institute for documentary studies

{Salt Announces Partnership with MECA}

FAQ’s about the Salt @ MECA Partnership

Frequently Asked Questions

When did the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies (Salt) formally become part of Maine College of Art (MECA)?

As of April 8, 2016, the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies formally became part of MECA. This includes the Salt Archive and all other assets of Salt. Like all other programs at the College, Salt is overseen by the Vice President of Academic Affairs, the President, and, ultimately, MECA’s Board of Trustees.


Now that Salt is part of MECA, what will Salt be called?

Salt will be known as the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies at MECA.

When will Salt be offering its one-semester program again? When will students be able to enroll?

As long as MECA receives approval from its two accrediting bodies, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) Salt’s semester program can relaunch in Fall 2017, and students could start applying in Fall 2016. In the meantime, MECA and Salt will be offering non-credit workshops in documentary storytelling. See below for details.

Who will lead Salt?

MECA will conduct a national search starting no later than Fall 2016 for two full-time faculty to run the Salt Institute. As per MECA’s normal administrative and governance processes, these faculty will chair the program, work with other faculty at the College, and report to the Vice President of Academic Affairs/Dean of the College. Salt’s current Executive Director will serve as a consulting director for the first few months of the transition.

Will Salt’s program change?

Yes and no. MECA was interested in Salt because of the special nature of its educational program, the caliber of documentary work that has been produced by its students, the student lives it has transformed, the program’s similarity to art and design pedagogy, and the way it has contributed to culture by telling the unique stories of the people of Maine. MECA’s primary interest is in preserving this “heart and soul” character of Salt.

However, all educational programs have to change to remain vibrant and relevant to their time and place, and to respond to changes in culture and media. As an art and design college, we have a responsibility to always be revising our curriculum and staying on the cutting edge of culture while honoring the long arc of visual culture. Additionally, there are specific standards that we have to meet for the program to become accredited.

Our plan is to continue to offer Salt’s four current tracks: radio, writing, photography and short film. Our plan is to be able to offer a graduate certificate in documentary storytelling and have the program fully accredited. This has also been Salt’s goal for many years. Some minor changes to the program may be required, but our research makes us confident these changes will not alter the fundamental nature of the Salt experience. We have submitted proposals to both of our accrediting bodies seeking approval for this program.

Will Salt continue to focus on documentary storytelling through writing, photography, radio, film and multimedia?

Yes, absolutely. This is the core of Salt’s mission and MECA’s primary interest is in preserving this unique education. Our initial and primary focus must be to preserve the one-semester Salt experience. Over time we know there will be rich areas of crossover with many of MECA’s programs. MECA will relaunch the semester-long program with all four tracks intact.

Will Salt be offering any documentary workshops?

We are excited to announce that Salt will be offering three one-week workshops in documentary storytelling this summer, each to be led by a documentary storyteller with a national profile:

Radio Storytelling with Michael May
Short Documentary Film with Matt Moyer
Documentary Photography with Amy Toensing

Has MECA talked to Salt alumni about what they want?

Yes. We have talked to and consulted with the Salt Advisory Board and other Salt alumni, all representing a variety of interests and perspectives. We found strong consensus around a few key points and have integrated these points into our transition planning. The key points are to preserve as much independence for Salt as possible, to preserve the unique and powerful experience of the semester program, to protect and preserve the Salt Archive, to maintain a commitment to the current four tracks currently offered at Salt, and to involve and consult with Salt alumni in future planning. We have honored each of these requests to the fullest extent possible for our College. As mentioned in this is FAQ sheet, there is a Salt Advisory Committee to which Salt alumni will serve, and the Dean of the College will continue to solicit feedback directly from Salt alumni and have open forums as needed to gather additional feedback from alumni on any future plans. The first open forum will be in May.

Salt alumni care deeply about preserving the integrity of Salt’s mission and educational experience for generations to come. How will MECA ensure this will occur?

First, MECA and Salt have closely aligned missions, pedagogical approaches (experiential, cohort-based and problem-based), educational philosophies and values. Salt’s approach to documentary storytelling dovetails perfectly with MECA’s Public Engagement and Digital Media programs.

