The Digital Storytelling Center of Kansas City (digiSTORY KC) provides workshops and other educational resources to advance digital media skills for those who wish to tell their stories through the fascinating capabilities of digital media. Through our KCdigiKids program we promote digital literacy for kids in the urban core through experiential, hands-on learning activities that will encourage them to pursue rewarding careers in STEM/STEAM occupations.
digiSTORY KC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that offers programs and resources to promote the development and expansion of multimedia, story-based expertise in the central Midwest and beyond. We have three key missions:
- to inspire and educate our region’s next generation of digital storytellers
- to support the development of current working professionals in digital media
- to advance the digital storytelling industry in the central Midwest and beyond
Working through our network of non-profit and educational partners, we provide workshops and programs to advance skills in digital storytelling. This requires a solid understanding of how to structure a story as well as proficiency in using digital media tools to enhance the presentation of that story. Because our future home will be the Laugh-O-Gram Studio where Walt Disney started one of his early animation businesses, we emphasize stop-motion, animation and video forms of digital storytelling to the kids in that urban core area. We also encourage our clients to explore emerging new forms of storytelling through digital media. We also support the development of current working professionals who desire to expand their range of expertise in digital media.
HISTORY OF digiSTORY KC
The Digital Storytelling Center of Kansas City grew from the recognition among Hallmark professionals, University of Missouri media faculty and Kansas City workforce development leaders that digital technology was changing business, society and education in fundamental and significant ways. This led to a growing network of collaborations among regional agencies, educators and businesses to explore how digital storytelling was emerging as a dynamic new form of communication that was fueled by the growth of social media and new forms of journalism and online entertainment.
Several events were offered from 2012 to 2014 to explore opportunities for digital storytelling:
- Digital Storytelling Summit (Univ. of Missouri, March 5, 2012)
- Digital Storytelling Forum (Kansas City, June 21, 2012)
- Digital Storytelling Youth Development Summit (Kansas City, June 26, 2013). Led to the establishment of the KCdigiKids
- Jason Ohler Workshop: Digital Storytelling in the Class Room (Kansas City, December 9, 2013)
- Digital Storytelling Summer Workshop, (Operation Breakthrough, July 7 – August 7, 2014)
- Digital Storytelling Workshop, (KCKCC, July 14 – 17)
- digiSTORY 2014: The Power of Digital Storytelling Conference (Kansas City, October 22, 2014)
- KCdigiKids Workshop: Melissa Pickering – iCreate To Educate, (Kansas City, November 12, 2014)
Interest and support for a Kansas City based program to promote digital storytelling has grown over this period. Several partners in this initiative collaborated to offer Kansas City’s first national conference on digital storytelling on October 22, 2014. Shortly before the conference this core group established a board of directors, articles of incorporation and bylaws. On September 19, 2014, the group registered the Digital Storytelling Center of Kansas City as a non-profit corporation with the State of Missouri. In early January of 2015 the IRS confirmed that the KCdigiSTORY Center had attained 501(c)(3) non-profit status.
From the early days of growth for this initiative, collaborators have explored the opportunity of offering digital storytelling programs in the Laugh-O-Gram Studio building at 31st & Forest where Walt Disney launched one of his earliest animation businesses. The KCdigiSTORY Center is actively engaged with the Mid-America Regional Council, Thank You Walt Disney, The Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City and others to pursue solutions that could place their center in that building. Current plans are to start offering programming from that building when it is renovated late in 2018.