Workshops for Girl Scouts

digiSTORY KC offers three workshop opportunities for Girl Scouts through their Community Partners program.  digiSTORY KC program information is available for scout leaders at this “You Schedule It” website:

Girl Scout troops bring their girls to our digiSTORY Academy to participate in these workshops.  Most sessions are 1.5 to 2 hours in length.  All of the equipment and supplies needed for the workshop activities are provided by digiSTORY KC.  All of the workshops relate to story development or the multimedia production of stories.  Here is a summary of the three workshops currently available from digiSTORY KC through the Girl Scout’s Community Partners program:


How do you create a story “from scratch?” This workshop helps girls understand the key elements needed for a good story and provides prompts to help them form their stories. We show digiSTORY KC’s story model using Lion King as an example of how good stories are constructed. We also show a few entertaining clips from classic movies that illustrate how those key story requirements have worked effectively. Girls will also work in small teams to create a “storyboard” – a 6-8 frame outline of a story concept they create.

Length: 1.5 hours   Cost: $15.00 per girl.  Recommended for Brownies (Grades 2-3), Juniors (Grades 4-5)


This session helps girls understand how all forms of animation and video are made up of individual images shown in a sequence that makes them appear to move.

The workshop provides hands-on learning about how animation works. Concepts include “key framing,”  “frame rates” and how the “persistence of vision” makes still images appear to move to the viewer.  In this session each girl will construct a simple “thaumatrope,” and a “flipbook” that simulates animation. The girls will view examples of animation at different frame rates and see how animators place images together to create animations. They will also have a brief hands-on experience using ZU3D software and LEGO® characters to piece together a short animated action sequence.  Length: 2.0 hours   Cost: $15.00 per girl.  Recommended for Brownies (Grades 2-3), Juniors (Grades 4-5)


What is it like to be part of a multimedia studio team? Find out in digiSTORY KC’s Multimedia Lab Experience. This two-hour workshop provides the opportunity to select a job role and collaborate with teammates to add the multimedia and text elements for a Claymation production. Select from these job roles and learn about that career in multimedia as you fulfill the project requirements for that position: Director, Actor, Film & Video Editor, Multimedia Animator, Sound Engineering Technician, and Producer. Participants build skills in collaboration as they complete their specific roles for the multimedia team.  Length: 2.0 hours   Cost: $15.00 per girl.  Recommended for Brownies (Grades 2-3), Juniors (Grades 4-5), Cadettes (Grades 6-8)


We have two versions of our Multimedia Lab Experience, a 2-hour version and a 4-hour version: the Multimedia Collaboration Project.  The difference between them is that the 2-hour version leaves out the camera work of shooting each frame to create the animation, while the 4-hour version allows teams enough time to do the camera shooting of each animation frame.  The two-hour version has each team working on the same Claymation story, while the 4-hour version has each team working on one or two scenes from a longer script using LEGO® figures.  Each team in the 4-hour LEGO® version contributes to an overall seven-scene group production.  Length: 4.0 hours   Cost: $25.00 per girl.  Recommended for Juniors (Grades 4-5), Cadettes (Grades 6-8)

digiSTORY KC is committed to providing opportunities for girls to experience STEM activities.  We are pleased to be working with the Girl Scouts of NE Kansas and NW Missouri on their Community Partners program.

Summer Workshops Are Underway!

June and July are busy months for digiSTORY KC. During this time, digiSTORY KC is offering seven stop-motion animation workshops. Two workshops are open to the general public for kids from ages of 9 – 16: June 19 – 22 and June 26 – 29. The remaining workshops are offered through key program partners:

  • Ivanhoe Neighborhood Center June 6 – 9
  • Mattie Rhodes Art Center June 12 – 15
  • Operation Breakthrough July 17 – 21
  • Urban TEC July 20 – 21
  • Girl Scouts July 24 – 27


Ron Green, Executive Director of digiSTORY KC, states that “summer workshops provide more time for kids to complete the full process required to create and publish a good stop-motion story.” The standard format for summer workshops is four days of four hours each day:

  • Day 1: Understanding Animation & story/script development
  • Day 2: Creation of an animatic and recording of dialog & voiceovers
  • Day 3: Photo capture of story actions and character movements & expressions
  • Day 4: Post-production (green screen, titles, credits) and publishing

The same workshop offered in after-school formats during the school year is greatly truncated. Typically the student has only six hours to accomplish the same amount of activity. This requires taking short cuts and unfortunate omission of instruction on important aspects of stop-motion animation production. The summer workshop format gives the student and teammates the opportunity for a more satisfying story production experience.