Secondly, MECA has formed a Salt Advisory Committee to help guide the transition, to ensure MECA is honoring Salt’s legacy, and to advise the Dean and Program Chairs on curricula and other strategic matters. The Salt Alumni Board has been asked to serve on this committee. The committee will also have at least two former Salt Trustees, MECA faculty and other individuals. More details will be forthcoming. Additionally, MECA will be hosting an open forum for Salt alumni in May.

What will happen to the Salt Archive?

MECA will preserve the archive. Additionally, Salt is launching the Salt Story Archive, an incredible repository of alumni work documenting original stories of Maine people in writing, radio, film and photography that will be accessible to the world. This is a remarkable archive, with few others like it, that showcases the incredible caliber of work made by Salt alumni, and is a cultural asset to the people of Maine, New England and the world. On Tuesday, April 12, the site will be viewable to Salt alumni for review and will be released to the general public three weeks later.

How will this transition be financed?

We are grateful for the support of the Quimby Family Foundation, without which this union would not be possible. A long-time supporter of both the Salt Institute and MECA, the QFF has committed grant funding to cover start-up and operational costs for the first two to three years of Salt at MECA.

QFF approached MECA’s executive leadership and the boards of both Salt and MECA about working together to preserve Salt. Due to the faith and trust the Foundation has in MECA, and previous involvement with and support of Salt, along with their belief in the importance of Salt’s work and the impact and success of Salt graduates, they offered to help keep the Salt program alive by funding the acquisition of Salt by MECA. The QFF believes that if the College takes on the burden of administrative and facilities costs, Salt can be a viable and sustainable program.

What are some of the key advantages to Salt being part of MECA?

Advantages of this arrangement for future Salt students include earning college credit, utilizing alumni services and accessing professional student services and housing. Additionally, all Salt students will have access to the College’s extensive modern studios and equipment.

What will happen with Salt’s facilities?

Salt will move out of its current location at 561 Congress Street and move into MECA’s Porteous building at 522 Congress Street. Supported by the grant from QFF, MECA will build out additional space for the Salt program. Salt students will have access to all of the same facilities, studio space and academic resources offered to MECA students, including the Joanne Waxman Library, the Institute for Contemporary Art, dry and wet photography labs, and a new state-of-the-art recording studio in the Bob Crewe Program in Art and Music.

Will Salt’s tuition change?

No. There will be no major change to the present tuition to enroll in the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies at MECA.

Will scholarship packages change?

No. However, if the program receives all necessary approvals, students may be eligible for federal financial aid or other student loans for the first time in the program’s history.

When did the conversation to add Salt as a program at MECA begin?

As soon as the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies announced intentions to close last summer, leadership of Maine College of Art conducted a series of exploratory discussions with Salt, Salt alumni, and other key stakeholders. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in early 2016 established a formal agreement that outlined the intention to explore Salt and MECA working together to preserve the Salt educational experience. At the conclusion of this phase, the decision was made to recommend Salt becoming part of MECA. This was agreed to by the boards of both institutions.

When was the decision made official?

MECA’s Board of Trustees voted in favor of the proposed acquisition of Salt on February 10, 2016. Salt’s Board approved the proposal based on the collective desire to secure the future of Salt’s unique and inspirational program in documentary storytelling. On April 8, 2016, Salt legally became a part of MECA.

Were there financial concerns for either institution driving this exploration?

Yes. Despite Salt’s successes and longevity, static enrollment, difficulty in fundraising, an overall lack of ability to access economies of scale in providing services to students, and the increasing costs/needs of technology, led to annual fiscal difficulties for the Salt Institute. After much deliberation, Salt’s Board decided to dissolve Salt and its assets in a timely fashion to ensure it could close business in a responsible way.

Likewise, MECA had to carefully research and deliberate to ensure it could confidently help shepherd Salt far into the future without damaging any of its current operations. In recent years, MECA’s enrollment and fundraising have steadily climbed, resulting in a healthy and sustainable operating budget. However, it was only with the support of the Quimby Family Foundation that MECA believed it could take this next step with Salt.

