institute for documentary studies

{Summer Programs}

Spend one week of your summer at Salt


          Are you interested in learning more about




or NEW MEDIA (Video Storytelling)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   …but don’t have 15 weeks?

Come spend 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.

Learn more about Summer 2014 workshops below.

“I USED A WEEK OF PRECIOUS VACATION DAYS to attend Salt’s multimedia intensive during the summer and DEFINITELY WOULDN’T HAVE TRADED IT FOR A BEACH TRIP. Each participant brought different experiences and goals, but all showed up with heaps of enthusiasm and creativity. I ate too much Otto pizza, met some lovely people, and the short video profile I created that week has helped me show colleagues and collaborators what I’m ready to do — and I’m working on more!”

[Jessica Bal]

“To me, the program was a PERFECT PACKAGE FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: an opportunity to not only improve my photography skills but to also revisit the powerful storytelling process that’s uniquely Salt. I’d recommend the workshop to any communications/development professional…as well as to anyone wanting to tell a story.”

[Marcie Parker Griswold]

  • June 23-27: Int/Adv New Media with Maisie Crow

    This five-day intensive is aimed at individuals with previous experience in photography and DSLR video. Students will further develop their existing skills in using video to create compelling, short-form documentaries.  Students will be working in the field in teams of 2 or 3. For this course students will be using Canon C100 digital video cameras. The EOS C100 with its smaller, lighter body brings true cinema quality to independent and freelance video producers. The workshop will consist of a combination of lectures, technical instruction, hands-on production and critiques. Students will use and have access to 27-inch iMac desktop computers with up-to-date video editing software programs. The 5-day workshop will meet each day, classes will continue into the evening hours and the program promises to be very rigorous. Enrollment will be limited to 15 participants. Once students have registered and been accepted to the workshop a more detailed course schedule will be made available to them.


    Instructor Maisie Crow is a documentary photographer and filmmaker based in Brooklyn, New York. Currently, Maisie is working on a film (originating from a collaboration with the Atavist, an iPad magazine) about the fight to keep the last remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi open despite new legislation that endeavors to shut it down. In 2012, her short film, Half-Lives: The Chernobyl Workers Now, won the Overseas Press Club Award for online video and was recognized by the World Press Photo Multimedia Contest, Best of Photojournalism and Pictures of the Year International. In 2010 her multimedia project, A Life Alone, was nominated for a News and Documentary Emmy. In 2009, she was the recipient of the Ian Parry Scholarship and the Pierre and Alexandra Boulat Grant for her photography project, Love Me.

    Maisie received her undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin, and studied as a graduate student at Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication. She attended the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies and  World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass in Amsterdam. Maisie is a member of Razon Collective. She has taught as an adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism,  CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.


    • July 7-11 & 14-18: Beg/Int Multimedia with Anne Bailey

      Entering its second year, this five-day intensive aims to equip students with the skills necessary to shoot and produce powerful, short-form documentaries through compelling video, photography and audio. Students will engage in hands-on training in still photography, DSLR video, audio and editing with Lightroom and Final Cut X. Coursework will be geared toward the beginner to intermediate student and will focus primarily on DSLR still and video shooting and production, including interviewing, external sound recording, b-roll, basic lighting and editing. Students will dive headfirst into shooting stories in and around Portland, critiquing colleagues’ work and exploring trends in the DSLR video world. Enrollment will be limited to 15 participants. Once students have registered and been accepted to the workshop a more detailed course schedule will be made available to them.


      Instructor Anne Bailey is a photojournalist, videographer and media instructor based in Missoula, MO and Portland, ME. In March 2012, working with a group of Tunisians, Anne launched Speak Out Tunisia,a citizen journalism-training project designed to help build a free press after the 2011 Tunisian revolution that launched the Arab Spring. In 2010 and 2012, Anne taught visual journalism in the Democratic Republic of Congo as part of Congo in Focus, a multimedia education project she developed to help Congolese students report on their own communities. Anne holds a master’s in journalism from the University of Montana and focuses her documentary work on social issues in the U.S. and overseas. Her work documents the lives of prostitutes in Congo, rural Montanans with HIV/AIDS and Native American Two-Spirited (LGBT) people. Anne has been published in Reuters, News Photographer, PBS MediaShift, Montana Magazine, and NewWest. Get a taste of the workshop in video form here.

