SCL 2015: Looking for a Few Good Libraries!

equipmentsclblog_FI

StoryCorps @ your library and the American Library Association wants YOU to apply to be a part of our 2015 program!

It’s no secret that StoryCorps loves working with libraries. We understand the importance of libraries as critical community anchors, and appreciate the valuable services that libraries provide to their patrons. That’s why, in 2011, we partnered with the American Library Association to create a unique program that put tools and resources to create oral history programming directly in the hands of librarians–StoryCorps @ your library (SCL).

recordingsclblog

Library staff and volunteers practice recording interviews at the Octovia Fellin Public Library in Gallup, NM.

In creating the program, we began with the premise that the people who work at public libraries know their communities better than anyone else. We decided to create a national project that would provide StoryKits–portable sets of professional recording equipment–to librarians and library volunteers and allow them the opportunity to record and celebrate the unique stories of their patrons and others. During the pilot year, we received over 200 applications for ten program slots, and we chose–through a peer-review process moderated by the American Library Association–a cohort of libraries that included small, rural libraries; large, multi-branch library systems; and everything in between. Over the course of a year, we traveled the country to visit these libraries, delivering intensive two-day trainings and providing programmatic guidance. Then, following the trainings, we worked closely with the pilot libraries to provide them with technical and outreach support as they began to record the voices and stories not often included or represented in mainstream media.

Our SCL team with a few of the 2014 SCL libraries. From L to R: Smithville, TX; San Francisco, CA. Bottom: Tampa, FL.

Our SCL team with a few of the 2014 SCL libraries. From L to R: Smithville, TX; San Francisco, CA. Bottom: Tampa, FL.

At the end of the program, our library partners had collected over 420 stories collectively, from Greensboro, NC all the way to Gallup, NM. At the Nashville Public Library, Andrea Blackman recruited community college studies to record stories with their classmates, and those stories are now housed in the NPL’s Special Collections Division. In Chicago, students at DePaul University recorded interviews with a variety of Chicagoans; some interview participants spoke of taking part in the Great Migration; others described arriving in Chicago from Eastern Europe, and still others, patrons at the CPL’s Talking Book Center, discussed their experiences as visually-impaired individuals. In Tampa, FL, the Tampa-Hillsborough County Library System created a program, “Our Lives, Our Legacies: The Hillsborough Black Experience,” in which each month a specific theme was celebrated. The Multnomah County Library collected interviews from library patrons in celebration of its centennial year, and in Smithville, TX, the Smithville Public Library recorded stories with veterans and others that will eventually become a walking tour of the town of Smithville.

Now, we are delighted to announce the next call for applications for the StoryCorps @ your library program. As in the pilot program, StoryCorps will select ten libraries to train and support, and also enhance our suite of freely available tools and resources. StoryCorps will enhance existing web-based resources, present at the annual ALA and Association for Small and Rural Libraries conferences, and support the development of DIY tools to ensure that all libraries can create programs to celebrate the unique stories of their communities.

Interested? Find more information and apply right here!

equipmentsclblog

The 2014 National Day of Listening!

SCNDLwebgraphic_FI

Happy National Day of Listening to one and all!

On Friday, November 28th, join us in celebrating the 7th Annual National Day of Listening (NDL). Get lost in conversation instead of Black Friday’s long shopping lines!

What is NDL? Every year on the day after Thanksgiving, The National Day of Listening offers a holiday alternative to Black Friday shopping sprees. It is an effort to encourage people of all backgrounds and beliefs to interview a friend, loved one, or member of their community about their lives.

It’s easy to participate! Check out our handy instruction guide below for all you “DIY-ers” out there and be sure to visit StoryCorps DIY for even MORE vital information. Happy Listening!

SCNDLwebgraphic_NoNumbers

Who will you be recording your story with for this year’s National Day of Listening? Tell us below!