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Salt Announces Partnership with MECA

Portland, Maine: The future of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, which announced it would close last summer, is now secure: the Salt Institute will operate as a discrete program under the auspices of Maine College of Art. This union would not have been possible without significant support from the Quimby Family Foundation, which has supported both institutions in the past. This development is the result of several months of critical dialog and discussion between many individuals from the Salt Institute, Salt’s alumni board, MECA and the Quimby Family Foundation, all of whom shared the goal to preserve Salt’s unique and inspirational program in documentary storytelling.

According to MECA’s Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College Ian Anderson, “The program offered by the Salt Institute has enriched and impacted thousands of lives, and is a treasured cultural resource to Portland and Maine. Since we began investigating this potential merger last year, we have discovered that Salt is aligned with our mission, our pedagogy, and our educational philosophy. Salt’s approach to documentary storytelling dovetails perfectly with MECA’s programs and our values. We are honored to be able to preserve Salt’s legacy for its alumni, for the people of Maine, and for future generations of documentary storytellers.”

Long-time Salt supporter and alum Hannah Quimby said, “We are thrilled that Salt will be partnering with MECA, and are confident in this effort based on MECA’s solid reputation and supportive infrastructure, as well as from witnessing the great care they have taken to listen to and understand the desires of the wider Salt community. We have appreciated a great working relationship with MECA in the past and have tremendous faith in the skilled leadership of President Don Tuski and Vice President of Academic Affairs Ian Anderson. It’s an exciting opportunity that has been thoughtfully considered and we are pleased to support this collaborative effort.”

Salt will maintain its name and, if MECA receives all necessary approvals from its accreditors, it will offer a one-semester graduate-level intensive in documentary storytelling at MECA, becoming one of five academic programs at the College. Advantages of this arrangement for future Salt students include the possibility of accessing federal financial aid, utilizing student services and housing, and accessing the College’s extensive studios and equipment, like the new recording studio in the Bob Crewe Program in Art and Music.

As part of the transition plan, MECA is forming a Salt Advisory Committee consisting of Salt Alumni, former Salt Board members, MECA faculty and others to facilitate the transition and help guide future decisions affecting the program. Additionally, the Dean will hold an open a forum for all interested Salt alumni in May.

As a testament to Salt’s and MECA’s commitment to preserve Salt, honour the work of its alumni, and protect and preserve stories of the people of Maine, we are thrilled to also announce the release of the Salt Story Archive, a repository of all Salt stories and publications collected since Salt’s inception. This new digital archive is an incredible resource to the people of Maine; it tells compelling stories in short film, radio, photography and writing. The online Archive contains 16,000 images, 495 radio shows, 849 writing projects, 251 multimedia projects, more than 500 articles in 56 publications, and 3 books created by over 1,000 Salt storytellers. The Salt Story Archive will initially be released only to Salt Alumni for review, then, three weeks later, to the general public.

MECA’s goal is to launch Salt’s full semester program in Fall 2017. In the meantime, MECA and Salt will be offering one-week summer workshops in documentary storytelling. The three workshops, which will be led by documentary storytellers with national profiles, include Radio Storytelling with Michael May, Short Documentary Film with Matt Moyer, and Documentary Photography with Amy Toensing. Visit for more info.

For more information, visit this page or contact Raffi Der Simonian, Director of Marketing & Communications at 207.699.5010 or

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salt is writing – not ending – its story

By Donna Galluzzo and Kimberly Curry, Special to the BDN (Bangor Daily News)
Posted Aug. 23, 2015, at 12:15 p.m.

A number of Salt Institute for Documentary Studies alumni have contributed tremendously to the effort in recent months to keep Salt alive, independent and a part of our beloved arts district and arts community here in Portland.

In June, Salt announced it planned to close. In the weeks since, a number of statements have been made about Salt’s 42-year history that we would like to clarify. As we move forward in our discussions about partnering with the Maine College of Art, we would like the people of Maine — the focus of all Salt stories and the heart and soul of our institution — to have clear and more accurate information about Salt’s past in relation to what we hope is an exciting future ahead.

It is of paramount importance that we clarify that Salt, in its entire 42-year history, has never held accreditation. Salt has had several decades-long affiliations with accredited institutions within and even outside of Maine, but we have never held accreditation in our own right.