    • July 21-25: Radio Production for Teens

      This summer, Salt will partner with Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN) to present our first production workshop for high school students. Participants will learn the key elements to making good radio, and put their new-found skills to use interviewing subjects and producing their own stories. Students will work in teams while in the field. In addition to instruction from radio broadcast professionals, students will learn to use state of the art digital audio recording devices. While at Salt students will work on 27-inch iMac computers to polish and edit their work. In addition to the fieldwork and technical training students will visit the Maine Public Broadcasting Network offices. This course is open to INCOMING high school juniors and seniors only and will be limited to 9 (nine only) students. Classes will meet each day of the five-day course for a full day of fieldwork, training and/or editing and coaching. Expect the program to be exciting and fast-paced. Once students have registered and been accepted to the workshop a more detailed course schedule will be made available to them.


      Instructor Patty B. Wight is a reporter and producer for the Maine Public Broadcasting Network. She has produced stories for NPR’s All Things Considered and Weekend Edition, in addition to an exclusive 5-part documentary series for Maine Things Considered on Maine’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign. Patty recently produced a 10-part series called “Mental Blocks” on the subject of mental health issues in Maine. She got her start in radio as a Salt student in 2000, and has also taught others how to make radio at the Salt Institute.

    • July 21-25: Photojournalism with Amy Toensing
      Salt alumna and National Geographic photographer Amy Toensing is ready to guide photography students of all levels through a visual storytelling workshop experience. If you have a passion for photography and you have always wanted to learn how to shoot and edit your work to create engaging visual stories, this is the perfect summer workshop for you. The emphasis in this class will be on storytelling, although students will be working at Salt on 27-inch iMac desktops, use Lightroom to edit their work and leave the workshop with a completed story narrative. We prefer you bring your own DSLR but if you don’t own one yet, we do have a limited number of cameras that we can loan for the duration of the 5-day course. These will be long days of shooting, editing and post-production and in addition to Amy’s teaching expertise, you’ll notice that her own documentary work will be featured in Salt’s gallery as our mid-summer show! Enrollment will be limited to 15 participants. Once students have registered and been accepted to the workshop a more detailed course schedule will be made available to them.


      Photojournalist Amy Toensing has been a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine for over a decade and recently completed her thirteenth feature story for them. She has covered cultures around the world including the last the cave dwelling tribe of Papua New Guinea, the Maori of New Zealand and the Kingdom of Tonga. Toensing’s work has appeared in Smithsonian, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time Magazine, and National Geographic Traveler. A photograph she took in the Australian outback was chosen as one of National Geographic magazine’s all time 50 Best Photos. Amy spent a semester studying photography at Salt in 1992.

    • Jul 30-Aug 3: Writing with Mira Ptacin & Elyssa East

      **The Writing Workshop for 2014 has been cancelled. Be on the lookout for a similar offering in summer of 2015! And please check out our other summer offerings, most of them are close to being full and we’d love to have you join us! Register today or email if you have any questions.


      Salt writing alumni, Mira Ptacin and Elyssa East work together to bring you this unique writing workshop on the coast of Maine. Writers need inspiration and the scenic Maine coast provides an unparalleled summer experience. This very special workshop begins with a Maine lobster bake (weather permitting of course) and continues on with four days of workshops, craft talks, panel discussions and professional guidance. This is an intimate workshop experience with enrollment limited to 12 participants. Writers will workshop a piece that they’ve already begun and they will leave the workshop with a 12-15 page polished piece, professional feedback, detailed revision notes and a one-on-one conference session with an instructor. For inspiration along the way there will be a quintessentially Maine afternoon excursion (leave the surprise to us!), and we’ll wrap up with a closing brunch in one of Portland’s incredible eclectic restaurants. You won’t want to leave! Once students have registered and been accepted to the workshop a more detailed course schedule will be made available to them.


