The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies is a non-profit school in Portland, Maine offering semester-long intensive programs in documentary writing, radio, photography, and new media. It’s been over 40 years since Salt was first founded, but the commitment to teaching hungry, adventuresome students how to become truthful, responsible, and creative documentarians has never wavered.
In recent years, housing in Portland has become scarcer and pricier. It’s now crucial for Salt to offer housing options to students who come to study in our programs. Offering student housing is important to us for three big reasons:
It removes the obstacle faced by an increasingly diverse group of prospective students to finding temporary, affordable living situations while they attend Salt.
It offers a way for students to fully integrate with and become a part of the Portland community.
Eventually, owning housing in Portland may also become Salt’s endowment, ensuring that we can continue documenting people in Maine for years to come.
Our Solution—And How You Can Help!
We found a beautiful home on State Street that is perfect for our students. Incredibly, our friends at the Quimby Family Foundation quickly secured the house for Salt’s use by purchasing it. Now, we have two years to pay them back, interest free.
We need to pay $250,000 in total for the house. But our first goal is to raise just 5% of the total—$12,500—with your help. We have a long way to go, and we are reaching out to YOU, our community, to help us get off the ground.
Explore the House
8 bedrooms (all with full-size beds)
Architectural beauty of a 100+ year old building (4 non-working fireplaces)
More About Us
Our Core Educational Values
Do work that makes your documentary hero’s jaw drop. The work has to be good. Really good. From the start ask the right questions, then go deeper and deeper. Look for the story within the story you are trying to tell. Every step of the way pursue review and critique by experts in the field, and be humble enough to know that there is always room for improvement. Try to grab the high bar, and once you think you have, stretch to grab the rung above it. Once the story is complete, the power of the narrative is in sharing it with a wider audience.
Fully commit to every aspect of the process. Give it everything you have. Be unyielding in the pursuit of feedback and new perspectives. Seek to make mistakes and learn from them. When you least feel like pushing yourself, that’s when you need to the most.
Healthy relationships are essential for doing our best work. Those with diverse backgrounds and differing perspectives enrich our lives and the stories we tell. Use respect and compassion as your guide. Establish boundaries that will challenge you and at times keep you safe. Know the difference. Most importantly, seek out the wisdom and experience of those around you.
Be conscious and deliberate. Doing this work requires you to follow a set of ethical standards and guidelines and to be accountable for the choices you make. It begins with being honest and trustworthy with everyone. It continues by being clear about your intentions and consciously communicating them to others as you pursue your work.