Decades ago, as with many similar small workshop programs, Salt initiated institutional affiliations that allowed for some wonderful benefits for our semester program students. With institutional affiliations students were able to get official transcripts, transfer partial or full credit hours, use AmeriCorps awards to help pay for school and gain access to unsubsidized educational loans.

Over the years and of their own accord, our affiliate institutions ended their formal relationships with us. We were disappointed and concerned when the termination decisions were made, and we fought hard to make an argument for keeping such affiliations. Ultimately, we realized these decisions not only were out of our hands but also necessary for our partner institutions to remain as solvent as possible.

One of the most exciting opportunities we have with a potential partnership with Maine College of Art is we could re-energize our programming by reinstating our affiliation with an accredited institution. Going forward, we hope to be able to provide even more opportunities for our students to find creative ways to fund their semester program and develop mechanisms to transfer credits earned during a course of study at Salt.

It also has been suggested Salt’s operating expenses have increased significantly over the years. In reality, operating expenses and income have been at a nearly equal stalemate.

Salt consistently has committed 12 to 15 percent of our operating budget to financial aid; because we are not accredited, financial aid must be given from our own operating expenses. We feel the cost of tuition is a hurdle to those with socio-economic challenges, and we try to mitigate it as much as we can. But we feel the pressure of the rising cost of doing business, and we often are competing for students from a market in which institutions of higher education can fall back on their endowments to help provide aid in difficult times. Salt does not and has never had the safety net of an endowment.

The question then is, how has Salt managed these past years with somewhat static or small tuition increases, more significant declines in enrollment the past several years and the generally rising cost of business? The answer is simply we have cut staffing. Within the last decade alone, Salt has had as many as eight part-time faculty and teaching assistants and up to four full-time staff. Today, Salt employs four part-time faculty, two full-time and one part-time staff member.

Our first priority has always been to deliver the best quality educational program we could, but we no longer could ignore the fact that our facilities needed work and our students were struggling to find housing in the crazy rental market that has exploded here in Portland. As such, the two full-time staff members have been managing three facilities (two student housing facilities and the school’s physical space), two semester-long programs, between two and five week-long summer workshops and up to seven gallery shows per year. Each decision, show, facility and programming change was taken on in an effort to keep the institution alive and thriving.

With the announcement of our closure came an incredible outpouring of love and support for Salt. It now appears we might finally be able to make Salt more stable and sustainable through the generosity of the Quimby Family Foundation and the ingenuity, spirit and open arms of our neighbors across the street: Maine College of Art.

This most recent chapter of Salt’s history has been one of our most challenging, and it isn’t the way we would have written this story. But like all great stories, there are unforeseen twists and turns, decisive moments and unexpected outcomes. It appears, gratefully so, we are still writing our story and that is hasn’t ended after all.

Donna Galluzzo is executive director of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Kimberly Curry is Salt’s board chair.

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An Important Update About Salt’s Future

Dear Salt Alumni, Maine & Portland’s Arts Community and Interested Community Members, Near and Far:

It’s been about six weeks since we wrote to you with news of the decision to close Salt.

Since that announcement was shared publicly, there has been an outpouring of concern, hopes and good wishes from alumni and members of Maine’s Arts Community. We are incredibly touched and heartened to be the recipients of these nationwide sentiments – which have included offers of help, sadness and disbelief as well as rallying cries to find a way to reverse this difficult decision. Foremost among these groups, of course, were our own passionate Salt alumni. In addition to the existing Salt Alumni Board, another group of alumni quickly formed under the leadership of 6 dedicated individuals- leading a group called, Save Salt! Both the Salt Alumni Board and Save Salt! are working tirelessly to make sure that everyone’s voices are heard. We want to thank them and acknowledge their commitment, dedication and their unwavering belief that something positive can still happen.

Over the past weeks, Salt’s board of trustees has continued its outreach to potential partners and collaborators, and was also approached by several parties with suggestions and proposals for continuing Salt. After thoroughly assessing and considering all proposals, the trustees decided to pursue a dialogue with the Maine College of Art (MECA).

Salt and MECA are now entering into more in-depth discussions and a due diligence phase as we continue to negotiate opportunities for an exciting future for Salt in partnership with the Maine College of Art.

