StoryCorps, a national nonprofit organization which records, preserves, and shares the stories of Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs, will record interviews in Whitesburg from April 21 to May 14 as part of its cross-country MobileBooth tour.
StoryCorps’ Mobile- Booth — an Airstream trailer outfitted with a recording studio — will be parked in the public parking lot at Veterans Memorial Park in Whitesburg. Reservations will be available on April 7 at 10 a.m., and can be made by calling StoryCorps’ 24-hour toll-free reservation line at 1-800-850-4406 or visiting storycorps.org. Additional appointments will be available on April 22 at 10 a.m.
StoryCorps’ Mobile- Booth 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.
In Whitesburg, Story- Corps will partner with WMMT to collect 60 interviews. WMMT will air a selection of the local interviews recorded in the StoryCorps MobileBooth and create special programming around the project. Segments of selected interviews may also air nationally on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition.
Founded in 2003 by award-winning documentary producer and MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient Dave Isay, StoryCorps aims to create a growing portrait of Americans. By traveling to every corner of the country, StoryCorps has one of the largest collections of American voices ever gathered, with interviews collected from more than 60,000 Americans 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,” said 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.”
“We’re very excited for StoryCorps to begin recording the stories of eastern Kentucky’s residents”, said WMMT’s General Manager Marcie Crim. “This region’s rich tradition of storytelling should result in a unique collection of stories.”
In addition to two traveling MobileBooths, Story- Corps operates stationary recording booths at Foley Square in New York City, at Atlanta’s public radio station WABE-FM, and at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco.
To ensure the diversity of participants, StoryCorps sponsors four major initiatives: the stories of Latinos throughout the United States and Puerto Rico; the voices and experiences of African Americans; the Memory Loss Initiative, which reaches out to people affected by various forms of memory loss; and the September 11 Initiative, which honors and remembers the stories of those most personally affected by the events of September 11, 2001.
To help offset its operating costs, StoryCorps requests a donation of at least $25 for each Mobile- Booth interview. If participants cannot afford to meet the suggested donation, they may participate at no cost to ensure that StoryCorps remains a free public service.