The Full Spectrum Storytelling Intensive


JULY 22-26, 2019

At UnionDocs, Brooklyn, NY

The application period is now closed.

Please check again for updates!

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: An audio-forward week of intense training with workshops covering experiments in writing and interviewing, sound in space, community stories, and the future of audio.

Where: UnionDocs in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York
When: July 22-26, 2019

The Full Spectrum Storytelling Intensive is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Meet our instructors or look at our Summer 2019 Curriculum!


Summer 2019 Preview

From multimedia journalism to branded podcasts to live events, storymaking is pushing the boundaries. Now more than ever before, independent producers are in demand. But in order to succeed in a quickly evolving and growing media space, independent radio producers need to do everything from editing to branding, live event planning to contract management, and fact-checking to sound design. Over the course of this week, you’ll learn skills from an interdisciplinary group of specialists that will help to position you for the bright and exciting future of radio.

Full Spectrum will expand your definition of what storytelling can be, while imparting concrete skills to add to your producer tool kit. Lead instructor Chiquita Paschal will draw from her work with various shows and production houses, from Gimlet Media to BuzzFeed. She will head an interdisciplinary group of accomplished specialists to take you on a journey from storytelling to interactive design to composing. Our instructors come from WNYC This American Life, Latino USA, independent backgrounds, and beyond.

The week will be a combination of hands-on instruction, workshops, lectures, pitch sessions, experiments—and even an excursion or two. We’re looking for producers with the desire to expand their skills and their minds.

Lead instructor Chiquita Paschal will draw from lessons learned from her work with various shows including Malcolm Gladwell’s new music history podcast, Broken Record, Gimlet Media’s Peabody Award-winning history show Uncivil, and Another Round from BuzzFeed.


All classes take place at UnionDocs in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. There will be an evening excursion (date TBD) and a happy hour (TBD). Participation is encouraged, but optional.


December 10-14, 2018

Full attendance is mandatory. If you are unable to attend each day of the intensive, please do not apply. Class meets from 10 am – 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Lunch will be provided on Monday and light snacks will be provided throughout the week.


Who is eligible?

We are looking for producers and story-first technologists from all walks of the media industry and beyond who have demonstrable skills in 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 producers outside of the New York area are eligible for a small travel stipend. A work sample is required with your application.

Please note: Participants will not be producing new projects during the week.

Full Tuition Scholarship

AIR and UnionDocs are proud to offer a scholarship to one Full Spectrum attendee who can demonstrate financial need. Please submit your request for the scholarship, which waives the full tuition for the Intensive, on the Full Spectrum application form.


Application Period: May 20–June 3, 2019
Tuition: $850

Additional Travel Reimbursement for AIRsters

AIR members living outside of NYC are also 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, visit 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

Full payment from those accepted to Full Spectrum is due June 24, 2019. After June 24, tuition is non-refundable.

To learn more:

Questions? Contact Program Director Tran Vu at

Summer 2019 Curriculum Overview

Chiquita Paschal, independent editor and podcast consultant
This session is about how to respond to the truths that emerge from your tape and craft an honest portrayal of complex personal, interpersonal and societal narratives. We’ll listen and discuss examples of audio featuring various types of tone and also cover the basics of ethical storytelling.

Emanuele Berry, Gimlet Media
A Chinese non-profit’s marketing video, an episode of Jane The Virgin, a child’s response to “how was your day today?”—each of these things has its own unique structure. As storytellers and radio producers, we are constantly consuming story formats. In this session, we will stop to analyze, reflect and find inspiration in these daily doses of structures. We’ll unpack soda commercials, Korean drama previews and subway announcements as a way to open you and your stories up to new possibilities.

Christopher Allen, Founder, UnionDocs
Alison Kobayashi, Multimedia Artist
Christopher Allen and Alison Kobayashi will present the first act of Say Something Bunny, an immersive performance based on found audio, followed by a presentation and discussion of UnionDocs’s expansive documentary production Living Los Sures.

Alvin Melathe, independent audio producer 
What kinds of assignments do producers get? How does producing change depending on the type of show you want to make? Alvin will outline scenarios, with examples, about how to go from idea to episode.

Megan Detrie, independent audio producer
In this session, Megan will talk about how to clarify the vision for you project, give practical tips for developing your host’s voice, and look at what makes something a good story vs. a good story for your show.

Veralyn Williams, WNYC 
What do we mean when we say producer? Veralyn will lay out the different ways it can play out—from making an interview pop, to booking “by any means necessary,” to turning around an episode quickly—and how to be successful at each. Because ultimately, a producer is making sure “the show goes on—excellently.

Julia Alsop, Latino USA
Learn how to use sound design to turn radio pieces into true compositions. Julia Alsop will lead this session on how to shape the sound of your pieces.

Oluwakemi Aladesuyi, independent reporter/audio producer
The heart of an audio story is the voices you hear. But finding the right voice for the story you’re telling is rarely easy. In this session, we’ll learn about the ins and outs of reporting for podcasts, from the technical tools that can save you on a deadline to the abstract questions about the “work” we want these voices to do. And we’ll workshop the greatest reporting tool of all — perseverance!