With the generous support of the Quimby Family Foundation (A private family foundation who has supported Salt as a funding partner for many years), the goal is to perpetuate Salt’s mission and unique programming while at the same time securing its archives, and providing an academic partnership different from any other that Salt has had in its 42-year history.

What is most important to all of us is that we stay true to Salt’s mission; that we retain the reputation of Salt’s revered national brand; and, that we create the opportunity for Salt to continue to offer its distinctive pedagogy. At the same time Salt would remain open and nimble to new technologies and cutting edge industry trends; welcoming opportunities for increased community partnerships, collaborations and, most importantly, increased alumni engagement.

Salt’s genesis, in Kennebunk, Maine in 1973, was under the umbrella of Kennebunk High School. Salt’s visionary founder, Pamela Wood, was able to grow the program beyond the walls of Kennebunk High School, through many evolutions of exploration and change, towards the program it is today. With that spirit in mind, Salt is excited to explore this partnership, one of the many benefits of which would include the opportunity to reduce operating costs and overhead. Salt would be able to retain classroom and gallery space in the heart of the Arts District, with its own branding, while at the same time accessing the benefits of a robust arts and academic community with whom to learn from and collaborate.

Salt and MECA are proposing the creation of an alumni advisory board to provide input into this process as we proceed through our due diligence phase. We will also be seeking the input of our Maine and Portland community, national collaborators and media partners as plans for the future are discussed in the coming weeks and months.

Leadership from all parties involved are committed to moving thoughtfully and intentionally through a transition process.

A partnership with MECA has tremendous opportunity to impact the Portland Arts Community in new and exciting ways. The recognition and branding of both institutions would be strengthened and elevated locally and nationally. MECA is flourishing under strong leadership and steady growth. They are poised and ready to be a fully collaborating partner with Salt, keen on retaining Salt’s trademark culture and program offerings while looking for opportunities to grow together – making each institution stronger on its own and in partnership.

There are still some pressing issues and immediate changes that will need to happen at Salt. The trustees, in their efforts to be fiscally responsible and ever cognizant of their fiduciary responsibilities, have been working with our landlord to find a new tenant for the space at 561 Congress Street. For the foreseeable future, Salt will share the space with a new leasing tenant (another educational institution) while details of our partnership with MECA continue to be discussed.

Salt student housing will be sold so that we can repay the generous foundation loan that enabled us to purchase the building. Attempting to carry the housing (including the loan and operating costs) without consistent programming would be another significant drain on Salt’s already exhausted resources.

Many have voiced great concern about what will happen to Salt’s 42-year-old archive. Historically, the physical archives have remained in Salt’s possession as the organization has moved from place to place throughout the state of Maine. The archives will continue to remain with Salt, for the time being at 561 Congress, and then either at MECA or with one of several interested institutions here in Maine. Salt will complete work on a publicly accessible digital story archive, this fall, containing digital versions of all Salt publications and all student stories from 1973 through present day.

Salt’s trustees and administration, in collaboration with MECA’s directors and administration and with the support and guidance of the Quimby Family Foundation are focused on creating a future for Salt that keeps the organization in Portland; keeps the Salt brand independent, recognizable and thriving; and, keeps the school fiscally strong by eliminating the duplication of overhead and expenses. This in turn will create opportunities for new community partnerships and more alumni engagement.

As we bring these ideas to fruition, we do so with the understanding that we must shepherd the memory and role Salt has played in so many people’s lives while exploring what the future holds for our beloved institution.

We thank all of you who have shared your feelings, time and expertise toward these shared goals and we look forward to updating you on our progress in the coming weeks.

Thank you.

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The Salt Institute Announces It’s Closing

A Maine school that has nurtured documentary storytelling for more than 40 years is closing its doors. Over 1,000 writers, photographers and radio and multimedia storytellers have attended the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies since it first opened. But ever-present financial challenges have finally forced Salt to shut down for good.

In 1973, a high school English teacher wanted to help students learn to use words and photographs to tell rich, in-depth stories. So Pamela Wood launched a documentary storytelling institute in Kennebunk.

At the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, students immersed themselves in documentary writing and photography. Radio was added around the turn of the century and a multimedia program after that.

