Down East Magazine celebrates 50 years of Salt Institute of Documentary Studies in its March issue

Editor in Chief Brian Kevin sits down with Director Isaac Kestenbaum to reflect on Salt's past, and envision its future.

PORTLAND, ME February 22, 2023Be sure to take a look at the March 2023 issue of Down East to read Editor in Chief Brian Kevin’s profile of Salt Institute for Documentary Studies—now celebrating its 50th anniversary. 

The profile, entitled “Still Feisty,” chronicles Salt’s evolution from a humble student-run magazine to the graduate-level program responsible for producing alumni found throughout the media landscape today. Throughout its varied formats, Salt has focused on honest, clear documentation through storytelling.  

“What’s constant is [Salt's] emphasis on fieldwork, on getting in touch with people who aren’t necessarily seeking attention and learning how to develop a responsible and ethical relationship with those people,” says Isaac Kestenbaum, Director of Salt and alumnus of the program.

The article also underscores impact of the program's audio option (now called the Radio & Podcasting track), which was introduced back in 2000 and has helped spur and shape the booming podcast landscape.

Kestenbaum remarks, “Any place you look in the media, scratch not far below the surface and there’s some Salt connection–especially in the last 20 years of audio.”

Throughout this year, Salt intends to create opportunities for its fans and alumni to mark its 50th anniversary, including a publication featuring select stories and photos from the archive, a podcast series with partner Maine Public, and a photo exhibit at the Portland International Jetport. More to come on these exciting plans!

The full Down East article, including an excerpt from the very first Salt magazine, is available in the publication's March 2023 issue that is on newsstands until March 20.

# # #


Maine College of Art & Design (MECA&D) has been activating students of all pursuits to make art, make an impact, and inspire change since its founding as Portland School of Art in 1882. Located in Portland's thriving Arts District, students have access to state-of-the-art facilities, 24-hour-a-day studios, a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio, and a community-based Artists at Work program—making MECA&D the right-sized school in the right-sized city for every student who wants to make their mark and be seen. The College offers BFA Majors and Minors, Graduate Programs, Continuing Studies, Pre-College, and includes the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies and the Institute for Contemporary Art. Follow us at @mecaart.


Alex Koch, Public Relations Specialist