Traveling Workshop 2013: City Lore, NY, NY

March 21st, 2013
Bronx Documentary Center. Photo by Michael Kamber

Bronx Documentary Center. Photo by Michael Kamber


City Lore Documentary Institute, NY, NY: August 12 – 30, 2013

City Lore is offering a three-week documentary institute co-sponsored by Transom along with The Bronx Documentary Center and the Manhattan Neighborhood Network.  The City Lore Documentary Institute will equip participants with the skills to become cultural documentarians and multimedia storytellers. The radio track of the institute is intended to provide audio storytelling and sound gathering skills for beginning producers.

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Application and Cost

Applications are due on Friday, May 10th. There is a $20 application fee. Cost for the three-weeks is $2,500.

Tuition includes:

  • Training materials
  • Access to field recording equipment
  • A copy of Hindenburg Journalist editing software
  • Lunch on workshop days
  • Three celebratory dinners along with special cultural events

Participants need to bring a laptop computer.

Other costs include housing, additional food and transportation to and from the workshop as well as transportation during the workshop for fieldwork.

Financial aid will be available for some students. See the application for more details.


Week One: Participants will be introduced to folklore and oral history approaches. They will also identify potential story ideas for the following weeks.

Week Two: Audio Boot Camp. Participants will learn basic audio skills such as: using field recording gear, approaching and interviewing strangers, writing for radio, voicing narration, digital editing basics. Each student will produce a vox pop. Audio Boot Camp will be taught be Sarah P. Reynolds (bio below).

Week Three: Audio Narrative. This week will build on the audio skills learned in Boot Camp and will focus on storytelling as well as: field recording, interview techniques, multitrack editing, and script writing. Participants will produce a short broadcast-quality piece about a creative person. The Audio Narrative portion of the workshop will be taught by Rob Rosenthal (bio below).

The Selection Process

Enrollment in the audio track is limited to 11 participants. Selection is competitive. Applicants will be notified of admission and financial aid status by May 15th. Full tuition payment is due by May 31st.

Teaching Staff

Sarah P. Reynolds is a radio producer and multimedia storyteller. She is the teaching associate for the Transom Story Workshop. In addition, she reports and produces stories for NPR and other national radio programs and specializes in digital storytelling, devising and producing multimedia projects for non-profits. Her investigative and reporting work covers subjects as diverse as the housing crisis, hate crimes and migrant workers, much of which has culminated in a series of reports for national organizations working to change policy. Sarah has made radio for the tiny WCAI public radio station in Woods Hole, as well as the bigger WNYC in New York. She’s taught radio with WNYC’s Radio Rookies and at NYU in New York. You can find more of Sarah’s work here.

Rob Rosenthal is a radio teacher and producer. For eleven years he ran the internationally renowned Salt Institute for Documentary Studies radio program. Now he’s lead instructor of the Transom Story Workshop. He has presented training sessions for National Geographic, the National Press Photographers Association, Third Coast Festival, and in college programs. Rob produces the HowSound podcast on audio storytelling for PRX (Public Radio Exchange). He specializes in local stories for local audiences, content that connects people to place, such as his Malaga Island: A Story Best Left Untold and the audio tour Deep Woods and River Roads. Rob also works internationally. Two of his recent multi-media pieces are Justice Denied and Rights Not Rescue.


Find more details about the Institute here. If you have any further questions contact Elena Martinez via email (emartinez [at] citylore [dot] org) or phone 212-529-1955 x306.

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City Lore Documentary Institute “documents, presents, and advocates for grassroots cultures to ensure their living legacy in stories, histories, places, and traditions.” Their Radio Track builds storytelling and sound gathering skills for the beginning student.

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