AIR's Full Spectrum Storytelling Intensive
In partnership with UnionDocs

Brooklyn, NY
December 15 - 19, 2014

Registration is full for December's Full Spectrum workshop.

If you are interested in being added to the December wait list or in applying for next year's workshops, please fill out our interest form.

 (Photos from top left, clockwise: John Keefe, Janet Cardiff walk, Jonathan Mitchell, Christopher Allen)

Is your skill set stretching to its full dynamic range?

Would a prism of expert experience help your story find its true colors?

Explore our Full Spectrum Storytelling intensive.

These audio-first intensives designed by AIR in partnership with UnionDocs expose producers to a broad range of creative approaches to storytelling and an expanded set of technical skills. They offer key ideas and sharpened tools for navigating your own path through the 21st century multimedia environment.

Over the course of a week, producers will learn from a team of accomplished guest speakers -- experts drawn from public broadcast journalism, network technology, and media art who will take up to 14 producers (for each intensive) on a week-long excursion through storytelling to sound processing to interactive design and more. Indie producer and seasoned teacher, Michael May, will lead the charge.

Guest speakers for our 2014 intensives: Christopher Allen, Amanda Aronczyk, Julia Barton, Emily Botein, Zoe Chace, Sean Cole, John Keefe, Jonathan MitchellKaitlin Prest, and Debika Shome. <<<Check out their bios below.>>>

For a sense of the workshop's structure, take an audio tour of the July 2014 Full Spectrum intensive created by indie producer Nadia Wilson.


All classes take place at UnionDocs in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. There will be an evening excursion (date TBD), a happy hour (Monday), and a lunch on Monday. Participation is encouraged, but optional.

December 15 - 19, 2014

Who is eligible? 

We are looking for mid-career producers and story-first technologists from all walks of the media industry and beyond who have demonstrable skills in digital sound gathering, editing and mixing. Filmmakers and those whose primary focus has been visual or moving image are strongly encouraged to attend, as well. AIR membership is not required, though AIR members are eligible for a small travel stipend. A work sample is required with your application.

Please note: Participants *will not* be producing a piece during the week.

The fee for the intensive follows the schedule below. A non-refundable deposit of $350 is due upon application to the program. The balance is payable two weeks in advance of the intensive.

Winter Session Deposit Deadline/Rates:
$795 - Early Bird Registration by Oct. 1
$850 - Regular Registration by Nov. 15
5$895 - Late Registration by Dec. 5

Please note: If you pay by PayPal, you will be charged a $20 processing fee. Check or money order is encouraged.

AIR members living outside of NYC are eligible to receive a stipend ($100) to help underwrite fees and travel. First come, first served. If you’ve received a stipend or mentorship opportunity in the past two years from AIR, you may not be eligible.  

If you’d like to join AIR to become eligible for the travel stipend, go here. Participants coming from outside NYC are responsible for their own transportation and room and board during the intensive. UnionDocs can provide assistance in locating housing and guidance for getting around town for those not native to New York.

Refund Policy:
The deposit is non-refundable.
Should you need to cancel, you’ll receive half of your registration fee back until Nov. 15. After Nov. 15, the fee is non-refundable.

How to register:
We are currently accepting applications for our summer session.
Register and pay your deposit to secure your spot.

+++Full attendance is mandatory. If you are unable to attend each day of the intensive, please do not apply. Class meets from 10AM - 5:30PM, Monday through Friday. Lunch is on your own except for Monday. Snacks provided.+++

Questions? Contact us at

2014 Class Overview:
Subject to change slightly.


You know that radio is uniquely suited for storytelling, but why? The first session of our week-long program is an in-depth look at the ways we both listen and hear.
AM: Michael May
PM: Amanda Aronczyk


There are thousands of ways to tell the same story. How do you decide what goes first? Where do you end? In this session we look at our successes, failures, and best attempts at telling creative narratives.