Maker Faire KC 2017 Was Great!

digiSTORY KC hosted an interactive booth at Kansas City’s Maker Faire held on June 24th & 25th at Union Station. The booth featured a live Claymation artist and lots of hands-on experiences for visitors.


The highlight of the exhibit was the opportunity to view artist, Jeff Daly, in action as he sculpted humorous clay characters and photographed successive changes in movement and expression in the Zu3D stop-motion animation software that we use during our workshops. Visitors could observe how these gradual changes in expression would make the character come to life as Jeff played back the frames he had captured to that point. To see the result of Jeff’s work on his bear character on day 1, click here. Jeff also created cute rabbit and bear characters and displayed them in their component pieces so that children could experience the process of creating appealing clay characters. Jeff worked as a humor writer and artist for over forty years at Hallmark Cards. He is a regular contributor to digiSTORY KC programs.


Kids could also create paper animation toys that illustrate how single images combine to create the illusion of movement. They could cut out and form a thaumatrope—a paper disk with a picture of a yellow monster on one side and a cage on the opposite side. When they attach a string to each side and spin the thaumatrope, the monster appears to be inside the cage. They could also create a simple flipbook. When the pages are flipped rapidly, the images combine to simulate movement.


Kids could also experience 3D virtual reality by viewing popular 3D VR apps through a Google Cardboard viewer.


Kids and grownups alike enjoyed digiSTORY’s green screen experience. They could pose against a green screen and superimpose a background that showed them in various interesting scenes. For example, couples could appear to be onstage at Dancing With the Stars, kids could appear to be getting a “Salvy splash” or they could appear next to a large pile of cash.


Many kids and their families visited the booth and expressed interest in learning more about digiSTORY KC and its programs. Many signed up to be added to our mailing lists so that they could be notified of upcoming classes and workshops. If you would like to be added to that list, please contact Ron Green at

OPEN HOUSE: Please join us in celebrating our new digiSTORY Academy!

We are happy to announce the opening of our new classroom in the Connecting for Good facilities at 3210 Michigan Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri 64109. Come to our open house celebration on Wednesday, November 30th between 5:00 and 7:30 p.m.   Come and enjoy refreshments while you see examples of the types of equipment, projects and materials we offer in our digital storytelling workshops. Program leaders and partners will share comments at 5:30 about this new expansion of our digital storytelling programming in Kansas City.

Bring the family! We’re located on the second floor. Plenty of well-lighted parking is available on the west side of the Linwood Area Ministry Place (LAMP) building.

Digital Fun at Maker Faire KC 2016


digiSTORY KC was part of the fun at Maker Faire KC 2016.  We hosted a booth in the “Stage to Screen” section on the lower floor of Union Station. We provided hands-on experience for those interested in adding an action sequence to our Claymation animation.  Lots of kids of all ages joined in on the ongoing production.  See the results for each day’s compilation on our YouTube Channel at these links:

Saturday, June 25th:

Sunday, June 26th:


We also demonstrated 3D virtual reality through Google Cardboard viewers.

Many booth visitors expressed interest in participating in future workshops hosted by digiSTORY KC’s digiKIDS program.  Public workshops on digital storytelling topics will be offered for kids later this year.  Watch our events page for information on when these workshops will be available.  If you would like to be added to our distribution list for these public workshops for kids, contact Ron Green, our Executive Director, at

MakerFaireKCLogo copy

We Have a New Look

Welcome to our new website! As our organization grows and evolves, so must our face to the world. We are excited to launch our newly revised website along with our new logo and visual identity.

