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 skilled documentarians and storytellers.
Salt Graduate Certificate in Documentary Studies
The Salt Graduate Certificate in Documentary Studies at Maine College of Art is a 15-week experience where 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.
Bring your passion, ideas, challenges, and projects; leave with a portfolio of beautifully crafted stories.
Salt Tracks of Study
Radio & Podcasting
Short Film & Photography
All Salt students also take the Salt Seminar, a writing intensive seminar focused on the history, ethics, and process of making documentary work.
This one-semester program takes place during fall or spring, and consists of 16 credits.
Examples of Where Salt Alumni Go on to Work and Freelance
- Al Jazeera
- American Public Media
- California Sunday Magazine
- The Magnum Foundation
- Modern Love
- New York Magazine
- Pop Up Magazine
- Snap Judgement
- The Believer
- The New Yorker
- This American Life
- Tin House
- Vice Media
- Virginia Quarterly Review
- 99 Percent Invisible
Salt Story Archive
Browse this archive and you’ll 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. You’ll 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.
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 saltstoryarchive.com.
Artist Credit and Resources
- 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
Tavia Gilbert Salt ’01
Tavia Gilbert Salt ’01 Receives Best Female Narrator Audie Award
Tavia Gilbert, who attended the Salt . . .”
Tavia Gilbert Salt ’01 Receives Best Female Narrator Audie Award Tavia Gilbert, who attended the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies in 2001, received a 2017 Best Female Narrator Audie Award for her narration of Be Frank With Me, by Julia Claiborne Johnson. Other nominees included Robin Miles (Another Brooklyn: A Novel), Juliet . . .Read More
Alex Acquisto Salt ’11
A news story recently written by Alex Acquisto Salt ’11 recounted the heroic actions of jogger Rachel Borch . . .”
A news story recently written by Alex Acquisto Salt ’11 recounted the heroic actions of jogger Rachel Borch during her terrifying encounter with a rabid raccoon, which she managed to drown in a puddle and made headlines: “Little did she know she was about to be attacked by a rabid raccoon she would end up […]Read More
Heidi Sistare & Kelly Shetron Salt '12
Stories are how we see and understand each other. Stories are how people connect.”
Writers, artists, and friends Heidi Sistare and Kelly Shetron value creative partnerships so highly they started their own project that explores how collaborative relationships impact creative work. “The creative process can be mysterious,” they observed. “What did it take to get to the finished product? How many revisions? How . . .Read More
The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies at Maine College of Art is a 24/7 15-week experience.
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.