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Name:  NDstrong – Matthew Maldonado and Eric Thoemke
Grade Level Preference: K-12
Geographic Availability: Statewide - International
Fee per-day: Project-based
Email: ndstrong.films@gmail.com
Phone Number: 701-721-0001
Web site: ndstrong.org


NDstrong is a small group of creative folks dedicated to the art of film making and visual media.  Our mission is to educate and inspire students to explore the production of film throughout the state of North Dakota. 


NDstrong’s teaching philosophy is based on the development of literacy and social skills, public behaviors, and personal development through the film making process.  As students produce their own films, Matt and Eric provide instruction that addresses English Language Arts and National Arts standards, and processes that encourage collaboration, creativity, communication, and critical thinking.  From storyboards to writing, directing, acting, and producing, Matt and Eric’s residencies are sure to engage students, teachers, and entire communities!



Residency Title:  Caught in the Act

Grade Level: K – 5. 

Duration: 5, 1 hour lessons


Acting is portraying a character. During this residency, students will learn basic behaviors that will enable them to step into the shoes of different characters. Actors Matthew Maldonado and Eric Thoemke will take students out of their comfort zones and help them portray these roles, create a storyboard, and learn basic skills for filming and producing their own video.

Day 1: Acting Exercises

  • Voice Skills

  • Body Language

  • Eric vs. Matt "Challenge"

  • Tree Tag

Day 2: Creative Writing

  • Eric vs. Matt "Script"

  • Storyboard

  • Application of Day 1

Day 3: Camera Integration

  • Camera Activity

  • Participation

Day 4&5: Production


Bishop Ryan Catholic School 3rd grade residency:

"The Championship" video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPMSTC146B4; and a "Behind the Scenes" video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPHmo6ZEVbQ.


News report on NDStrong's residency at Bishop Ryan school in Minot: http://www.kxnet.com/story/31171627/artist-grant-funds-filmmaking-project-for-third-graders?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=12199260


Name: Mike Hazard
Grade Level Preference: Preschool - high school
Geographic Availability: Statewide, as long as travel expenses are reimbursed
Fee per-day: $240 per-day
Email: mediamike@thecie.org
Phone Number: 651-227-2240
Web site: http://thecie.org/


My nickname in the schools is Media Mike. I love to use cameras and computers to see things. A recent Bush Fellow, I am artist in residence at The Center for International Education. Six of my films have enjoyed national release on PBS.


I love to help people learn to make video and photographs and write stories the way I learned - hands-on, learning by making. Flexibility is my middle name. As a member of the Association for Teaching Artists, my teaching philosophy is all about life-long learning. www.teachingartists.com/whoweareMike.htm.


Residency Title: I offer three basic residency experiences: Seeing with Video, Seeing with Cameras, and Picture Stories.

Grade Level: Preschool - high school, lessons are adapted for age-appropriate levels

Number of Sessions: From one to many; the average is the usual five day residency with about 20 class sessions in the course of the week.


By learning how pictures and videos are made, students learn two things: how to creatively express themselves, and how to decode mass media. The first grows self-esteem and awareness; the second is a survival skill in our electronic culture.  Cameras and computers can be creatively used with any particular educational area.

All our work is hands on. We learn by making. We use video or still cameras to make images and we use computers to write and edit the work. Each residency adapts to the technology and gear available at each school; the artist provides additional equipment as needed.  The photo residency uses all types of cameras, from cell phones to iPads. 

All residencies are led by yours truly, Media Mike Hazard.

North Dakota Council on the Arts

It is our mission to promote, preserve and perpetuate the arts in North Dakota.