DePaul Digital Storytelling Partnership, Winter 2018

Is your nonprofit ready to capture and share some of its compelling stories? If so, consider applying for a digital storytelling production partnership with DePaul University!


If your nonprofit organization is eager to collect and distribute stories of your service recipients, staff, or stakeholders, consider applying for a free digital storytelling production partnership offered by Professor Lisa Dush of DePaul University. We are looking for one nonprofit, or a collective of several nonprofits with related missions, to send a total of 4-6 constituents to a digital storytelling production workshop on DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus. The workshop is tentatively scheduled for one evening and two Saturdays in late February through early March 2018, and will be facilitated by Prof. Dush and the students in her winter 2018 Digital Storytelling course.

This digital storytelling workshop will offer participants the chance to write a script that narrates a personal story, to revise this script in a workshop setting, and to learn the basic video-editing techniques necessary to combine a voice recording of their narrative script with personal photographs, yielding a 2-3 minute video. The workshop is a rewarding experience for storytellers—who have the chance to tell a personal story and learn digital production skills—and often yields videos that can be powerful tools for education, advocacy, recruitment, and fundraising.

What is a Digital Story?

The story below, “I Will Rescue My Education,” is typical of the form of digital stories. It was made in a 2016 partnership between Dr. Dush’s students and The Learning Center, a North Lawndale-based adult-education organization. The story’s narrator, Gloria, is a student at The Learning Center, and she describes how her education was put on hold, and, with the help of The Learning Center, eventually resumed.

Gloria’s story has the key characteristics of a digital story: it is a well-crafted, self-authored and self-narrated personal story, illustrated with images selected by the storyteller. Once completed, Gloria’s story had a public showing; it also became the centerpiece of The Learning Center’s Giving Tuesday page.

How Does This Partnership Work?

Digital storytelling is a rewarding, yet intensive process. We request that our partner organization(s) identify 4-6 affiliates who are excited to tell a personal story and who can commit to attending all workshop sessions.

Storyteller-participants should expect to devote approximately 20 hours to the process from early February to mid-March 2018, including 14 hours of face-to-face time and approximately 5 hours of writing and photo-gathering. The tentative dates for the production workshop are as follows:

  • Tu 2/13, 6-8 pm
  • Sa 2/24, 10-4 pm
  • Sa 3/3, 10-4 pm

We are willing to work with our partner organization(s) to find times that work for them, although substantial production work must happen on at least one weekend day, to accommodate the DePaul students’ schedules. A small stipend will be provided to all workshop participants.

The partner organization(s) should also plan to allocate staff time to help coordinate the project; we anticipate this work will be a combined total of 2-3 hours per week, between late-January and mid-March.

How Do We Apply?

If you are interested in this partnership, please contact Prof. Lisa Dush, at, by November 15, 2017.

Additional details about past nonprofit partnership courses run by Professor Dush are available online at