“To be honest with you, that we’ve sustained for 42 years, in many ways, has been amazing. Truly amazing,” says Donna Galluzzo, the institute’s executive director. Like so many non-profits, Salt, notes Galluzzo, has operated on the edge financially, year in and year out.

Salt, which moved locations five times over the years, is now headquartered on Congress Street in Portland. It has an operating budget of roughly half-a-million dollars a year. Salt lacks an endowment and has depended on the nearly $10,000 in tuition that students pay to immerse themselves in documentary storytelling.

But in recent years, says Kimberly Curry, enrollment has fallen off. Curry is head of Salt’s board of directors. “We just really haven’t quite recovered from the recession from 2008. If we had, say, 23 students or 25 students a semester, that would be terrific. But we’ve been seeing our numbers dropping in different areas,” Curry says. “And that’s just unacceptable.”

So Salt, which ended last year with $83,000 in debt, will close its doors. Galluzzo and Curry say the institute is working on finding a digital home for its vast archive of documentary work produced by more than 1,000 students from across the U.S. and abroad.

Salt has also been a contributor to MPBN for over a decade. Its most recent contribution was a profile that aired just two weeks ago.

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The Salt Institute Searches for an Interim Executive Director!


Founded over 40 years ago, the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies is a non-profit school in Portland, Maine offering semester-long intensive programs in documentary radio, photography, shortdocs and writing with a focus on powerful and responsible storytelling. The work of our students lives at the intersection of community engagement and fieldwork in a way that promotes artistry within the medium, sheds light on important social, cultural and economic narratives in our geographic region and gives audience to the diverse and important stories of the people and places of Maine and New England.

Having positioned ourselves as storytellers in this community over the past four decades, Salt is in an exciting state of transition to meet the changing demands of how media is delivered and how students engage in each of the tracks. As we grow and change with the industry around us, we are in a unique position to situate ourselves on the frontier of this evolving landscape. The desire to hire an interim director comes from the need to focus on stabilizing the organization through a period of growth and development, leadership and staff changes. Working in a role that is both creative and administrative, the interim director will be both a forward thinking educator and a savvy businessperson.


**As of May 1st, applications are closed. Thank you for your interest. We look forward to announcing the new Executive Director this summer!


Job Description

This interim director position is year-round and full-time and will be at least a two-year placement (with the possibility of a permanent appointment). Working with board and staff, the interim director will conceive of and plan the school’s ongoing programs and initiatives in keeping with Salt’s mission. The interim director will supervise the maintenance of the physical plant and studio facilities, manage the finances of the institution, and, most importantly, foster the continued development of an intensive creative community throughout this time of transition.

Our ideal candidate will have 5 or more years of experience in managing staff, fundraising and working with a board. They should have excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to craft and share a compelling story to inspire individuals and diverse audiences. They must have the ability to connect with the local community. The interim director must be nimble and quick thinking, as Salt is a dynamic and ever-evolving organization. A clear vision and the ability to collaboratively carry out that vision will be critical in this role. In addition to prior executive director (or equivalent) experience a background in strategic branding and marketing is strongly preferred.

Specifically, the director will:

-Provide leadership within the school, including resource development and personnel management
-Supervise student applications, financial aid and admission procedures and policies
-Foster relationships with alumni and other cultural institutions in our community on local, national and international levels
-Promote and publicize the school
-Oversee the annual schedule of gallery exhibitions (including 2 student shows per year)
-Ensure compliance with regulations and laws that pertain to the school and 501c3 status in particular
-Formulate and develop long and short-range goals and strategic plans to ensure continued growth and sustainability
-Maintain instructional standards of quality
-Develop and prepare the annual preliminary budget; monitor and control budget expenditures
-Direct the preparation and maintenance of detailed and comprehensive reports, records and files regarding personnel, facilities, programs, operations and activities
-Manage school facilities, student housing, vendor relationships and insurance requirements for both facilities
-Hire and review staff necessary to assist with all phases of the program and operations
-Report to the Board of trustees on a regular basis
-Serve as ex-officio member of all standing committees of the Board
-Oversee community relations
-Demonstrate literacy and proficiency with Mac computers and Mac related software (knowledgeable enough to oversee the purchase of hardware and software and negotiate vendor contracts)
-Showcase an attention to detail especially in the enforcement of Salt and student policies and procedures (such as: awareness of conflicts of interest, ethical questions and general legal matters)

Salary: $60,000-$80,000 commensurate with experience

Benefits: Health and dental (full coverage), PTO (4weeks)

Application Deadline: Through May 1st  **Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis between the posting date and the 5/1/15 deadline

Preferred starting date: July 1st (or earlier)


To apply:

Submit resume or CV, cover letter, and in one page or less, tell us, “Why Salt and Why Now?”

