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Welcome to Chicago Summer Stories

Creating Meaningful Stories Collaboratively


What is Chicago Summer Stories?


We want collaborators and this is what we mean


When filmmaking is available to everyone, what stories will they tell?


Application Process

Share your story

1. Create a 90 second to 2 minute video sharing your interest in why you would like to be part of this program. We are looking for you to show and tell your unique story based on your experience in collaborating while creating meaningful video. We don't want a resume, but rather an authentic narrative that demonstrates your interest.
2. Your teacher recommendation: Your program teacher or advisor needs to submit a 1-2 minute video that can share how you have been a great collaborator in their program.

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Video Application Process

The steps to make a great applicant video-
Students are to record a 90 second to 2 minute personal story to show and tell their interest, passion and purpose. Student will have the option to do this on an iPhone (or any smartphone) or other camera.


Introduce yourself

Please share your name, city, and school (on camera) and then show and tell why you would like to be challenged with this opportunity. (mandatory Pitch)




  1. Show and tell about a collaborative moment that helped you understand the value of a team in production within your school program or community (ex. 7 day challenge)

  2. Show and tell what you love most about the production process through specific experiences you pushed yourself to discover (ex. technical or theoretical)

  3. Show and tell about your favorite project you produced in the last year and what  you learned specifically from it (behind the scenes director's commentary).

  4. Show and tell a 30 second example of your craft (shooting, editing, art direction, lighting) while explaining how you did it.


Once finished, upload your video to YouTube as an unlisted video.


Chicago Summer Stories 2021

Application dates

2021 Applications due

Participant Selection notification

2021 Meet Up (Students & Parent)


CSS 2022 Program dates

Steps along the Journey

Official Start

Official End



Previous CSS projects


Community Gardens of Chicago


Farm to Table


Changemakers: Time is Now


Maya's Personal Reflection


Prasanth's Personal Reflection



or what we think you might want to know

Yes, we are looking for great collaborators who are leaders in their school's media program and will come back as Senior leaders in the fall. Last year we did both rising Juniors and Seniors, but found the Seniors were the best fit moving forward.

Nothing. Zero dollars. In fact, we want this to be inclusive to as many qualified students as possible that we will cover your meals while you're working and train transportation to/from Chicago each day your working.

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Thanks for submitting!