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About the Digital Storytelling Initiative

With an endowment from the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation Media Center serves as a sponsor of media arts training, a presenter of new artistic work, and a creative hub for University- and community-based practitioners through its Digital Storytelling Initiative.

The Digital Storytelling Initiative (DSI), a joint project of the Jonathan Logan Media Center and Logan Community Arts, partners with organizations on campus, in the South Side, and throughout Chicago, extending the Media Center’s reach and impact to fill community needs in access and training in digital production. Through workshops, summer camps, workforce development programs, feature presentations and more, DSI sponsors media arts training, showcases digital media work by emerging and established practitioners, and equips communities with the tools, resources and experience to tell their stories across borders and barriers

Production Institute

Presented in partnership with the Community Film Workshop of Chicago, the Production Institute makes high-quality digital production training accessible to emerging media makers from South Side communities. This program addresses the lack of affordable, intensive courses available to South Side filmmakers and media artists. Through a hands-on film production course taught by experienced instructors, the Production Institute offers participants the opportunity to advance digital production skills and build a professional portfolio.

The 2022 Production Institute Application is now closed.

We held a virtual and an in-person Information Session on 3/28-29. If you were unable to make it, you may view the recording of the virtual session here and review the slides covered here.

If you can take away one thing from our info sessions, we hope that rather than being daunted, you are energized to advance your filmmaking journey! We hope that you take advantage of our Film Aesthetics classes in April as well as recommended YouTube channels (D4Darius, StudioBinder, DSLR Guide, and more recommended channels) to brush up on basic film, camera, and editing knowledge required of applicants. You may learn more aspects of filming with the application Filmic Pro and editing with Adobe Rush, for example. There's plenty of time to prepare a sample film for your application and learn the basics of filmmaking that if selected for the 2022 Production Institute cohort, you will only continue to build upon.

The 2022 Production Institute does not teach:
– Screenwriting
– Story Pitching
– Editing 
– Color Correction
– Steadicam Operation
– Marketing
– Distribution

A basic equipment package will be used during the 12-week course, made accessible through the Jonathan Logan Media Center.

The 2022 Production Institute is not a career development program. This course covers a broad range of filmmaking concepts and it is not intended for filmmakers looking for workforce development in a specific area, although excellent students may be considered for future freelance opportunities.

For more information about this program, see below.

Write Idea!

Write Idea! is an 8-week series of screenwriting workshops focusing on the idea-generative nature of writing scripts for the screen. This cohort-based program serves beginning to intermediate-level writers that are interested in learning and honing their skills alongside fellow South Side storytellers.

All workshops will be free & in person at the Logan Center for the Arts. Participants are required to follow building COVID-19 guidelines. Spots for this program are reserved on a first-come first-serve basis–not everyone that signs up is guaranteed a spot in the program.

Applications are now closed for the Write Idea! Screenwriting Workshops. Thank you for your interest in this program.

Write Idea! is a pilot program in its first year–  programmers will use this experience and the feedback from participants to design more digital media programs for South Siders.

DSI Community Media Education Programs


DSI Community Media Partnerships

From adult workforce development to youth media education, all Digital Storytelling Initiative programs are made possible through a wide network of community partners. Facilitating and growing these reciprocal partnerships is core to the mission of the Logan Center. Jonathan Logan Media Center partners include:

  • Think It! Make It! Screen It!
  • StoryArts
  • Nerdy Media
  • Community Film Workshop Chicago
  • Collected Voices Ethnographic Film Festival
  • Mezcla Media Collective
  • South Side Projections
  • Invisible Institute
  • The Oscar Brown Jr. Archive Project
  • Kartemquin Films

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. 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 offered by the departments of Cinema and Media Studies, Music, Theater and Performance Studies, Visual Arts, Creative Writing, and Art History.

The Jonathan Logan Media Center provides the necessary infrastructure that allows these efforts to thrive—facilitating programming, filmmaking, podcasting, and other forms of art and digital storytelling that engage diverse audiences. The staff of the JLMC work directly with users through workshops, formal partnerships, and individual mentorship to integrate arts and media technologies into their creative pursuits. In addition, the JLMC provides the specialized space and equipment necessary for a wide range of media production practices.

Program Contact

Elizabeth Myles
Digital Storytelling Initiative Program Manager, Jonathan Logan Media Center


2021 Production Institute Showcase
Edited by Derek Grace of Grace Media Group, Production Institute Lead Instructor


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