At the nexus of media theory and production, Annenberg Creative is a new initiative of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania that seeks to expand the landscape of scholarship by encouraging the integration of media, arts and technology into Communication teaching and research.

Annenberg Creative aims to increase students’ media literacy, reimagine the limits of scholarship, and expand the reach of the cutting-edge research produced by Annenberg faculty and students.

Through institutional partnerships, research support, curricular offerings, and training opportunities, Annenberg Creative celebrates the real-world impact of innovative scholarship.

Annenberg Creative dispels the false dichotomy of theory and practiceinviting scholars to consider the myriad ways that Communication research and production – thinking and making – are inextricably intertwined.


Our partners across and beyond campus contribute to the vibrancy of our work and similarly champion ambitious visions of what scholarship can be.

Media Makers in Residence

This academic year, we are pleased to continue hosting two “Media Makers in Residence,” both of whom bring with them a wealth of industry experience and expertise to share . This small cadre of talented practitioners incubate meaningful projects during their time at Annenberg and contribute to the dynamic fabric of our community in a variety of ways, including teaching hands-on undergraduate seminars, offering technology workshops, and collaborating with Annenberg students, faculty members and other Penn partners.

Daniel Gorenstein

Daniel Gorenstein is Executive Editor and Host of the Tradeoffs podcast show produced in collaboration with the Leonard Davis Institute,  Penn’s Center for Public Health Initiatives, and the Annenberg School for Communication. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the California Health Care Foundation, Tradeoffs is an in-depth news program focused on the health care policymaking process through candid and compelling storytelling.

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Gorenstein is a graduate of the Quaker-run Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, where he received a BA in Human Development and Social Relations. He began his journalism career at the unique Chicago Reporter, an award-winning regional monthly journal focused on exploring the drivers and consequences of poverty and racism in that city. He went on to work as a reporter at the NPR’s New Hampshire Public Radio station for 11 years before moving to American Public Media as senior health care business reporter on the Marketplace show. In late 2019, after six years at Marketplace, he left to pursue the opportunity to produce the Tradeoffs show.

During his twenty years as a reporter, Gorenstein has won a number of national awards including the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi investigative reporting award.

Maori Holmes

Maori Holmes, Founder, Artistic Director and CEO of the BlackStar Film Festival, serves as Curator-at Large at the Annenberg Center for Performing Arts, where she will collaborate with Penn faculty in the curation of campus-wide film programming as a Curator-at Large.  As Media Maker in Residence at the Annenberg School.  As Mediamaker-in-Residence at the Annenberg School, she will teach an undergraduate course as well as provide mentorship to doctoral and undergraduate students.  Also she will advise on projects, including CAMRA and CAMRA Fellows. Additionally, the Annenberg School will serve as a home for seen: a journal of film and visual culture, a new publication based at BlackStar and edited by Holmes.

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Born in Los Angeles, Maori is a curator, filmmaker and writer. She founded BlackStar in 2012 and serves as its Artistic Director and CEO. Included in Essence Magazine’s 2019 Woke 100 List, she is also a 2019 Soros Equality Fellow. She has organized programs in film at a myriad of organizations including Anthology Film Archives, Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), The Underground Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art—where she most recently organized screening programs in conjunction with the 2019 Biennial. Other projects include KinoWatt (2011-2012) and Black Lily Film & Music Festival (2006-2010).

As a director, her works have screened internationally including her feature documentary Scene Not Heard: Women in Philadelphia Hip-Hop (2006). She has also directed and produced works for Colorlines.com, Visit Philadelphia, and singer-songwriter India.Arie. Her writing has recently appeared in The Believer, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good, and How We Fight White Supremacy: A Field Guide to Black Resistance.

Maori received her MFA in Film & Media Arts from Temple University and her BA in History from American University. She currently serves on the board of American Documentary (POV), the advisory boards of Ulises, Vidiots, and Lightbox Film Center, and was a juror for the 2019 Full Frame Film Festival and the 2019 Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival. Maori also serves as Curator-at-Large at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, and a Creative Strategist with Blackbird.


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