Salt Institute for Documentary Studies
Since 1973, the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies has taught students from all over the United States and around the world to become truthful, thorough, creative and responsible storytellers and documentarians.
Salt Graduate Certificate in Documentary Studies
Motivated individuals from all walks of life come to Salt at MECA to focus on documentary storytelling. Whether you are beginning your career or you are a seasoned veteran within your field, our Salt Graduate Certificate in Documentary Studies will allow you to develop new skills and build expertise. Our faculty members are experts in their fields of specialization and provide the foundation for engaging and empowering passionate storytellers to create great work.
Bring your ideas, questions, and unfinished projects— leave with a professional quality body of beautifully crafted, in-depth stories. Learn all about the world of documentary storytelling and how to navigate it. Take the time to critically examine your work and the work of your classmates in your track in an intense and collaborative peer environment.
“Fifteen weeks at Salt rearranged 80% of my brain. The person I was when I arrived at Salt was not the person I was when I left. I walked away with more skills, ideas, and confidence than I could’ve ever imagined.” — Paula Mauro, Salt Radio Alum
There are four tracks to chose from: Radio, Short Documentary Film, Photography, and Writing. The one-semester program begins in Fall 2017 and consists of 15 to 18 credits of study.
Study Your Craft with Seasoned Professionals
- Annie Avilés, founding member of the media studio Ruraliste, is a writer and radio maker whose work focuses on the environment, immigration, and rural life.
- Senior producer of NPR’s Story Lab, Michael May, produces innovative projects, including podcasts, videos, web stories, and new series for broadcast.
- Anne Bailey is a photojournalist and filmmaker in charge of visual storytelling for PRI’s Across Women’s Lives.
- Fulbright scholar Shane Thomas McMillan is a Berlin-based documentary filmmaker, writer, photographer, and educator from western Montana.
- Writer Mira Ptacin is a Salt alum and a published and award-winning creative nonfiction author.
Salt Alumni Impact Communities Locally and Globally
- Patty Wight, Award Winning Reporter, MPBN, Portland, Maine
- Jessica Alpert, Producer, Modern Love Podcast, WBUR, Boston, MA
- Morrigan McCarthy, Photo Editor, The New York Times
- Emily Kwong, Reporter, Raven Radio, KCAW, Sitka, AK
- Gregory Warner, International Correspondent, National Public Radio
- Roger Smith, Tourism Division and International Relations, Matsushima, Japan
- Tina Antolini, Host and Producer, GRAVY Podcast, Southern Foodways Alliance
- Zoe Chace, Producer, This American Life, National Public Radio
- Trevor Brown Jr, Freelance Photographer, former Team Photographer for the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies
- Liz Mak, Producer, Snap Judgment Podcast, WNYC Studios
- David Y. Lee, Photographer, former White House photographer and formerly with Time, Newsweek
- Matt Kielty, Radiolab, WNYC Radio
- Krista Mahr, former South Asia Bureau Chief for Time; freelance writer, Johannesburg, South Africa
- Diane Cook, Author, former producer for This American Life, author of the acclaimed book of short stories, Man V. Nature
- Leigh Ann Henion, New York Times Bestselling author, North Carolina
- Maisie Crow, Award-Winning Filmmaker, Brooklyn, NY
- Kat Baulu, Producer, National Film Board of Canada, Montreal Canada
- Andres Gonzalez, Light Work Artist-In-Residence, Vallejo, California
- Nicolas Tanner, Magnum Foundation fellowship recipient, award winning freelance photographer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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 Maine. The wealth of collective work is now available online here.
Browse Salt’s archive and you’ll find yourself jumping from a tale of lobstering in the ’70’s to a story exploring the lives of new immigrants looking to call Maine home. You’ll discover work documenting everything from the back-to-the-land movement, coastal living, boatbuilders, hunting, and migrant farmers to gender diversity, alleged alien abductions, and cold-case crimes.
- Slide 1 of Header: Bridget Ganske, The Keeping of Bees, 2009
- Slide 2: Nicolas Tanner, Torch, 2011
- Slide 3: Radio student Jessica Alpert, Salt ’08 gathers some ambient sound. Photo: Tommy Galloway, Salt ’08
- Slide 4: Alan Hunter, Old Orchard Beach Off Season, 2011