We greatly appreciate the web wizardry of Chris Boyle who generously designed and developed our new site for us. We needed a site that was appealing and user-friendly yet simpler for us to manage. Chris came through for us in a big way. He has a growing new business in website development. Check out his site at

digistory__logo--taglineWe are also excited to introduce our new logo and visual identity. Charlie O’Shields, Executive Creative Director of Venn49, generously created and designed our new logo, color palette and program-specific logos. We like the simplicity of digiSTORY Kansas City and the opportunity to add new cities to our base logo as our scope grows beyond Kansas City.

digistory__logo--freddyCharlie also conceived our new “Fast Freddie” character—the circle with the fast-forward icons that become eyeballs for an animated character. We want to be a “fast forward” organization—one that looks to the future and helps lead the way to progress in the ever-emerging space of digital storytelling. “Fast Freddie” will also serve as our new favicon. Do you have an idea for an interesting way to animate Fast Freddie? We encourage our animator friends to develop clever animation segments and submit them for use on our website.

We encourage you to subscribe to RSS feeds from our website. Stay up-to-date on what’s happening with digiSTORY KC programs, workshops and related conferences. Join in on our blog conversations on all aspects of digital storytelling and its fascinating growth. Exciting things are happening for digital storytelling in Kansas City. Join us in accelerating fast-forward growth in Kansas City and beyond.


Disney’s Laugh-O-Gram Studio: Future Location of KCdigiSTORY Center

The Digital Storytelling Center of Kansas City has been working with several Kansas City organizations to develop a plan that would renovate Walt Disney’s Laugh-O-Gram Films building at 31st & Forest. The historically restored building would feature four program areas:

  • Welcome Center
  • Museum of Animation
  • Flex Center
  • Co-working Office Space

Under this plan, the KCdigiSTORY Center’s offices would be located in the co-working office space and digital storytelling courses would be offered in the flex center. The co-working office space would be shared with new start-ups in digital media as part of a new media incubator program.

Walt Disney rented the west end of the second story of this building when he started his Laugh-O-Grams Film business in 1922. Here he hired several staff members whom he trained in animation. The experience that he and his staff gained in animation there helped them to become the founding animators of many of the leading animation studios that still dominate the animation scene today.

The building is owned by the Thank You Walt Disney organization, a non-profit group that has restored the crumbling exterior, replaced the roof and repaired floors. Thank You Walt Disney has worked with the BNIM architects, KCdigiSTORY Center, Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), KCEDC and others to identify solutions for renovating the building and making it a museum and digital media innovation center. MARC secured an EDA Planning Grant that provided funding to conduct a feasibility study for renovating the building and offering programs that would expand KC’s growing digital storytelling industry. The report from that study, Re-Imagine: Laugh-O-Gram Center for Animation & Innovation, provides several recommendations for achieving those goals.

Principals from this Laugh-O-Gram initiative recently met with the City of Kansas City, Missouri to secure their support for tax incentives and other support for the redevelopment of this building and the surrounding area. Plans are underway to secure an EDA Public Works grant and to start a capital campaign to secure the funding needed to renovate the building and equip it for programming. The development timeline projects that the building could be open to the public as early as the first quarter of 2018.

Stakeholders Help Set Vision for KCdigiSTORY Center

The Diastole Scholars Center was the setting for a visioning event conducted by KCdigiSTORY Center in April with thirty-two key stakeholders. Four key stakeholder groups were formed to help the Center clarify priorities: economic and workforce development (KCdigiLeaders), youth & non-profit (KCdigiKids), post-secondary educators (KCdigiProfs) and media professionals (KCdigiPros).

Executive Director, Ron Green, provided an update on programs and strategic direction for the KC digiSTORY Center. Jeremy Knoll, architect from BNIM, provided an overview of the EDA Planning Grant funded feasibility report for renovating the Laugh-O-Gram Studios building at 31st & Forest.

Each of the four breakout groups provided feedback on KC digiSTORY Center strategies and helped establish priority programs. Here are some key recommendations from their sessions:

  • Establish strong brand messaging & communication
  • Get in on the ground floor of KC’s new KC Rising and Lumina development programs
  • Work with community colleges to develop fast track programs to entry-level positions
  • Act now to implement cornerstone professional development programs for KCdigiPros
  • Grow the digiSTORY conference
  • Deliver curriculum & digital media educational content support for K-12 and after-school programs
  • Establish a regional media training educational network: coordinate with local firms to learn their needs for media specialization and certification

The recommendations from this session are being incorporated into KC digiSTORY Center’s four-year plan. This plan will help the Center achieve levels of annual growth and progress that will enable it to offer full programming in January of 2018 when the Laugh-O-Gram building is projected to open its doors to the public.