2015 TED Prize Awarded to StoryCorps Founder Dave Isay

revised TED slider 2015 FI

2015 TED PRIZE AWARDED TO STORYCORPS FOUNDER DAVE ISAY

On 10th Anniversary of the Prize, TED Celebrates the Power of Storytelling
with its Annual $1 Million Award

November 17, 2014 (New York, NY) – TED today announced the recipient of the 2015
TED Prize: Dave Isay, founder of the groundbreaking oral history project StoryCorps.
Each year TED, the nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, awards the TED Prize to
one exceptional individual and gives them the chance to conceive and launch a high-
impact project–”a wish” offered to them without restriction. StoryCorps will be
receiving $1 million from TED to launch Isay’s wish. Beyond the monetary value of the
prize, TED invites its global community of innovators, entrepreneurs, and TEDx
organizers to participate in and help fulfill the wish.

Between now and the 2015 TED Conference (March 16-20 in Vancouver, BC), Isay and
StoryCorps will work with TED to conceive of an audacious wish that builds on his
decade of success with the organization – and share his vision live from the TED stage
on March 17. The talk will be broadcast for free via http://tedlive.ted.com/webcasts/2015

StoryCorps celebrates the dignity, power, and grace that can beheard in the stories we find all around us. Since Dave Isay launched StoryCorps in 2003, 100,000 Americans have participated, making it the largest single collection of human voices ever recorded.

At the heart of StoryCorps is a simple, timeless idea: provide two friends or loved ones
with a quiet space and 40 minutes of uninterrupted time for a meaningful face-to-face
conversation; record that conversation; give the participants a copy; and archive
another copy at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps
seeks out the stories of people most often excluded from the historical record and
preserves them so that the experience and wisdom contained within them may be
passed from one generation to the next. StoryCorps shares edited excerpts of some of
these recordings in its popular weekly broadcasts on NPR, animated shorts, and
bestselling books.

“On the tenth anniversary of the TED Prize, it seems fitting that TED – an organization
whose central mission is to spread ideas and empower storytellers – is honoring a
storytelling pioneer,” said TED curator Chris Anderson. “Under Dave Isay’s leadership,
StoryCorps has given nearly 100,000 Americans the chance to record interviews about
their lives and leave a legacy for the future. I am thrilled about this winner, excited to
see how TED and StoryCorps will collaborate, and eager to see how we can pair an
incredible idea with a global community.”

Dave Isay said, “We are thrilled and honored–and, frankly, floored–to receive this
prize. We look forward to working with TED in the years to come to bring StoryCorps to
more people, and to remind everyone of the power of listening and the simple truth
that every life and every story matters.”

About the TED Prize

The first TED Prize was awarded in 2005, born out of the TED Conference and a vision by
the world’s leading entrepreneurs, innovators, and entertainers to launch a global
project that marries the recipient’s “wish” with TED’s global community.
The original prize: $100,000 and the TED community’s range of talent and expertise.

What began as an unparalleled experiment to leverage the resources of the TED
community has evolved into a $1 million award and an ambitious effort to spur global-
scale change.

From Bono’s the ONE Campaign (’05 recipient) to Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution (’10
recipient) to JR’s Inside Out Project (’11 recipient), Sugata Mitra’s School in a Cloud (’13
recipient) and Charmian Gooch’s call to eliminate anonymous corporations (’14
recipient), the TED Prize has helped to combat poverty, take on religious intolerance,
improve global health, tackle child obesity, advance education, and inspire art around

About StoryCorps

Founded in 2003 by MacArthur Fellow Dave Isay, the nonprofit organization StoryCorps
has given nearly 100,000 Americans the chance to record interviews about their lives,
pass wisdom from one generation to the next, and leave a legacy for the future.
Participating in StoryCorps couldn’t be easier: You invite a loved one, or anyone else you
chose, to one of the StoryCorps recording sites. There a trained facilitator greets you
and explains the interview process. You’re then brought into a quiet recording room and
seated across from your interview partner, each of you in front of a microphone.

The facilitator hits “record,” and you share a forty-minute conversation. At the end of
the session, you walk away with a CD, and a digital file goes to the Library of Congress,
where it will be preserved for generations to come. Someday your great-great-great-
grandchildren will be able to meet your grandfather, your mother, your best friend, or
whomever it is you chose to honor with a StoryCorps interview.

