Insight News

Feb 08th

SPNN’s Doc U program wins national award

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theresa-crushonTheresa Crushshon, a participant in SPNN’s Doc U program, has won the award for Documentary Biography from the Alliance for Community Media’s Hometown Media Awards. Her film about Jazz legend Irv Williams was created in Doc U, a program funded in part by the Minnesota State Arts Board. The program gives low-income adults hands-on skills in all aspects of documentary production. In the first year of Doc U, seven participants, including Theresa, created short films on a diversity of subjects. The upcoming class of Doc U is recruiting now and will train a dozen new documentarians.

Theresa’s film explores the life and legacy of local jazz musician Irv Williams. As the writer of a local jazz history blog, Jassed, Theresa was in a unique position to tell the story of this community. “I know that people use all different types of new media to find and share information these days,” Theresa said. “I was interested in the Doc U project because I wanted to learn how to use different kinds of technology to create interesting content for my blog. In the Minnesota community Irv Williams is a legend, I wanted to do something more in-depth and more professional.” Irv is 93-years-old and still performs weekly at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis. With his life story spanning nearly a century, Theresa felt Irv had an important history to share.

While participating in Doc U, Theresa and the rest of the new documentarians gathered for in-depth workshops on everything from interview skills, to lighting, to editing. They learned how to work with new HD video cameras and tell a story on screen. “It was a great community of people,” says Theresa. “There were different levels of experience, but everyone…. really wanted to see their idea coming to fruition.”


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