Detroit, Michigan: AKA Motown, Motor City, Hockeytown, Detroit Rock City. It’s industrious. It’s got grit. And it’s got soul. It’s got the Tigers, Lions, Red Wings, and…teachers.
Facilitator Gaspar Caro and I recently got the call to conduct interviews with educators for the National Teacher Initiative with Town Hall partner Detroit Public Television, where witnessed how these select teachers seem to embody the city’s reputation. These educators not only participated in StoryCorps; they connected with others in their field by trading stories and showing support and love, as well.
Micanopy, Florida is a small town in Alachua County, just outside Gainesville, and is known for being the home of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of the young adult novel, The Yearling. It is also the current home of Ginny Beam, another woman devoted to her love of storytelling. Ginny was interviewed by her friend, Sally Stein, during StoryCorps Door-to-Door’s visit to the Alachua County Library District in Gainesville.
This trip was a result of the Alachua library’s being awarded the National Medal by the Institute of Museum and Library Services as one of ten outstanding institutions in the country that excel in community service and outreach. Dedicated librarians like as Ginny are the reason libraries like this thrive and remain a hub for all members of the community.
To wrap up Black History Month, Monica Foderingham, Outreach Services Librarian for Atlanta-Fulton Public Library, created the Letters To My Grandchildren Project. In partnership with Senior Citizen Services of Merto Atlanta and StoryCorps Atlanta, conversations of African Americans who grew up during segregation and the Civil Rights Movement were recorded for posterity.
On February 28, 100 seniors from Auburn Senior Center, Dogwood Senior Center, Northside Shepherd Senior Center, Southeast Center, and New Horizon Senior Center gathered at the central library to hear twelve storytellers share their experiences.
StoryCorps Door-to-Door gathered interviews for the National Teachers Initiative in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Between encounters with green chili for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Facilitator Mitra Bonshahi and I recorded stories about New Mexicans’ experiences with education in preparation for Albuquerque’s Teacher Town Hall event. For two days, KNME, Albuquerque’s public TV station, played host to a rotating cast of teachers and students. After their StoryCorps interviews, participants also had the opportunity to record video reflections on their interviews with youth radio station Generation Justice. (more…)
Storycorps Door-to-Door had the pleasure of visiting the Erie Art Museum, one of the 2011 Institute of Museum and Library Service (IMLS) National Medal Award winners. In our three days of recording, participant after participant shared stories of how the museum has become a major community hub, and we quickly came to understand why the museum was honored nationally for its “significant and exceptional contributions to their communities.” The museum has a lot more than an award to be proud of, with programming that allows its patrons to truly “be moved.”
StoryCorps Door-to-Door recently visited North Lawndale College Preparatory Charter High School on Chicago’s West Side, where, unlike at other local schools, students are not greeted with metal detectors or police. Instead, they’re chased in a playful game of tag, called “running bases.”
“We’re somewhat crazy at our place,” says Administration President and tag instigator John Horan.
Before there was the written word, there were oral storytellers, and StoryCorps Atlanta had the pleasure of recording conversations at the National Black Storytelling Conference and Festival held in Atlanta, Georgia.
This recording day was phenomenal. It was an honor to hear amazing stories by professional storytellers and to hear these professionals share the ordinary stories of their lives, the raw human material that StoryCorps knows all too well that has inspired them to make storytelling a way of life. Below are a few highlights.
Barbara Eady and Jacqueline Boyd, both from Ohio, discussed how they began storytelling. Barbara shared a poignant story about an elder mother in her church, who knew her as a child and remembered her many years later when Barbara brought her own children to Sunday service. The elder’s detailed memories of Barbara as a child touched her and has encouraged her work. Today, Barbara is a living vessel of memory and history.
Facilitator John White and I visited North Lawndale College Preparatory Charter High School‘s Collins campus in Chicago, Illinois, to collect stories for StoryCorps’ National Teachers Initiative. The school’s president, John Horan, and alum Tierra S. Jackson joined us for a conversation.
Tierra has an easy smile, and if you struggle with pronouncing her name, she’ll simply say, “Think of a tiara.” If that word has you thinking of royalty and princesses, such a life couldn’t be further from Tierra’s while she was in high school.