StoryCorps shares edited excerpts of these stories with the world through popular
weekly NPR broadcasts, animated shorts, digital platforms, and best-selling books.
These powerful stories illustrate our shared humanity and show how much more we
share in common than divides us.

Over the past eleven years, StoryCorps has also launched a series of successful national
initiatives including:

–The September 11th Initiative, helping families memorialize the stoires of lives lost on
September 11, 2001 in partnership with the National September Memorial & Museum at the World
Trade Center;

–The Griot Initiative, now the largest collection of African American voices ever gathered,
in colloboration with future Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture;

–The Historias Initiative, the largest collection of Latino stories ever gathered; and

–The Military Voices Initiative, honoring the stories of post-9/11 service members, veterans,
and their families.

Additionally, the organization recently launched StoryCorpsU (SCU), an interactive,
standards-based college-readiness curriculum for high-needs schools that uses
StoryCorps content and interviewing techniques to engage the hearts and minds of
young people and promote positive student outcomes.

StoryCorps is working to grow into an enduring national institution that touches

Press contacts

TED Prize: Erin Allweiss, 202.446.8265 or erin@thenumber29.com.
StoryCorps: Blake Zidell, 718.643.9052 or blake@blakezidell.com.

StoryCorps’ Military Voices Honors Veterans Day

MVI_promo_williams02_blog

Beyond1_twitter revised (1)

This Veterans Day, StoryCorps is going beyond the front lines to honor & share the stories of those who serve in the military and the families who support them–all part of our Military Voices Initiative.

Beginning this Friday, we will be releasing new content, including broadcasts on NPR‘s Morning Edition and Weekend Edition Saturday, an hour-long radio special, and finally, three new animated shorts produced in partnership with PBS. We hope you will join us this Veterans Day to honor those who serve and hear their stories as told by them.

Check out exclusive initial sketches of the 3 new Military Voices Initiative animated shorts from The Rauch Brothers. Enjoy!

“The Nature of War.” Coming November 10th.

MVI_promo_cliburn03_blog

MVI_promo_cliburn05_636

“The Last Viewing.” Coming November 10th.

MVI_promo_hoe01_blog

MVI_promo_hoe03_blog

“1st Squad, 3rd Platoon.” Coming Veterans Day, November 11th.

MVI_promo_williams03_blog

MVI_promo_williams02_blog

The Military Voices Initiative provides a platform for veterans, servicemembers, and military families to share their stories. In doing so we honor their voices, amplify their experiences, and let them know that we–as a nation–are listening.

Two Years After Sandy: Resilience, Retrospect, & Oyster Restoration

SS102214SC1_AG_280

This past week marks the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, the destructive and deadly storm that swept through the eastern part of the United States back in 2012. Here in New York, flooding destroyed thousands of homes and structures and further debilitated an already shut down transit system. Some areas haven’t been able to recover as quickly as others, but all communities affected have shown remarkable RESILIENCE.

With support from the The Rockefeller Foundation, StoryCorps is thrilled to launch a new project to record personal stories of resilience across the country. In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, we see resilience all around us.

Seventeen-year-old Alyssa Giacinto and her mother Denise were living in the East Village, where she witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of the storm.

“All I [saw] was garbage thrown everywhere. I was just in awe ’cause I saw the city in such chaos. And I thought about all that had happened, and I was just like, ‘we really have to do something more.’”

Inspired to make change, Alyssa decided to join the Billion Oyster Project at her school, a long-term, large scale plan to restore one billion live oysters to New York Harbor to create a natural storm barrier for the future and to clean the harbor water.

Alyssa Giacinto

Alyssa Giacinto reaching into one of the local species holding tanks in the New York Harbor School Hatchery. Credit Sarah Shatz

Alyssa attends The Harbor School–located on Governors Island in New York–which is home to The Billion Oyster Project.

During their StoryCorps interview, Alyssa told her mother, “I have an amazing feeling of making a difference, but I’m not the only one. It’s me and other kids, and teachers, and other schools. It’s great that a whole bunch of people could come together and actually create this huge impact on the harbor.”

Alyssa Giacinto and her mother Denise Giacinto.

