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Jun 26, 2017 at 4:00 am – Jun 30, 2017 at 1:30 pm

Full Spectrum Storytelling Intensive Summer 2017

June 26 – 30 2017 co-presented by AIR

Full Spectrum will expand your definition of what audio can be, while imparting concrete skills to add to your producer tool kit. Multimedia producers Isaac Kestenbaum and Josephine Holtzman will lead an interdisciplinary group of accomplished specialists to take you on a journey from storytelling to interactive design to composing—and beyond.

The week will be a combination of hands-on instruction, workshops, lectures, pitch sessions, experiments—and even an excursion or two.  We’re looking for mid-career audio producers with the desire to expand their skills and their minds.


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.

June 25 – 30 2017

Full attendance is mandatory. If you are unable to attend each day of the intensive, please do not apply. Class meets from 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Lunch will be provided on Monday. Snacks will be provided.

Full Spectrum has a competitive application process. 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 print, 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 produce projects during the week.

In order to keep costs down, this workshop is a BYOL, i.e. bring your own laptop. Students must be fully proficient using and operating their computers.

Application Deadline: Friday, April 14 at 5pm P.T.
Tuition: $850

Applicants must submit a $75 deposit to hold their spot. If selected, that deposit will go toward the full coast of tuition. Deposits will be returned immediately to those who are not selected for the workshop.

Full payment by May 12, 2017 from those accepted to Full Spectrum is due before students are eligible to attend.

Please note: There is a 3-percent processing fee for Paypal payments.

AIR members living outside of NYC are eligible to receive a stipend ($100) to help underwrite fees and travel. 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.

Questions? Contact our Program Director at [email protected].

2017 Summer Curriculum Overview

Redefining Immersive Multimedia

“Immersive” and “multimedia” are perpetual buzzwords, perhaps calling to mind an expensive virtual reality headset being hawked by a startup at SXSW. But this session will redefine those concepts—showing you how simple tools and a willingness to break rules can turn audio pieces into powerful storytelling experiences. Josephine Holtzman and Isaac Kestenbaum will draw on their work producing soundwalks, events, and interactive experiences to lead this session.

Instructors: Isaac Kestenbaum and Josephine Holtzman (“Frontier of Change,” Localore: Finding America)

Telling Stories About Community

UnionDocs has been working on the interactive project and documentary Living Los Sures for the past five years. In this session, we’ll explore how to tell meaningful stories about a community in many voices and over a long period of time.

Instructor: Christopher Allen (Founder and Art Director, UnionDocs)

What Makes a Podcast

What makes a podcast stand out? How do you develop the concept to establish a unique style and voice, and find your audience? N’Jeri Eaton is Senior Manager of Programming Acquisitions at National Public Radio, where she oversees new podcast development. She will talk about what catches her ear and why, pull back the curtain on the development process, and give you the opportunity to workshop your own podcast idea.

Instructor: N’Jeri Eaton (Senior Manager of Programming Acquisitions, NPR)

Next-Level Interviewing

In radio/audio storytelling, reported pieces and non-narrated pieces are dependent on good tape. Sometimes good tape, even great tape, falls in your lap. But that’s rare. More often, getting the tape you need is an act of will. Veteran reporter Sean Cole will go through how to find the right interview subject, planning questions, thinking on your feet, and various interview techniques he’s used over the years.”

Instructor: Sean Cole (“This American Life”)

Stories and Numbers

Numbers can help tell stories, if you know how and where to look. WNYC’s Jenny Ye will lead this session on how to find the tales hidden in data—and how to best visualize those stories. We’ll also look at making maps, charts, and even sonifying data. Jenny will be available to advise on data-driven pieces in development.

Instructor: Jenny Ye (Data Director, WNYC Data News Team)

Composing For the Ear

Learn how to use music and sound design to turn radio pieces into true compositions. Alex Overington will lead this session on how to score your pieces with music—and other sounds. You may never need to resort to the Free Music Archive again.

Instructor: Alex Overington (“Radiolab”)

The Revolution Will be Fictionalized

Not all podcasts are nonfiction—this session will give you tools to write and produce groundbreaking audio dramas for radio and podcast. And a lot of what you’ll learn—narrative structure, pacing, character development—will help you become a better producer of true stories as well.

Instructor: Ann Heppermann (Founder of The Sarah Awards and host of Serendipity fiction podcast.)

