The Digital Storytellers Lab is an eight-month fellowship that gives digital storytellers the opportunity to kickstart the development of new, narrative, digital audio/visual media exploring Jewish themes. The program provides fellows with a stipend, mentorship, and technical and subject-matter expertise to support the development of their projects.
Focused on the theme of “Untold Stories,” the Lab seeks to uncover and elevate lesser-known Jewish stories, or retell familiar stories in innovative ways and for new audiences via audio/visual media. Working with accomplished writers and producers in multiple media, the Fellows participate in story meetings, craft workshops, and Jewish educational experiences which together elevate the material.
Fellows may work in short and very-short form live action, animation, podcast and other serialized or episodic media (podcasts may be longer form) that are made to be shared online through a variety of platforms. Projects may be designed for all and any age group or other demographic, including young children. We hope to include creators who want to tell stories on Youtube, Reels, TikTok, Webtoon, social media, podcast networks and so on.
The program includes two intensive, in-person seminars, one in New York and one in Los Angeles, and monthly Zoom meetings of the cohort.
Fellows work with program staff and mentors to create an individualized plan for project development goals and deliverables. It is the intent of the program that each creator emerge with, at minimum, the materials they need in order to successfully pitch backers, brand partners and distributors. For some creators this will be a polished script for a series pilot and show bible, for others this will be a series of finished, live videos, and for others it may be a produced pilot recording.
Up to twelve storytellers will be selected for the inaugural cohort of the Digital Storytellers Lab. Each participant will receive a stipend of $20,000 for participation in the program, in a non-exclusive relationship, affording them – within a set schedule and with output milestones – the comfort, means, and time to develop their projects. Additional resources may be available at staff discretion, according to the unique needs of each project. Writers own their scripts and other materials.
Projects developed in this program should feature narratives that explore Jewish themes, such as Jewish identity, culture, values, heritage, religion, spirituality, or history. Stories may be fictional or non-fictional in nature, and must be written and designed for new media platforms. Priority will be given to projects that investigate lesser-known aspects of the Jewish story, or that reimagine well-known stories for new audiences and new platforms. We welcome your creativity in both content and form.
Applicants must be:
Based in the United States
At least 21 years of age
Have some experience writing for and/or producing in the medium of their choice (you will be asked to provide a work sample in the application). Exceptions may be made for accomplished storytellers who want to explore a new format.
June 1: Applications Due
August 23: Participants Announced
August 30: Cohort Meet and Greet: Kickoff Event (virtual)
Sep 11-14: In-person Convening: Los Angeles
October - December: Monthly 2 hour Zoom gatherings on a recurring date (mid-month, TBD)
Jan 18-19: Virtual Convening
Feb - March: Monthly 2 hour Zoom gatherings on a recurring date (mid-month, TBD)
Apr 30 - May 2: In-person Convening, Public Showcase: New York