Alyssa Giacinto and her mother Denise Giacinto Credit Sarah Shatz.

The Stories of Resilience project is just getting started. We will continue to work with various partner organizations in New York and across the country to record stories of endurance and personal strength in their communities.

This is all in an effort to recognize the remarkable stories that surround us, and to celebrate the resilience found within us. By listening to stories about resilient individuals, families, cities, and neighborhoods, we hope to gain insight into what makes us strong, and unbreakable in the face of adversity.

Thanks Emily Hsiao, StoryCorps Custom Services, for sharing!

Archtoberfest—National Archives Month!

arctoberfeatureimage

At StoryCorps, we talk about “the archive” a lot. There are 55,000 plus interviews in “the archive.” We promise our participants that we’ll keep interviews in our “archive.” We send those same interviews to the American Folklife Center to form an “archive” of voices to be preserved for generations to come. So, seriously…what exactly IS an archive anyway?

Well lucky for us, the Recording & Archive (R&A) department here at StoryCorps turned October–which, as we’re sure you all know, is National Archives Month–into “Archtoberfest!” All month long, the R&A department has been educating our staff about the depth of our collection and bringing in some fantastic guests to provide context about the larger world of archives. Want some highlights of the fun we’ve been having? We thought you might…

archtoberfesttitle (Illustration By Kevina Tidwell)

Listening Lunches

At our offices, we have a long-standing tradition of what we call “listening lunches.” We join together to listen to a full-length interview, or a few extended segments from interviews that have not been broadcast. Listening lunches remind us of the tremendous riches we can find in our collection, and allows us to take time out of our busy schedules to do what we believe in most: listen. This month, R&A’s fabulous interns Kat Phillips and Kevina Tidwell made the selections. Kat curated a program with three different extended clips about the impact of gentrification–from San Francisco’s Mission District, to the Englewood neighborhood in Chicago, and finally to Charleston, SC. Kevina presented a selection of musical clips which included stories from gospel singers in Nashville to a jazz pianist from Harlem.

Kat Phillips presenting her listening lunch (photo by Natalia Fidelholtz)

Kat Phillips presenting her listening lunch (photo by Natalia Fidelholtz)

Special Archtoberfest Guests

A few months ago, we wrote about our great archival partnership with the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center. In addition to joining the Schomburg’s open house earlier this month, we were thrilled to host Steven Fullwood on October 17th for more Archtoberfest activities. He brought an incredible selection of zines, newspapers, leaflets, poetry chapbooks, and funeral programs from the In the Life Archive for us to check out. In his talk, Steven highlighted key collections they hold and reminded us of the importance of making archives available locally to the communities that created and donated the materials.

We also invited representatives of other organizations from our 80 Hanson Office Building to for a panel discussion about their own archive work. Yvonne Ng from WITNESS, Richard Goldstein from BOMB! Magazine, and Michael Katchen from the Franklin Furnace Archive discussed their collections, their initiatives to provide access to those collections (or, in Witness’ case, to inspire communities to create their own archives), as well as the challenges that each of these organizations face.

Left to Right: Michael Katchen and Yvonne Ng.

Left to Right: Michael Katchen and Yvonne Ng. (Photo Credit Daniel Sitts)

The Summit

Finally, we held a day-long summit entitled “Oral Histories Online: Ethics, Legality, and Opportunity” to discuss the future of our archive. We were honored to host Bertram Lyons from the American Folklife Center and AVPreserve, Doug Boyd of the Nunn Center at University of Kentucky, and John Neuenschwander, who quite literally wrote the book on legal issues and oral history. We covered a broad range of issues that many archives are struggling with, and emerged from the intense day of conversation energized and excited to move forward with new ideas for the future.

 Oral Histories Online participants: l to r Dean Haddock, Tamara Thompson, Donna Galeno, Virginia Millington, Robin Sparkman, Doug Boyd, Natalia Fidelholtz, Bert Lyons (photo by Mike Cades)


Oral Histories Online participants: l to r Dean Haddock, Tamara Thompson, Donna Galeno, Virginia Millington, Robin Sparkman, Doug Boyd, Natalia Fidelholtz, Bert Lyons (photo by Mike Cades)

As you can imagine, these highlights were just the tip of the archive-iceberg! We also had scavenger hunts through our database, refresher trainings, all manner of snacks, and so much more for StoryCorps’ Archtoberfest!

