director at the Center for Documentary Studies; he was formerly a correspondent-producer for American RadioWorks, the national documentary unit of American Public Media. He has produced a large body of work on economic and social issues, as well as investigative reports and historical documentaries. His reporting has won numerous honors, including the Robert F. Kennedy (2000, 2001), Society of Professional Journalists (Sigma Delta Chi), Edward R. Murrow (RTNDA), and (American Bar Association) Silver Gavel Awards. A graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, with a degree in philosophy, he lived and taught in Osaka, Japan, from 1985 to 1987.

Joe Richman, an award-winning independent producer and reporter for public radio, is executive producer at Radio Diaries, a not-for-profit organization committed to producing a new kind of oral history. "Our mission is to find extraordinary stories in ordinary places. We work with people to document their own lives for public radio: teenagers, seniors, prison inmates, and others whose voices are rarely heard." Their collaborative documentaries have won numerous awards, including the Casey Journalism Award, the Third Coast International Audio Festival Award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism award. Before becoming an independent producer, Richman worked for many years as a producer on the National Public Radio programs All Things Considered, Weekend Edition Saturday, and Car Talk. He is also an adjunct professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

The Brooklyn-based duo of Ann Heppermann and Kara Oehler has been producing national and international radio pieces for the past five years. Their work has aired on: This American Life, Morning Edition, American Routes, WBEZ's Chicago Matters, Weekend America, The Next Big Thing, Radio Lab, Re:Sound, Marketplace and numerous other public radio programs.. The two received 1st place honors from the RTNDA Edward R. Murrow awards, NFCB Gold and Silver Reels, PRNDI Public Radio News Directors Inc. and Associated Press awards. Ann Heppermann is director of radio and adjunct faculty at Brooklyn College. She developed CUNY's first radio workshop along with NPR's Next Generation project. Kara Oehler is a print journalism and audio documentary teacher with the high school program, Upward Bound. She was also initiated the Yellow Arrow project Capitol of Punk and was lead sound designer and story editor. Kara recently received a grant from the Swedish Bicentennial Exchange Fund to research education in Stockholm.

Hearing Is Believing II: Making It Sing  
AUGUST 13-18
SIX-DAY INTENSIVE: Monday, 6 p.m., to Saturday, 2 p.m.

An intensive six-day workshop for students who've recorded interviews and gathered sound and are ready to construct a four- to ten-minute audio documentary. This course is designed for those who are ready to begin editing their project and have a basic grasp of audio editing software, or for individuals who have completed Make That Audio Doc and/or the one-week Hearing Is Believing summer institute and are ready to try a more ambitious project. This time you'll bring your own recordings to the institute. You'll get lessons and personal guidance from seasoned radio documentary producers as you structure and script your piece, record your narration tracks (if any), and mix your documentary on ProTools.
The institute will be led by John Biewen along with other staff members of the Center for Documentary Studies. Visiting artists and guest instructors will be Deb George and Cheryl Devall.

REGISTER EARLY; SPACES LIMITED. Fee: $775. Enroll by 7/31: $745 (includes lunches and one dinner). Course ID: 10822.

See John Biewen's bio above.

Deb George is an award-winning independent producer, editor, and reporter. Her career has taken her to Asia, Africa, and South America, and she has covered the Rwandan genocide, the war in Sierra Leone, the politics of biotechnology, and the AIDS epidemic. She was with National Public Radio for fifteen years, as producer of Weekend Edition Sunday and an editor and producer on the National, Foreign, and Cultural Desks. She also produced a number of special series for NPR's newsmagazines and was the network's first liaison for independent producers. George was the senior editor of American RadioWorks, producing documentaries and investigative reports for public radio. Since 1996, she's edited the "Radio Diaries" series with producer Joe Richman. Her work has received numerous awards, including the DuPont-Columbia Gold and Silver Batons, the Robert F. Kennedy Award; the Edward R. Murrow (RTNDA) Award, and the Casey Award for reporting on children.

Cheryl Devall spent many years as a correspondent for National Public Radio and a senior editor for Marketplace. She helped edit the series "North Carolina Voices: Understanding Poverty," which won a 2006 duPont-Columbia Award for North Carolina Public Radio. As a reporter, she was part of the NPR team that won a 1990 duPont-Columbia Award for "AIDS in Black America-Breaking the Silence." Her life in journalism has taken her across the country and home again to Southern California. Devall has reported for the San Jose Mercury News, Chicago Tribune, Louisville Courier-Journal, and Boston Globe. She spent the 1995-96 academic year as a Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University. She holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from Radcliffe College of Harvard University and a master's from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She is currently the News Editor at KPCC in Pasadena, California.



The Association of Independents in Radio (AIR) will cover $300 of the cost of Hearing Is Believing I: An Audio Documentary Summer Institute or Hearing Is Believing II: Making It Sing for TEN participants, five in each institute. These stipends are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so apply early!

In addition, CDS is offering a $100 discount to all AIR members.

The ten individuals with AIR funding also will receive the CDS discount, for a total reduction in the cost of the Institute of $400. Any additional AIR applicants will receive the $100 CDS discount only.


Send the following information by E-MAIL to April Walton at :


The receipt of your e-mail will be acknowledged, and you will be contacted by Duke Continuing Studies to confirm your registration and to pay the remainder of the Institute fee.

The Eric Estes Scholarship Fund provides tuition for Hearing Is Believing I: An Audio Documentary Summer Institute. One scholarship is awarded each year. The scholarship also provides support to purchase audio equipment. Recipients are responsible for their own travel and housing. Recipients also are asked to make a donation toward the continuation of the scholarship fund.

The Eric Estes Scholarship will be awarded based on a clearly articulated commitment to and passion for exploring a particular topic through the art of documentary audio, and on stated financial need. We seek applicants with an established presence in their local communities who possess a commitment to employing the skills learned at CDS when they return home. Applicants for the scholarship are not required to have experience in the documentary arts; rather, they are expected to have a clear sense of how the skills they learn can be put to work. We seek applications from individuals whose work reflects the CDS mission (see below); scholarship recipients will be asked to share the results of their documentary work with CDS.

To apply, send an e-mail to Dawn Dreyer at  Please provide the following information:

1)    Name, Address, Phone, Preferred E-mail Address
2)    Why are you interested in attending the CDS Audio Institute?
3)    How do you intend to use the skills learned in the CDS Audio Institute when you return to your home community?
4)    How does your work connect with the CDS mission?
5)    What are the financial circumstances that lead you to apply for support to attend the CDS Audio Institute?
6)    Please provide contact information for two individuals who are familiar with your work.


Mission statement: The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University teaches, engages in, and presents documentary work grounded in collaborative partnerships and extended fieldwork that uses photography, film/video, audio, and narrative writing to capture and convey contemporary memory, life, and culture. CDS values documentary work that balances community goals with individual artistic expression. CDS promotes documentary work that cultivates progressive change by amplifying voices, advancing human dignity, engendering respect among individuals, breaking down barriers to understanding, and illuminating social injustices. CDS conducts its work for local, regional, national, and international audiences.

Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University
1317 W. Pettigrew * Durham, NC 27705
919-660-3663 * *