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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