Summer 2019 Instructors and Guest Speakers

Biography Headshot

Chiquita Paschal, Lead Instructor

Chiquita Paschal is an independent editor and podcast consultant. She is currently the editor of Malcolm Gladwell’s new music history podcast, Broken Record, which debuts in November. Before flying solo, she was a producer for Gimlet Media’s Peabody Award-winning history show Uncivil and a member of BuzzFeed’s illustrious Pod Squad where she helped produce Another Round. Chiquita also served as editor of the most recent seasons of Bad With Money with Gaby Dunn, Democracy in Color with Aimee Allison, and Essence Magazine’s celebrity pop-culture podcast Yes Girl. Before podcasting, she worked at public radio stations in New Mexico and Boston, as well as PRX, NPR and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Biography Headshot

Christopher Allen

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.

Biography Headshot

Oluwakemi Aladesuyi

Oluwakemi Aladesuyi is a reporter and an independent audio producer. She’s reported on everything from refugees farming in Kansas to the economic history of a pickle. She’s a 2016 recipient of the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship where she spent time reporting in Berlin for Spiegel Online, Deutsche Welle and Politico EU among other outlets. Before her journey abroad she was a producer at NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Biography Headshot

Julia Alsop

Julia Alsop is an award-winning journalist and radio producer. Her work focuses on creating immersive worlds to tell intimate, narrative-driven stories. She’s helped produced and develop shows for NPR, PRX, Red Bull Radio, Refinery29 and TED.  She most recently helped sound design Spacebridge for PRX and is a long time collaborator of the Peabody-nominated Radiotopia podcast The Heart, a groundbreaking series exploring sex and power.

Biography Headshot

Emanuele Berry

Emanuele Berry has told tales from the mitten state, wandered around St. Louis with a microphone, and taught English in the Vegas of Asia. She currently works as a producer at This American Life. Most recently she was an editor on The Nod and StartUp at Gimlet Media. In the past, she worked as a producer/reporter at Gimlet on The Nod, Undone and StartUp. Before joining Gimlet, she told stories as a public radio reporter, covering everything from the World Dwarf Games to protest in Ferguson, Missouri. Emanuele is a 2014 AIR New Voices Scholar. She is also the recipient of a 2015 Fulbright award to Macau, China.

Biography Headshot

Megan Detrie

Megan Detrie is the senior producer of a new Marketplace podcast. She’s had a lot of different lives in journalism: She helped launch BuzzFeed’s See Something Say Something and the Smithsonian’s Sidedoor. She was the multimedia producer at the Atavist Magazine, and spent almost a decade reporting from the Middle East and North Africa. 

Biography Headshot

Alison S. M. Kobayashi

Alison S. M. Kobayashi is a visual artist working in video, performance, installation and drawing. She has exhibited and screened work widely in North America and overseas at venues such as Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, Jakarta International Film Festival, The Power Plant Contemporary, Anthology Film Archives, Bilbao International Film Festival, and The Flaherty International Film Seminar. In 2012 she was commissioned by Les Subsistances (Lyon, France) to develop and stage her first live performance. Her most recent project is the extremely popular performance Say Something Bunny!, based on two audio spools hidden inside an obsolete wire recorder purchased at an estate sale. She was born and raised in Mississauga, Ontario and is currently based in Brooklyn.
Biography Headshot

Alvin Melathe

Alvin Melathe is a freelance audio producer who has produced stories and shows at Gimlet Media, Freakonomics, Slate, and This American Life. Most recently, he was the lead producer for Charged a six-episode mini-series about the criminal justice system with Emily Bazelon of The New York Times Magazine. Before he worked in audio, Alvin worked variously as a community organizer, writer, video producer, and farmer’s market goat cheese salesman. He is a graduate of Swarthmore College and the Transom Story Workshop.

Biography Headshot

Veralyn Williams

Veralyn Williams is a Peabody award-winning journalist and producer for Radio Rookies, which is a part of WNYC’s The Stakes.

Williams has been tackling questions on identity, social norms, and community since she picked up her first microphone in 2004. Previously, she was a member of Slate Magazine’s podcast team. While there, she launched and produced Slate’s film and TV podcast, Represent, revamped Slate’s feminist podcast, The Waves, and produced the inaugural season of Panoply’s Family Ghost. Williams has also worked as managing editor of Brooklyn Deep, a digital investigative news, analysis, and data website chronicling neighborhood change in Central Brooklyn.

Through all of her endeavors, Williams aims to amplify perspectives often forgotten in the media.


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 talent network of more than 1,200 makers powering public media, audio, and podcasting. Founded in 1988, AIR identifies, cultivates and deploys storymakers who create innovative work, challenge and inspire other media makers, and find resources in digital, broadcasting, and podcasting. AIR’s programs activate talent to accelerate public media innovation and expand service to more citizens across the U.S.

NYSCA Logo - Black

Major funding for Full Spectrum is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.