AIR's Full Spectrum Storytelling Intensive
in partnership with UnionDocs

Brooklyn, NY
April 27 - May 1, 2015

Applications are open.

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

AIR's Full Spectrum Storytelling Intensives started with Localore and Makers Quest 2.0, two experiments in public media that challenged a handful of talented, creative producers to come up with new ways of finding and telling stories.

The Full Spectrum curriculum emerged from our findings: the result is a week of intense training with curriculum covering community stories, experiments in writing and interviewing, sound in space and future audio. For Full Spectrum 2015, producers from Localore and other leaders in multimedia storytelling will share what they've learned in a weeklong series of immersive seminars. Indie producer and entrepreneur Kara Oehler (Mapping Main Street, Zeega, GoPop), will lead the charge.

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.

Over the course of a week, a team of accomplished guest speakers -- experts drawn from public broadcast journalism, network technology, and media art -- will take up to 14 producers on an excursion through storytelling to sound processing to interactive design and more.

Guest speakers for our 2015 intensives include: Christopher Allen, Amanda Aronczyk, Sean Cole, John Keefe, Todd Melby, Jonathan Mitchell,  Yowei Shaw and more. Read their bios below.



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.


April 27 - May 1, 2015

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.


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 projects during the week.


Application Deadline: March 20, 2015.

Tuition: $850

Producers who apply by 5 p.m. ET on March 6 are eligible for an early application discount (total tuition: $795).

Producers who apply between March 20 and April 3 must pay a late application fee (total tuition: $895).

Due to increased demand, successful 2015 applicants will be asked to submit your non-refundable, $350 deposit to hold your spot.

Please note: There is a 3 percent processing fee for Paypal payments, and a 3.5 percent fee for payments made over the phone.



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.


Refund Policy

The deposit is non-refundable. Should you need to cancel, you’ll receive half of your registration fee back until March 20. After March 20, the fee is non-refundable.


To learn more:

Current Q&A about the next round of Localore
An audio sampler produced at the July 2014 intensive
What is "full spectrum storytelling"?



Questions? Contact us at

2015 Class Overview
Subject to change slightly.


UnionDocs has been working on the interactive project and documentary Living Los Sures for the past 5 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. This will also set the stage for where the Full Spectrum workshop is taking place. In Sound 101, Amanda Aronczyk will take an advanced in-depth look at the ways we both listen and hear and explore why radio is so uniquely situated for storytelling.
AM: Christopher Allen
PM: Amanda Aronczyk


There are thousands of ways to tell the same story. In this session, some of the best writers in radio teach techniques for writing in and out of tape, writing questions before leaving for an interview, inserting yourself in the story, and exploring the many different writing styles out there.
AM: Sean Cole
PM: Benjamen Walker


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: Yowai Shaw


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 and about what factors make a story more or less viral.
AM: John Keefe
PM: Lu Olkowski


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: Todd Melby
PM: Kara Oehler


Instructors and Guest Speakers


KARA OEHLER, Lead Instructor
Kara is a documentary artist, radio producer and media entrepreneur. Over the past decade, Kara has been leading innovation at the intersection of storytelling,  technology, and interdisciplinary collaboration. She is the Co-Founder of GoPop, an app for juxtaposing GIFs, photos and videos; Zeega, the revolutionary interactive storytelling platform and AIR’s technology partner for Localore 2013; metaLAB (at) Harvard, the UnionDocs Collaborative Studio; Yellow Arrow:: Capitol of Punk; and Mapping Main Street, the collaborative documentary produced with NPR as part of AIR’s MQ2 incubator.  Her Peabody award-winning radio work has aired on shows including "RadioLab," "Marketplace" and "Morning Edition," and her interactive storytelling projects have been exhibited at MoMA and SFMoMA. She’s been a creative advisor at the Sundance Institute’s New Frontiers Story Lab, a judge for the Knight News Challenge, a Film Study Center Fellow at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and a Rockefeller Fellow with United States Artists. Currently, Kara is working on a film about a family in Summers County, West Virginia.

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.



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 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. He tweets at @jkeefe.



is a reporter, radio producer and digital innovator. He is the lead producer of "Black Gold Boom," a public media project documenting North Dakota’s oil boom created as part of AIR’s Localore initiative in partnership with Prairie Public. His stories have aired on U.S. public radio stations and networks, including NPR. He's also covered breaking news stories, including the I-35W bridge collapse, for Reuters. He is a senior producer at 2 below zero, a public media nonprofit. Todd has won multiple national journalism awards, including a pair of Edward R. Murrows and Sigma Delta Chi awards. He is currently directing a television documentary about the North Dakota oil boom.



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.




is an independent producer based in New York. Her radio work has been heard on "State of the Re:Union," "Studio 360," "This American Life," "RadioLab," "All Things Considered," "Weekend America," "The World" and the BBC World Service among others. Her work has won the National Edward R. Murrow award, the Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists, the RTNDA/Unity award, three Gracie awards, a Third Coast International Audio Festival award and the Salute to Excellence award from the National Association of Black Journalists. In 2014, Lu produced "Cargoland," a five-part series for KCRW that goes behind the gates of America's busiest waterfront, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.


YOWEI SHAW is an independent radio producer based in Philadelphia. Her work has been featured on This American Life, NPR, Studio 360, The World, and many other places. Yowei has also worked as an associate producer with NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross and NPR’s World Cafe with David Dye. She’s received a National Journalism Award from the Asian American Journalists Association and an Honorable Mention for Best Documentary award from Third Coast International Audio Festival. Yowei is also a a 2014 USA Knight Fellow and the recipient of the 2013 Leeway Transformation Award. In 2011, she created Philly Youth Radio, a project that provided high school students with the tools and training to produce radio stories about their lives and communities. She is a proud member of the Association of Independents in Radio and co-president of the Asian American Journalists Association – Philly chapter.


BENJAMEN WALKER has made radio for NPR, WNYC, WFMU, and the BBC. Currently he produces and hosts ‘The Theory of Everything,’ part of the Radiotopia network from the public radio exchange (




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.