James Duke discovered a love for art when he saw graffiti art murals in his neighborhood. In his senior year of high school James discovered Street Level and began learning about video and photography. He would later go on to produce pieces based on preventing violence such as the “peace signs” project in 2001, where he teamed with artist/mentor Kerry James Marshall to create a billboard in an effort to curb gun violence. In 2003, James received the Alexandroff Scholarship and graduated from Columbia College, majoring in film and video. He shifted his role from student to teacher and started to teach video/TV production at Street Level. In 2008, he received the “Power Up” award for inspiring youth.