      Mira Ptacin is a creative nonfiction and children’s book author, New York Times bestselling ghostwriter, as well as the founder and executive director of Freerange Nonfiction, a popular New York City and nonfiction reading series and storytelling collective. Mira’s essays and compositions have appeared in New York Magazine, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Rumpus, Guernica, The Morning News, Smith Magazine, Anderbo,, Cerise Press, Epiphany Literary Magazine, Common Dreams, LUMINA, and more. She’s a contributing writer to the anthology, Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York (Seal Press 2013). She’s currently at work on her second book. Visit Mira’s website here.


      Salt alum Elyssa East’s first book, Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town, won the 2010 L. L. Winship/P.E.N. New England Award in Nonfiction. Dogtown was also a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Awards and an Editors’ Choice Selection of the New York Times Sunday Book Review. Elyssa has received fellowships from the Jerome, Ragdale, and Ludwig Vogelstein Foundations; Columbia University; the University of Connecticut; the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference; the Phillips Library; and the Corporation of Yaddo. Her reviews, reportage, and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, The Dallas Morning News, The Kansas City Star, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Al Jazeera America and on the Poetry Foundation’s website. Elyssa’s short fiction has been published in Cape Cod Noir and USA Noir: The Best of the Akashic Noir. She has taught at Rhode Island School of Design, SUNY Purchase, and Cleveland State University and is on the faculty of the undergraduate Creative Writing program at Columbia University. Elyssa lives in New York City with her husband and son and is working on a novel.

    • Tuition
      While financial aid is not available for summer workshops, you can save by registering early.
      Register and pay by:
      June 23-27: Intermediate/Advanced New Media: $1050
      * Students must register and pay in full by June 16th, after June 16th full price is $1250
      July 7-11: Beginner – Intermediate Multimedia: $895
      * Students must register by June 23rd, after June 23rd full price is $1000
      ** Students must pay in full by June 30th
      July 14-18: Beginner – Intermediate Multimedia: $895
      * Students must register by June 30th, after June 30th full price is $1000
      ** Students must pay in full by July 7th
      July 21-25: Photojournalism: $895
      * Students must register by July 7th, after July 7th full price is $1000
      ** Students must pay in full by July 14th

      **Radio Production for Teens has no early registration discount, the fee for accepted students is $100 – due on or before June 30th, 2014 (no housing is available for the radio workshop, out of state students may attend but students must provide their own housing)

      The above prices do not include housing, which is available from Salt for an additional $500 for six nights/seven days, or in the Portland area on your own.
    • Housing & Meals
      Summer workshop housing is available in Salt’s student housing located within several blocks of school. Student lodging is full decorated with furnishings, kitchen tools, dishes and basic linens in addition to wireless internet and common room TVs with basic cable. Apartments include individual bedrooms with full-size beds, common room and shared kitchen and bathroom. Click here for more information and a virtual tour.
      Housing is available at a rate of $500 for 6 nights/7 days and will be allotted on a first come, first served basis.If you choose to find your own housing, please plan ahead! Lodging can be hard to come by in Portland during the summer.Salt will provide a simple lunch and some Continental breakfast foods over the course of all five-day workshops. Students are responsible for own dinners and for any special dietary needs.
    • FAQ
      Do I need to bring my own gear?
      Salt provides audio recorders to all radio workshop participants for the duration of the program. If you are attending a new media or photojournalism workshop and you have your own 35mm DSLR camera with video capabilities, please plan on bringing it, along with any accessories such as a tripod and extra lenses. If not, we’ll check one out to you to use for the duration of the program (each camera may be shared by up to 2 students). You’ll have your own 27-inch iMac desktop computer to work on while you’re here. We recommend you bring a hard drive so you can take your work with you when you leave.
      Are meals provided during workshops?
      Salt will provide a simple lunch and some Continental breakfast foods over the course of the five-day program. Students are responsible for own dinners and for any special dietary needs.
      Contact, or call Emily Baer at 207.761.0660 extension 2 with any other questions.


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