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Introducing StudioDuke, a virtual creative lab providing Duke students the opportunity to take their artistic projects to the next level of awesome. A collaboration among Duke I&E, DEMAN (Duke Entertainment, Media & Arts Network), and Duke Arts, StudioDuke will accept applications beginning October 11, 2017! A panel of Duke alumni mentors selected for their achievements in the creative industries will work with students accepted into StudioDuke.

Here’s how it works: StudioDuke will announce an open submission call for student works at the beginning of every fall semester. Submissions can be in any area of creative endeavor, including screenplays, fine arts, digital media, manuscripts, stage plays, choreography, comedy, short/feature films of various genres (including animation), and music compositions or performances.

Submissions will be reviewed by the StudioDuke team to be selected into an annual StudioDuke cohort. Selected projects can be pursued by students as an independent study, an experiential component of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Certificate, or for no academic credit whatsoever.

Each StudioDuke student will be paired with an alumni mentor team based on the nature of the project, its genre, and the industry expertise needed to shape and refine the creative venture. Student-mentor teams will work together throughout the semester and perhaps beyond to evaluate the creative potential of each project and then to edit, evolve, and elevate the work through remote and in-person creative iteration.

The goal is to bring each project to the point where it is ready to be pitched to industry professionals. The StudioDuke team will facilitate the connections, travel resources, and logistics to support the project.

Alumni Mentors

These Duke alumni with accomplished careers in entertainment, media, and the arts have volunteered to work with the students whose projects are accepted into the StudioDuke program. A team of alumni mentors will be formed based on the project type and audience.

Chuck Adams ’64, L’67 (Chapel Hill)
Executive Editor, Algonquin Books

Jennifer Baltimore, L’92 (LA)
Senior Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs, Universal Music Group

Pola Changnon, ’85 (ATL)
Senior Vice President Marketing, Brand Creative + Talent, Turner Classic Movies | FilmStruck

Soleio Cuervo, ’03 (Bay Area)
Founder & Partner, Combine
Former Designer/Advisor, Facebook (invented “like” button), Dropbox

Claire Florian, ’09 (NY)
Studio Company Manager, American Ballet Theatre

Peter Friedlander, ’96 (LA)
Vice President Original Series, Netflix

David Garfinkle, ’83 (NY)
CEO, Hello Entertainment
Broadway Producer, Ghost the Musical, Spider-Man Turn off the Dark, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (Tony Awards 2014 Winner, Best Musical)

Amy Gravitt, ’95 (LA)
Executive Vice President Comedy Programming, HBO
Including: Ballers, Girls, Insecure, Silicon Valley, Veep

Brandt Joel, ’87 (LA)
Head of Talent, William Morris Endeavor

Dave Karger, ’95 (LA, NY)
TV host, Interviewer, Entertainment Expert
Featured on NBC Today, Access Hollywood, Turner Classic Movies

Lisa Katz, ’95 (LA)
Executive Vice President Drama Development, NBC
Including: This is Us (Emmy-nominated for Outstanding Drama Series, 2017)

Christina Baker Kline, P’18 (NJ)
#1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train, A Piece of the World, and five other novels

Penka Kouneva, G’97 (LA)
Award-winning Film and Game Composer
Prince of Persia, Transformers video games; NASA’s Heroes and Legends exhibit

Ezra Kucharz, ’97 (NY)
Chief Business Officer, Draft Kings
Formerly: Special Advisor to CEO of CBS & President of CBS Local Digital Media

Courtney Liu,’13 (NY)
Broadway Performer/Assistant Dance Captain, Phantom of the Opera

Sean McManus, ’77 (NY)
Chairman, CBS Sports

Eric Oberstein, ’07 (Durham)
Associate Director, Duke Performances
GRAMMY-winning producer, musician, consultant

Les Ottolenghi, ’84 (Las Vegas)
EVP & Global Chief Innovation Officer, Caesars Entertainment Corp