Email applications only please, to:; Subject line: ED Search Committee

Format: pdf only; Please label each document: lastnamefirstinitial_resume(or coverletter or Saltquestion)

No phone calls, No walk-ins, No USPS or paper delivery of any kind

*The institution will contact you via email with status updates and requests for further information or to schedule an interview no later than the deadline date of May 1st.

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Accepting Submissions for Mobile You 2.0

The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies is excited to announce Mobile You 2.0.

This juried exhibition will feature photographs shot exclusively with mobile devices like smart phones and tablets. Who will shoot this unique collection of images? You.

We’re now accepting submissions for consideration in the Mobile You 2.0 exhibit, which will go on display in the Salt Gallery on October 2 – October 31. Exhibited photos will be available for purchase by the public for $30 and that amount will be split evenly between the photographer and Salt.

You can submit up to five photos to the Mobile You 2.0 for the $15 submission fee, so go ahead, show us what you’ve got. Or just send us your one or two favorites.

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Join us June 20th for a World Refugee Day Event!

World Refugee Day is a global celebration that is held annually to honor the courage and struggles of the more than 15 million people worldwide displaced by war and persecution. Each year, Maine welcomes refugees from war-­‐torn countries and helps them to rebuild their lives in safety.


This year, on Friday, June 20th, renowned inaugural poet and Maine resident Richard Blanco will deliver an address at a World Refugee Day event scheduled for 4pm at Congress Square Park in Portland.


Following the celebration, Salt Institute will host a special reception featuring their newest collection “In the Shadows: Urban Refugee Children in Africa” by National Geographic photographer and Salt alum Amy Toensing. The reception will begin at 6pm. Both events are free and open to the public.

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Spend a week of your summer at Salt!

Are you interested in learning more about Photography, Multimedia, New Media (Video Storytelling), Writing and Radio?

Then consider spending 1 week with us this summer! Our short programs incorporate hands-on skills training, lectures and  individual critiques to provide a solid foundation (or build on an existing one) in just 5 days. This year’s offerings include opportunities for beginners, intermediate/advanced media artists, high school students, nonfiction writers and professionals looking to build media skills for the workplace.

Register here

Learn more here

“Being an alum, I know the incredible value of time spent as a student at Salt. The skills, confidence, and community that is gained through the semester program is tangible and long-lasting.  Four years later I am working as Director of Multimedia at a creative arts non-profit for youth teaching and documenting our work through photography, audio,and multimedia. I  enrolled in the summer multimedia course to learn about film, something I knew nothing about, feeling a little daunted by the technical skill needed to successfully shoot and edit video. In just one week we were skillfully taught and guided through multiple media projects. I had major learning moments and left feeling fully competent and inspired by my final  work and the work of my classmates. It was a valuable week professionally and personally and I would highly recommend it to anyone in our community.”
[Molly Haley]
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Photoville ME

Join us in Congress Square August 17-22 for Photoville ME : Portland’s first outdoor art exhibit held entirely in a 20×8′ shipping container!


Salt traveled to Photoville in Brooklyn last year, and were one of dozens of organizations, schools and artists to create displays in shipping containers in NYC’s Brooklyn Bridge Park. This year, we’re bringing Photoville to Portland with an exhibition of past Salt work. The exhibition will be on display during daylight hours in Congress Square August 17-22 before traveling to New York to participate in this year’s larger Photoville exhibition.


Read more about the exhibition in this Portland Press Herald article!


Photoville ME is sponsored by Zachau Construction, Portland Downtown District, Pulp + Wire, Grapheteria, and Salt.

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