Charlestown Digital Stories wins Telly Award

A pioneering and unique Digital Storytelling Project organized by UMBC’s New Media Studio and funded by Retirement Living TV (RLTV) has won a Bronze Telly Award. The prestigious Telly Award cites the Digital Storytelling Project as being among the world’s best in local, regional, and cable television commercials and programs, as well as among the finest in video and film production. This year’s Telly Awards received over 13,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents.

The Digital Storytelling Project combines the efforts of RLTV, UMBC and Charlestown Retirement Community. It partners a UMBC undergraduate student (hands-on with the media technology) with a Charlestown resident (autobiographical story and narrative) to produce 2-3 minute video stories. Drawn from the life experiences of the residents, the stories combine narration, animation and photography. The award-winning digital stories can be viewed at:

The Digital Storytelling Project is the nation’s first three-way partnership between a media company, a university and a retirement community. UMBC students team with Charlestown residents to create a series of 17 digital stories and music in short movies to be shared with others. Charlestown residents work closely with student partners, acting as author and creative director of their individual story. Each student brings their own style and talents to the project, helping to create some unique examples of intergenerational storytelling. The project is organized and supervised by UMBC’s New Media Studio.

Student award winners Jorge Rios, An Nguyen-Gia, Samantha Duvall, Andrew Chang, Joanna Lit, and Cathryna Brown received their statues at a ceremony held on September 12 at Charlestown. Andrea Olivier, not pictured. also received a statue.

“We are honored that the television industry has recognized the hard work that went into producing these fascinating digital stories,” said Brad Knight, president of RLTV. “The digital stories are reality TV at its finest. They provide a rich, intergenerational experience for Charlestown residents and UMBC students.”Winning an award like the Telly is significant in that it acknowledges that stories drawn from the life experiences of retirees with a wider audience,” said Knight. “It is also gratifying that the award recognizes the entire collection of work from the Charlestown project. It is very much a group process and every story enriched the experience.”