December 16, 2019

Salt Graduate Certificate in Documentary Studies

Maine College of Art

McKenna Hadley-Burke ’19 and interviewee, 2019. Photo: Kyle Dubay ’18.

We are currently accepting applications for the spring and fall 2020 terms.

Spring 2020: Audio Storytelling
Application deadline: January 3, as space permits

Fall 2020: Audio Storytelling or Visual Storytelling
Diversity fellowship deadline: March 8, 2020
Priority application deadline: April 19, 2020

Step away from life and focus on crafting stories surrounded by other brilliant and curious radio makers at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies at Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine. Learn the fundamentals of storytelling, explore the ethics of documentary work, and practice the art of live storytelling.

Since 1973, the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies has taught students from all over the United States and around the world to become skilled documentarians and storytellers. Motivated individuals from all walks of life come to Salt to focus on documentary storytelling, develop new skills, and build expertise. Our faculty members are working documentarians and teaching professionals who help provide a strong foundation for students to make their best work.

The Salt experience is intensive and focused. We are looking for students who arrive ready to work and who understand the importance of and possibilities inherent in the 15-week residency format of our program. We want students to bring their passion for documentary work to Salt to gain better storytelling skills, learn more about the field of documentary work, and be open to the new possibilities that the Salt program will present.

Classes for the spring term begin January 15, 2020. Classes for the fall term begin August 31, 2020.

The Salt Diversity Fellowship
As part of Salt at Maine College of Art’s commitment to training the next generation of storytellers, we are pleased to offer the Salt Diversity Fellowship. We are committed to training documentarians to tell stories in ways that are equitable and inclusive. We also recognize that documentary has often reinforced the inequality present in our societies, rather than challenging it. As part of our mission as storytellers and citizens, we are committed to transforming this field so that it reflects and amplifies a diversity of experiences, identities, and voices. Ideal applicants produce work that embodies and reinforces these core values. More information about the fellowship can be found here.

Salt Graduates
Since 1973, hundreds of documentarians have gotten their start at Salt. Graduates include radio luminaries such as Sam Greenspan (99% Invisible), Zoe Chace (This American Life), Phoebe Judge (Criminal), Kalila Holt (Heavyweight), and Chloe Prasinos (Marvel’s Wolverine).

Current/Recent Faculty + Visiting Documentarians include:
Colin Cheney, Ashley Cleek, Peter Lang-Stanton, Annie Aviles, Yoon Byun, Thi Bui, Jaed Coffin, Leila Day, Galen Koch, Andrea de Leon, Mira Ptacin, RaMell Ross and Sharon Shattuck.

Salt Story Archive
Since 1973, the students of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies have captured the spirit of the culture, people, and landscapes of the world around us. The collective body of work—stories and publications—is now available online at

For more information about the program, watch the recording of our online informational session.

Contact: T 207 699 5023 / admissions [​at​]

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