AM: Emily Botein
PM: Julia Barton and Kaitlin Prest


Our ears provide localization and direction. Midweek we consider how audio can both represent and interact with place, architecture and the physical environment.
AM: Jonathan Mitchell
PM: Sean Cole

Thursday: BIG DATA
The era of big data is upon us. But how can you harness it for better storytelling? We discuss how to incorporate the latest data, both on air and online.
AM: Debika Shome
PM: John Keefe

Where are we going? New storytelling opportunities abound online, and audio producers are blazing new trails. Closing the intensive, we will look at interactive design and the narrative potential in networks.
AM: Christopher Allen
PM: Zoe Chace

Each day follows this general structure, with some minor variations and substitutions:

10:00a    Warm up, inspiring references, listening exercises, ear training.
11:00a    Presentation
12:00p    Exercise / Hands on / Tutorial
12:30p    Share / Discuss Exercise
1:00p      Lunch (on your own - lunch will be provided on Friday)
2:00p      Seminar Presentation
3:15p      Seminar Discussion
4:00p      Workshop Exercise
5:00p      Workshop Critique
5:30p      End 

Instructors and Guest Speakers


MICHAEL MAY, Lead Instructor
Michael teaches radio documentary at the Salt Institute in Portland, ME, and lives and freelances from his home in Cambridge, MA. Before that, he was the managing editor of the Texas Observer and a print and radio freelancer based in Austin, where he investigated an idiosyncratic FBI informant named Brandon Darby, heard Willie Nelson sing “Amazing Grace” a capella and discovered that a police “bait car” can snare good Samaritans. His stories ended up on Studio 360, This American Life, Marketplace, The American Prospect and others. He has also worked as an editor for the national radio show Weekend America and a news reporter at the Austin NPR station KUT-FM. For his radio work, May has won a Third Coast Audio Festival Gold Award and a National Headliners Grand Award. 

CHRISTOPHER ALLEN is a founder of UnionDocs and is currently the Artistic Director. After graduating from Columbia University and studying at Trinity College Dublin, Allen worked as a social entrepreneur, documentary director, and new media artist. His individual works and collaborative projects have been exhibited at the MoMA, Harvard’s Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, the Volksbühne Theatre, DirektorenHaus in Berlin, Independent Film Week, Sonár, DIVA, and Conflux Festivals, among many other venues. He directed the interactive documentary Capitol of Punk, which was part of “Design and the Elastic Mind” at the Museum of Modern Art, and he is currently in post-production on the feature Diamond Vehicle, shot in Tibet, China, Nepal, and India. Christopher was founding-partner of Counts Media, and played a leading role in the invention and execution of many art & entertainment concepts there, such as The Ride NY, a live theatrical and cinematic experience on the streets of the city, and Yellow Arrow, a place-based storytelling project exhibited online and in galleries and museums internationally.


AMANDA ARONCZYK has been a public radio reporter and new media producer for over 15 years, and has worked at Radiolab, Marketplace, Weekend America and The Next Big Thing. As a freelancer, she has produced podcasts for the The New Yorker and Slate, as well as reported and produced for a variety of programs, including the BBC World Service, Freakonomics and Studio 360. She's also an adjunct faculty member at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and a Soros Justice Media Fellow, and is currently working on The Cost of Crime, a multimedia investigation, into the financial repercussions of imprisonment.


JULIA BARTON is a longtime public media editor, working with Life of the Law, American Public Media, 99 Percent Invisible, and individual producers. She's also been the managing editor of Radiotopia, a podcast collective from PRX.Barton's reporting has appeared on Radiolab, 99% Invisible, Studio 360, PRI's The World, Marketplace, and other programs. She lives in Brooklyn in life, online at


is an award-winning independent radio producer based in New York, with a focus on documentaries and cultural programming. She has launched national shows, produced pilots, pieces, and series. Her work has been broadcast on a range of shows and institutions, including the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, The Metropolitan Opera, National Public Radio, The Next Big Thing, Studio 360, Weekend America and WNYC Radio. Currently she produces WNYC's Here's the Thing.

