Say Your Piece – NPR’s StoryCorps Comes to Tacoma

18 Aug

What: StoryCorps, the groundbreaking oral history organization, is coming to Tacoma
When: Sept. 8 – Oct. 3, 2011. Reservations for recording sessions will be available starting Aug. 25; call StoryCorps’ 24-hour, toll-free reservation line at 1-800-850-4406.
Where: Museum of Glass parking lot, 1801 Dock Street, Tacoma WA 98402
Admission: $25 suggested donation for participants having their stories recorded and archived
Information: www.storycorps.org; www.museumofglass.org

Oral histories provide a richly textured portrait of America through the personal voices and intertwined stories of its citizens. StoryCorps, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans from all backgrounds, is coming to Tacoma for four weeks starting Sept. 8, to collect the stories of residents of the South Puget Sound area. Northwest Public Radio (NWPR) 90.9FM, a listener-supported public radio service, will host StoryCorps during the local portion of its cross-country tour.

Recording will take place in StoryCorps’ customized MobileBooth. Like an updated and digitized successor to the kitchen table or the front-porch swing – places where people traditionally gathered to talk – StoryCorps’ state-of-the-art Airstream trailer, outfitted with a recording studio, will be parked at the Museum of Glass (1801 Dock Street, Tacoma, WA) through Oct. 3.

Here’s how the program works: StoryCorps’ MobileBooth interviews are conducted between two people who know and care about each other. A trained StoryCorps facilitator guides participants through the interview process. At the end of each 40-minute recording session, participants receive a complimentary CD copy of their interview. With participant permission, a second copy is archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for future generations to hear.

During the period when it takes up residence at the Museum of Glass, StoryCorps will collect more than 120 local interviews, and NWPR will air a selection of them during National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, heard in the Tacoma/Seattle area on 90.9FM. Founded in 2003 by award-winning documentary producer, David Isay, StoryCorps currently has one of the largest collections of American voices ever gathered, with interviews compiled from more than 60,000 citizens in all 50 states.

“StoryCorps tells the true American story—that we are a people defined by small acts of courage, kindness and heroism. Each interview reminds people that their lives matter and will not be forgotten,” says Isay. “By strengthening connections between people and building an archive that reflects the rich diversity of American voices, we hope to build StoryCorps into an enduring institution that will touch the lives of every American family.”

“The Museum of Glass is thrilled to host StoryCorps,” states museum director/CEO Tim Close.  “As an art museum, part of our mission is to engage our community members and inspire them to seek out new experiences. StoryCorps is about capturing and recording American stories.  It’s a perfect collaboration.”

On Thursday, Sept.15, 5 – 8p.m., there will be a “Public StoryCorps Celebration” in which the public is invited to meet the StoryCorps staff, tour the MobileBooth, learn more about the program and sign up for interviews.

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