This is Salt

Portland Press Herald puts the spotlight on Salt image

Portland Press Herald puts the spotlight on Salt

“The podcast industry is changing all the time. There are some very big podcast companies and the job market is strong,” said Kestenbaum. “But we’re still teaching the basic skills too, how do you find a good story, how do you report it responsibly.”

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Bangor Daily News reviews Salt's Sovereign podcast image

Bangor Daily News reviews Salt's Sovereign podcast

Understanding the important role Sovereign plays in bringing to light the circumstances that led to Maine's tribal leaders to sign over many of their rights in a settlement act and the current fight to get back tribal self-governance.

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Introducing award-winning podcaster and Salt faculty member CC Paschal image

Introducing award-winning podcaster and Salt faculty member CC Paschal

Meet CC

Salt Graduate Certificate in Documentary Studies

Learn the art of creating documentaries with our Graduate Certificate Program in either Radio+Podcasting or Short Film

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. Our faculty members are working documentarians and teaching professionals who help provide a strong foundation for students to develop new skills, build expertise, and make their best work.

For a densely-packed semester, Salt students bring their passions, ideas, challenges, and projects to concentrate on Radio+Podcasting or Short Film. Graduates leave the program with a portfolio of professional work prepared to advance their careers in storytelling.

Radio+Podcasting

Create podcasts like Sovereign, created under the guidance of award-winning veteran NPR reporter and co-creator of Planet Money Robert Smith. 

Short Film

Uncover hidden stories through stunning visuals and compelling storytelling. 

The Salt experience is intensive and focused.

We look for students who are ready to work and excited about the potential of a 15-week residency format. 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.

Expand your passion and earn 16 graduate credits in our single-semester program offered in both Fall and Spring. Start dates can be found here.

Access to Urban Centers & the Natural World
Located on the southern coast of Maine, Portland is just the right size, easy to navigate on foot, filled with arts and culture and minutes from islands, beaches, lakes, forests, and farmland. Just a few hours from Boston and a few more hours to Manhattan, the city of Portland is a collection of unique neighborhoods with a strong commitment to community. Between the outdoor activities, the booming local food movement, and the vibrant visual and performing art scene, Portland offers a place to live and a way of life. 

Examples of Where Salt Alumni Go on to Work and Freelance
  • Al Jazeera
  • American Public Media
  • Audible
  • BBC
  • California Sunday Magazine
  • Gimlet
  • The Magnum Foundation
  • Modern Love
  • New York Magazine
  • Pop Up Magazine
  • Radiolab
  • Snap Judgement
  • The Believer
  • The New Yorker
  • This American Life
  • Tin House
  • Vice Media
  • Virginia Quarterly Review
  • 99 Percent Invisible
Salt Story Archive

Browse our archive to find yourself jumping from portraits of fishermen, to a radio story exploring the lives of Somali-American teenagers, to a print piece about a group of people fighting for affordable housing. Discover work documenting everything from the back-to-the-land movement, hunting, and migrant farmers to gender diversity, alleged alien abductions, and cold-case crimes.

View Salt Alumni Work

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 available online at saltstoryarchive.com.

Please contact Rachel Katz, Administrative Director of Graduate Programs (rkatz@meca.edu), with any Salt Story Archive inquiries.

Learn more

Graduate Viewbook Submit Question How to Apply Next Steps

 

Maine College of Art & Design also offers shorter Salt Intensives through our Continuing & Professional Studies program. 

Spotlight

  • Alumni
  • Emily Kwong, Salt '13

    Our society assumes many things about people who receive abortions, that are not backed by actual data. We . . .

    Salt Institute of Documentary Studies Emily Kwong, Salt ’13, covers today's headlines through the lens of science Emily Kwong, Salt ’13 (she/her) is no stranger to tackling the big, tough conversations with plenty of supporting data. The same year Kwong graduated from the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies, she also won the "Best . . .Read More

  • Amya Bhalla, Salt ’22

    For me, creative work is the most fulfilling form of community engagement and relationship building. I am . . .

    Amya Bhalla, Salt ’22 Sneaks Art Into The World “I love sneaking my art into the world when no one is looking,” Amya Bhalla, Salt ’22 explains on a website highlighting various pursuits across the realms of art, design, and journalism. Bhalla is one of those Renaissance people who seem to do it all. From […]Read More

  • Mike Eckel, Salt ’96

    ...[A]ll wars are ultimately about human beings...

    Earlier this week, MECA&D checked in with alumnus Mike Eckel, Salt ’96 to offer him support from our community as he covers the invasion from Ukraine. We asked Mike if there was anything he wanted to make sure people here know about his work in the field. This is what he shared. Maybe just to […]Read More

  • Tim Greenway, Salt ’03, captures Portland’s transformation

    Commercial, editorial and fine art photographer Tim Greenway, Salt ’03 has a . . .

    Commercial, editorial and fine art photographer Tim Greenway, Salt ’03 has a unique ability to study the landscape and details of the micro-ecology through his rich abstraction of color, texture and patterns. Throughout his career, Greenway has focused on a range of documentary themes from homelessness and drug addiction to . . .Read More

  • Josephine Holtzman, Salt ’08 & Isaac Kestenbaum, Salt ’08

    Tell us a bit about Midnight Son: Midnight Son is a true story about an actor-turned-fugitive who claims he . . .

    Tell us a bit about Midnight Son: Midnight Son is a true story about an actor-turned-fugitive who claims he has a supernatural encounter on the Alaskan tundra while running from the law. It’s a mystery, an adventure story, a courtroom drama, a tragedy, and ultimately a battle between Alaska Native Folklore and the US Justice […]Read More

  • Halle Johns, Salt '19

    Tell us a bit about your project, Shoulder Season: Shoulder Season is a project about an adult dodgeball . . .

    Tell us a bit about your project, Shoulder Season: Shoulder Season is a project about an adult dodgeball league in Rockland, Maine. Before attending Salt Institute of Documentary Studies, I lived in the Midcoast and played in the league on a team called Hard Knox. I never got over how special it was that this […]Read More

  • Nora Saks (Salt ’13)

    We were very excited to catch up with Nora Saks about her new podcast, 'Richest Hill'. A Salt Writing student . . .

    A Salt Writing student back in the early teens, Nora Saks ’13 has built a career in public radio and podcasting. Read More

  • Juliet Werner (Salt ’06)

    Juliet Werner (Salt ’06), a Senior Segment Producer at the Daily Show with Trevor Noah, took some time to . . .

    Juliet Werner (Salt ’06), a Senior Segment Producer at the Daily Show with Trevor Noah, took some time to discuss her new feature documentary film, The Laughter Life, and share some reflections on her life after Salt. Can you tell us a bit about this new project, The Laughter Life? This is my first time […]Read More

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Program

24/7 15-week experience

Salt tracks: Radio+Podcasting or Short Film

Students choose one track to study (8 credits each)

And also enrolled in:

The Salt Workshop (4 credits)
Field Research (4 credits)
Total: 16 credits