083: Making space for indie artists. Co-proprietors Jim Haverkamp and Alex Maness on the evolution of Shadowbox Studio.

If you’ve listened to the podcast for awhile, you’ve heard the ad at the end that begins, “Hey friends, I wanna tell you about Shadowbox Studio…” that’s because half of the episodes for Artist Soapbox have been recorded at Shadowbox Studio in Durham, NC. We also recorded our first audio drama MASTER BUILDER there. Shadowbox Studio is mostly used as a  photo & video shooting space. Inside this small gem, I’ve personally attended an improv performance and two indie film screenings, been on a film shoot and theatre rehearsal, and led a workshop — just a few of the many ways in which Shadowbox is used. In this episode, I’m thrilled to be talking with the proprietors of Shadowbox Studio, Jim Haverkamp and Alex Maness. 

In this episode, a large part of our conversation is about space. Physical space for artists to make and present their art. Most indie artists are yearning for a place to call their creative home even if it’s for a few hours — space that is accessible, affordable, presentable, with climate control, a bathroom, and somewhere to park the car. We want a space to put our gear down, a space to create and show our art that fits within our financial reality. Sounds like heaven, right? Jim and Alex talk about the evolution of Shadowbox as a space and a business, and we chew on the decline of accessible space for artists in Durham over the last two decades and how we might adjust. 

It won’t take long for you to get a sense of how lovely these two are to work with. 


Jim Haverkamp is a filmmaker and editor  living in Durham, NC. His short fiction and documentary films have screened around the world, including the London Underground Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, the American Dance Festival, and the Chicago Underground Film Festival. He has toured on the Southern Circuit of Independent Film, served as a juror for the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, and was co-organizer of the Strange Beauty Film Festival. Jim also teaches for Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies and the Program in the Arts of the Moving Image.  He is co-proprietor of Shadowbox Studio in Durham. www.jimhaverkamp.com

Alex Maness is a photographer, filmmaker, and visual artist living in Durham NC. A graduate of Syracuse University’s VPA program, he strives to use still images and video in non-traditional ways.  He is a past staff photographer for The Independent Weekly newspaper and is a co-conspirator at Shadowbox Studio. He has created projection design for theater, dance and visual art. As a recording engineer he produced the 32 voice taping of This Is Not A Novel for Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern, as well as currently engineering the Artist Soapbox podcast and the audio drama MASTER BUILDER.  When not running around with a camera he restores and rides vintage motorcycles and scooters. www.alexmaness.com 

Mentions: Courtesy Call, the short super 8 film that Jim and Alex worked together on way back in 1997!

This episode is brought to you by the Soapboxers, the official patrons of the Artist Soapbox. If you like these episodes and want more, get on the Soapbox! This episode was recorded at Shadowbox Studio. Artist Soapbox theme music by Bart Matthews. Additional audio editing by Merrybelle Park Productions.

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Artist Soapbox

Artist Soapbox is a platform for original scripted audio fiction and an opportunity for artists to discuss their creative work in their own voices. We do this through our interview podcast, our blog, live events, and original audio dramas.

Artist Soapbox is an anti-racist organization. We believe Black Lives Matter. In addition, as a podcast production company, ASBX has signed the Equality in Audio Pact on Broccoli Content.

Artist Soapbox is more than just a podcast.

We lead writers groups, accountability support, workshops, and events. We produce and create audio dramas too! Listen to the Master BuilderThe New Colossus Audio Drama, Jesus Pancake, Declaration of Love, Food for Thought, and ASBX Shorts. Stay tuned to hear about more projects written by the Soapbox Audio Collective Writers’ Group.

Audio Dramas

Jesus (1400 × 1400 px)-2

Jesus Pancake

Jesus Pancake is the newest scripted audio fiction series from Artist Soapbox. Nine episodes of zany dark comedy.


The New Colossus

The New Colossus Audio Drama is a totally unhinged dark comedy reboot of Anton Chekhov’s classic play, THE SEAGULL.


Master Builder

This audio drama was adapted from Tamara’s 2018 stage play produced by Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern and inspired by Henrick Ibsen’s classic, The Master Builder published in 1892.


Declaration of Love

Co-producers Aurelia Belfield and Tamara Kissane of Artist Soapbox commissioned eleven NC playwrights to craft short audio scenes based on the prompt “Declaration of Love.”


Food for Thought

Three pilot episodes of new scripted audio fiction series inspired by the prompt Food for Thought.


ASBX Shorts

ASBX Shorts are six short audio fiction pieces created and produced by North Carolina artists. Artist Soapbox Shorts were specifically contributed by the artists to aid in fundraising and to get everyone excited about Jesus Pancake, our new audio fiction series in development.

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