Diversity of Stories

Stories on race and diversity can all too often end up in the realm of the cliché. Yet reporting on these subjects is increasingly important. Nadia Reiman will talk about avoiding blind spots, finding original subjects, recognizing clichés—and what separates a proper story from an “explainer.”

Instructor: Nadia Reiman (Senior Editor, “Latino USA”)



Warm up, inspiring references, case study, eye training.


Presentation by guest speaker + individual work-in-progress critique




Share / Discussion / Exercise


Lunch (on your own)


Seminar Presentation*

* On Tuesday and Thursday, the afternoon will be dedicated to student workshopping.




Workshop Exercise + Critique


Wrap Up



Josephine Holtzman (lead instructor) is a lead producer for NPR Music’s multi-platform and award-winning program “Jazz Night in America.”  She is also the head producer for “The Trip,” a travel podcast for Roads and Kingdoms. She is co-creator of Frontier of Change  part of AIR’s Localore: Finding America initiative.  A graduate of Vassar College and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, her reporting has aired on Weekend Edition, All Things Considered, Studio 360, and the ReSound podcast.  She is co-founder of the climate change audio project, Winters Past.


Isaac Kestenbaum (lead instructor) is the co-creator of Frontier of Change, a multimedia project about the changing climate and culture in Alaska, part of AIR’s Localore: Finding America initiative. He is the former Production Manager at StoryCorps, where he won a George Foster Peabody Award and an Alfred I. duPont award for work commemorating the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001.  Other production work includes: The Fix, a series on NYC’s opioid crisis for the GroundTruth project, and Winters Past, a multimedia piece about changing winters.


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.


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.

Njeri Eaton headshot

N’Jeri Eaton is the Senior Manager of Programming Acquisitions at National Public Radio (NPR) where she is charged with sourcing new content, partnerships and talent.  Previously, N’Jeri was the Content Development & Initiative Manager at the Independent Television Service (ITVS) where she managed the Diversity Development Fund and the Open Call production funding initiatives. N’Jeri is also a freelance documentary producer and editor. Her feature film First Friday had its national premiere on PBS World Channel series AfroPop in 2016. Her short film Perry County screened at festivals around the country was distributed by New Day Films.  She was the Associate Producer for the Oscar shortlisted film The Waiting Room, which premiered on Independent Lens on PBS. N’Jeri received a bachelor’s degree in Media Arts Studies at Emerson College and her master’s at the UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.


Ann Heppermann is a documentary artist, reporter, and educator. Her Peabody award winning work has aired on numerous public radio shows including This American Life, 99% Invisible, and Radiolab. In 2011 she was named a United States Artists Rockefeller Fellow. She teaches audio fiction and narrative journalism at Sarah Lawrence College in its writing program. Bitch Magazine once called her a “sort of Goddess of podcasting.” She lives in New York.


Composer and producer Alexander Overington was born and raised in New York City. He is responsible for the sonic footprint of Q2 Music’s Meet the Composer podcast, which he co-produces along with host Nadia Sirota. After double-majoring in both acoustic and electronic music composition at Oberlin Conservatory, he apprenticed under composer/producers Valgeir Sigurðsson and Ben Frost at Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavik, Iceland. Alex now lives and composes back in New York, where he has opened his own studio and co-founded the record label, Rest Assured. Alex can be found teaching sound design at The New School.


Nadia Reiman is Senior Editor at Latino USA. She has been a radio producer since 2005. Before joining the Latino USA team, Nadia produced for StoryCorps. Her work there on 9/11 stories earned her a Peabody Award. She has also mixed audio for animations, assisted on podcasts for magazines, and program managed translations for Canon Latin America. Nadia has also produced for None on Record, editing and mixing stories of queer Africans, and worked on a Spanish language radio show called Epicentro based out of Washington, DC. She graduated from Kenyon College with a double major in International Studies and Spanish Literature.

Jenny Ye_headshot

Jenny Ye is the Data Director of the WNYC Data News team. She works closely with reporters and editors on data driven stories, from research to visualization. The team’s projects include gathering and displaying Congress members’ positions  on the proposed American Health Care Act, uncovering the Brooklyn voter purge in 2016, and a Twitter bot that tweets when March Madness games are close and ending soon. Jenny is from Manhattan’s Chinatown, and studied computer science and ethnic studies. She tweets @thepapaya.

Presented With



Jun 26, 2017 at 4:00 am
Jun 30, 2017 at 1:30 pm


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States
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