Kevin Plunkett, ’95 (LA)
Executive VP and Head of Television, New Regency TV
Former Head of Scripted Programming, E! (The Royals, The Arrangement)
SVP Comedy Development ABC Studios (Happy Endings, Cougartown, Scrubs, etc)

Charles Randolph-Wright, ’78 (NY)
Film/TV/Theatre Director, TV Producer, Screenwriter, Playwright
Broadway’s Motown: The Musical; Television’s Greenleaf, Step Up Highwater

Bobby Rosenbloum, ’91 (ATL)
Shareholder and Vice-Chairman, Global Entertainment & Media Practice
Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Julien Thuan, ’97 (LA)
Partner and co-Head, Motion Picture Literary Department, United Talent Agency

Mark Vahradian, ’89 (LA)
President, Production, di Bonaventura Pictures (at Paramount Pictures)
Films include: Transformers series (Executive Producer), Deepwater Horizon (Producer)

Greg Veis, ’03 (NY)
Executive Editor, HuffPost Highline
Formerly: The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, GQ

Ryan White, ’04 (LA)
Director/Executive Producer, Tripod Media,
Netflix: The Keepers (Emmy-nominated), Magnolia Pictures: Good Ol’ Freda
HBO: The Case Against 8 (Two-Time Emmy-nominated; Oscar shortlist)
EPIX: Serena; PBS: Pelada

Danielle Zapotoczny ’96 (Durham, NY)
Senior Director of Partnerships & Communications, United Nations Foundation; Strategic Advisor to the United Nations Creative Community Outreach Initiative
Formerly: Producer, Wheelhouse Entertainment

Stephen Zapotoczny ’97 (Durham)
CEO & Founder, The Magic Factory
Formerly: Producer/Vice President Development & Production, Wheelhouse Entertainment (We Were Soldiers)


Who can apply?

Duke undergraduate students, graduate students, and professional students

What kind of projects can be submitted?

Examples of projects include screenplays, fine arts, digital media, manuscripts, stage plays, choreography, comedy, short/feature films of various genres (including animation), and music compositions or performances.

When is the application deadline?

The application for spring 2018 is open from October 11, 2017 until 11:59 PM ET on January 5, 2018.

Who will review the application?

The StudioDuke leadership team which includes Kip Frey, Interim Director of Duke I&E, Scott Lindroth, Vice Provost for the Arts, and Amy Unell, Director of Arts Engagement & Partnerships.

Do I need to have a project underway, or can I submit an idea outline?

You should have a project underway that you are ready to take to the next level.

When will I start?

Students and projects accepted into StudioDuke will work with their mentor teams during the semester into which they are accepted.

Can I receive academic credit?

Students can register for independent study through Duke I&E.

I’m enrolled in the I&E Certificate. Can I use my StudioDuke time as one of my certificate experiences?

Yes, it can count toward your 150-hour experience.

How many hours will I be expected to work on my project?

If you are working toward the experiential requirement for the I&E Certificate, you should plan to spend 150 hours on your StudioDuke project during the semester.  If you sign up for an independent study course, you are expected to fulfill the requirements normally associated with an independent study.

Is a final project submission required?

A final project must be submitted if you are not completing the experiential portion of the I&E Certificate or taking an independent study.

Which mentors will I work with?

Each StudioDuke student will be paired with an alumni mentor team based on the nature of the project, its intended audience, and the industry expertise needed to shape and refine the creative venture. Students may meet virtually or in person with the members of their mentor team.

Will I receive a stipend?

No money will be awarded, although if/when a project is ready to pitch, StudioDuke will fund travel to meet industry professionals who may be able to bring a project to the next level.


StudioDuke is a collaboration between Duke I&E, DukeArts and DEMAN, and has been made possible by a generous gift from Clifford Chanler (T’82).

For more information about StudioDuke, please contact:
Amy Unell, Director, Arts Engagement & Partnerships at amy.unell@duke.edu

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