April 8, 2019

Announcing Production Institute for South Side Media Artists

Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts and Community Film Workshop of Chicago establishes digital media education and training programs for community media makers

The Logan Center for the Arts’ Digital Storytelling Initiative, a program of the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation Media Center and Logan Center Community Arts, in partnership with the Community Film Workshop of Chicago, is launching a Production Institute for its South Side constituents, consisting of hands-on professional production courses for media makers. In addition to the Production Institute, short courses on audio production for podcasts and video production for web-based media; digital storytelling workshops; and short documentary production training will also be offered.

The Production Institute makes high-quality digital media production training more accessible to emerging filmmakers ages 19 and up who are not enrolled in a school or college program and live on Chicago’s South Side. In addition, up to two fellowship spots will be available to current or recently graduated UChicago students. The 17-week program includes coursework on film aesthetics, directing, cinematography, sound, and editing. The Jonathan Logan Family Foundation Media Center will provide space and access to media production equipment as well as post-production resources.

“This initiative between the Logan Center for the Arts, Community Film Workshop of Chicago, and filmmakers will foster a more collaborative, creative, and sustainable media arts environment on the South Side," says Margaret Caples, Executive Director of CFWC. "Our goal is to empower South Side residents and provide them with resources to produce community-based stories, as well as expand their knowledge and interaction with the vast array of University programming."

The aim of the Production Institute is to enhance the technical skills of participants while they engage the rich storytelling potential of their communities and institutions. Each cohort will produce a five-minute video exploring life on Chicago’s South Side. Participants will write and direct their own projects, which will document the artistic and civic engagement of the Logan Center with its South Side neighbors. The resulting projects will build the artists’ capacity, showcase new media art, and strengthen neighborhood connections.

This program is made possible with support from the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, UChicago Arts, and the University of Chicago.

About the Digital Storytelling Initiative
The Digital Storytelling Initiative (DSI), made possible through an endowment from the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, is a joint project of the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation Media Center and Logan Center Community Arts. Through adult media workshops, summer camps for youth, and the incubation of relationships with individuals and artist groups on Chicago’s South Side, the DSI serves as a sponsor of media arts training, as a presenter of new artistic work, and as a creative hub for University- and community-based media practitioners.

About the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation Media Center
The newly dedicated Jonathan Logan Family Foundation Media Center (JLMC) supports curricular and co-curricular artistic digital media production at the University of Chicago with equipment, facilities, and technical expertise. Users engage in production across a range of arts disciplines in pursuit of coursework, individual projects, youth media education, community-based digital storytelling, faculty research, and organized student activities. The JLMC directly supports classes at UChicago in the departments of Cinema and Media Studies, Music, Theater and Performance Studies, Visual Arts, Creative Writing, and Art History.

About Community Film Workshop of Chicago
The mission of the Community Film Workshop of Chicago (CFWC) is to provide access to media production that supports the development of independent media artists in underserved and underrepresented communities. CFWC’s programs in film, video, digital media, and design are designed to increase access and equity in media, and to give people of color, youth, and women the tools to create media and to transform their communities. CFWC strongly advocates for first-voice media that reflects the concerns of its artists and encourages cross-cultural collaboration on projects.

Margaret Caples, Executive Director of CFWC, started her career as a community organizer and social worker. Caples has a master’s degree from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. She married the photographer and filmmaker Jim Taylor who became the director of a new film boot camp, the CFWC. Caples has served on boards on the National Alliance of Media Arts and Culture, Chicago Area Film and Video Network, CAN TV, and Kartemquin Films, advocating for racial equity and access in the media.

CFWC projects include Youth In Motion, an after-school video program; the Woodlawn Reporter’s Summer Camp; Reel Black Filmmakers, a screening and workshop series for African American filmmakers; and Diverse Voices In Docs, a fellowship for documentary filmmakers in collaboration with Kartemquin Films which has been featured in 75 festivals, received 40 awards, and is distributed on Netflix, PBS, Hulu, and Full Frame.

For more information and a detailed schedule, please visit bit.ly/logan_dsi


Justin D. Williams
Media Center Training & Community Manager
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts

Crislin Christian
Production Institute Coordinator
Community Film Workshop of Chicago