Discipline: Film/Video – experimental

Sarah Shively

Discipline: Film/Video – experimental
Region: Portland, OR
MacDowell Fellowships: 2005

Sarah Shively completed an M.A. in multimedia journalism in 2022 at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication. This return to academics has allowed her to add journalism experience to her filmmaking background. She recently completed a documentary film about Oregon’s Measure 110 and the peer workforce that is central to this controversial first-in-the-nation drug treatment and decriminalization movement.

Her short film, Contemplating Emily, was partly shot at MacDowell. It premiered at OutFest in 2006. Her more recent documentary shorts have won Best Director of a Documentary Short from Seattle Film Festival 2022, Best Student Film from Beach Cities Inspirational Film Festival 2023, the Audience Favorite Award from AutFest: Texas 2023, Best Autism Film from Star City Film Festival 2023, and Best Northern Student Documentary from Klamath Independent Film Festival 2023.

She has a background in acting and earned an M.F.A. from the Professional Actor Training Program at UNC-Chapel Hill. For many years she taught English as a Second Language in NYC. She and her wife also owned a small video production company, Open Sesame Productions. She and her family moved to Portland, OR in 2015 from New York City. Since then, she has served on local boards, continued her studies in Creative Leadership and Intercultural Training and done volunteer fundraising.



Sarah Shively worked in the Veltin studio.

Veltin Studio was donated by alumni of the Veltin School, a school for girls in New York with a highly respected visual arts department. As the plaque just outside the entrance attests, this studio was used by poet Edwin Arlington Robinson during most of the 24 summers he spent at MacDowell. Perhaps most famously, Thornton Wilder put the finishing…

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