ZOE CHACE explains the mysteries of the global economy for NPR's Planet Money. As a reporter for the team, Chace knows how to find compelling stories in unlikely places, including a lollipop factory in Ohio struggling to stay open, a pasta plant in Italy where everyone calls in sick, and a recording studio in New York mixing Rihanna's next hit. In 2008, Chace came to NPR to work as an intern on Weekend Edition Saturday. As a production assistant on NPR's Arts Desk, she developed a beat covering popular music and co-created Pop Off, a regular feature about hit songs for Morning Edition. Chace shocked the music industry when she convinced the famously reclusive Lauryn Hill to sit down for an interview. Her radio training comes from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, and collaboration with NPR's best editors, producers and reporters.

SEAN COLE began his radio career as an intern at Boston station WBUR in 1997, and went on to work as field producer for WBUR's "Morning Edition" and then as a reporter for the documentary series "Inside Out." Over the years, he's contributed to lots of other public radio programs including "Radiolab," "Marketplace," "Studio 360," "All Things Considered," "99% Invisible" and "This American Life" where he is currently on staff. Sean's awards include an Overseas Press Club citation for his documentary "South Africa's Kwaito Generation - Inside Out" and a UNITY Award for his story about P.B.S. Pinchback, the first African American governor in U.S. history. He has also published two short collections of poetry and a full-length volume of postcard poems titled "The December Project." 


is the Senior Editor for Data News & Journalism Technology. He's part of WNYC's Data News Team, which helps our journalists use and analyze data, and also builds interactive maps, charts and database projects. He tweets at @jkeefe. John Keefe is the Senior Editor for Data News & Journalism Technology at WNYC, New York Public Radio. Keefe infuses WNYC's journalism with data reporting and interactive news applications, including census analysis, map mashups, news charts and SMS-based crowdsourcing projects.  Previously, Keefe led WNYC's news operation for nine years and grew its capacity for breaking news, election coverage and investigative reporting. His career also includes time as a police reporter at two Wisconsin daily newspapers, as science editor for Discovery Channel Online and as president of a small digital production company.

is the creator and producer of The Truth, a podcast that makes short films without pictures. He's contributed a wide range of pieces—documentaries, fictional stories, non-narrated sound collages, and original music— to all sorts of public radio programs: Radiolab, Studio 360, This American Life, Hearing Voices, Fair Game, The Next Big Thing, and All Things Considered, to name a few. His work has won many awards, including the Peabody, Third Coast, and the Gold Mark Time Award for Best Science Fiction Audio. He studied music composition at University of Illinois and Mills College, and lives in New York City.

KAITLIN PREST is the creative director of Audio Smut, a show telling stories about love, sex and gender. She also works at the Life of the Law podcast, as producer and sound designer. She is creative director of New York's Radio Cabaret, an audio documentary performance event. Her work has been featured on NPR’s Latino USA, Snap Judgment, the Italy's Internazionale Festival, at In the Dark as part of the International Features Conference in London, on Radiophonic Creation Day in France and was the winner of the 2010 NCRA award for Outstanding Achievement in Documentary.

DEBIKA SHOME is Deputy Director at Harmony Institute (HI), a research center that studies the impact of entertainment on individuals and society. She leads a diverse team working at the intersection of media, social science research, data science and technology.  She joined HI from Columbia University’s Center for Research on Environmental Decision where she served as Assistant Director from 2005 to 2009.  In addition to her work conducting and coordinating research at the center, Debika led CRED’s outreach and public policy initiatives. She is the co-author of The Psychology of Climate Change Communication, released November 2009.





UnionDocs (UnDo) is a Center for Documentary Art that generates and shares big ideas. We bring together a diverse community of experimental media-makers, dedicated journalists, critical thinkers, and local partners on a search for urgent expressions of the human experience, practical perspectives on the world today, and compelling visions for the future.


AIR is a vibrant, tightly networked association of more than 900 journalists, documentarians, technicians, media entrepreneurs, and sound artists spanning 46 states and 20 countries worldwide. Founded in 1988, AIR has emerged as a force for identifying, cultivating, and deploying talent to accelerate public media innovation and expand service to more citizens across the U.S. AIR's mentorship and training programs, unique in the industry, were launched in 1995 with a grant from the MacArthur Foundation and continuing support from the National Endowment for the Arts, NYSCA, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.