We hope we inspired you to dig into your old photos & recordings, discover your own family’s oral history, and to think about what you can do to help bring archives to life! After all, EVERY month should be archives month!

Thanks to Talya Cooper, StoryCorps’ Archive Manager, for sharing!

“What Is Your Cry Style?” Take the Quiz!

jesseblog_280

Our stories are not meant to make you cry–we promise! But since we know our interviews from everyday people have been known to cause a few tears (our own included) we thought we should let everyone have some fun with it.

This #crydayFriday figure out what your “cry style” is with this fun quiz! The results are sure to give you some great inspiration when it comes time to share your own cry face this Friday–enjoy!

A Weekend In Danville: 3 Days, 21 Stories

DRF7_280

Alia Haddad, Senior Associate of our Custom Services & guest blogger of the week, recaps our most recent Door-to-Door visit to Danville, VA.

From October 10-12, 2014, StoryCorps partnered with the Danville Regional Foundation to bring our MobileBooth to record 21 captivating and wide-ranging conversations between 42 people, representing the diverse community of the Dan River Region. Our visit is just the beginning in what will be a long line of capturing local oral histories in this region, however. In addition to the annual Dan River Region Festival, the weekend also marked the launch of the foundation’s History United initiative, which aims to develop a multi-faceted approach of telling a diverse and inclusive history of the region. We’re so excited that History United will continue on in this effort, capturing and archiving stories of this historically and culturally rich community.

 The StoryCorps MobileBooth parked it for three days, located outside of the Danville Science Center.

The StoryCorps MobileBooth parked it for three days, located outside of the Danville Science Center.

The stories we captured in Danville exemplified, not just the diversity of this specific community, but of our whole StoryCorps archive as well. We heard stories from William Franklin Scott, son of the first African American NASCAR driver Wendell Scott, as he reminisced with his own son, Warrick, about the legacy of his father and the effect he had on Danville and the whole of the United States. Former Senator Charles Hawkins & Professor Jack Hayes peppered their conversation on politics with tidbits about the history of the tobacco industry in Danville. On a more somber note, we heard from John Guzlowski, who spoke to his wife about how his parents met in a Nazi concentration camp in World War II. These and all of the 21 stories we captured represented the remarkable history and spirit of this region–reminding us again that amazing stories are everywhere you look!

John Guzlowksi and wife Linda Calendrillo (left to right) pose with the Booth after finishing their interview.

John Guzlowksi and wife Linda Calendrillo (left to right) pose with the Booth after finishing their interview.

While the StoryCorps MobileBooth could only be in town for a short three days, it was enough time for our StoryCorps facilitators, Luis and Mayra, to experience true Danville life (aka 90-minute hot yoga sessions and $1.50 beers). With friendly-people like these and beautiful restored red-brick buildings galore, we’d stay all year if I could. Luckily, Ina Dixon, who is leading the History United Initiative, does live in town and is ready to capture all your Dan River Region stories. For more information, check out the website here: http://www.historyunited.org/.

Ina Dixon, who is spearheading History United, takes a snapshot with Warrick Scott who is wearing a T-Shirt immortalizing his grandfather.

Ina Dixon, who is spearheading History United, takes a snapshot with Warrick Scott, donning a T-Shirt immortalizing his grandfather, Wendell.

Animation Studio or Independent Animator/Director for New StoryCorps Half-hour Special

StoryCorps is seeking proposals from animators for a new half-hour animated
special featuring stories of military veterans.

StoryCorps is seeking an animation studio–or an animator/director who will construct and manage a production team–to develop character-driven animation that will bring our award-winning stories to life in this new tv special dedicated to military veterans. The completed film will be distributed on public television, through film festivals, and online

In 2013, StoryCorps released its first half-hour special, Listening Is an Act of Love, which aired nationally on PBS’s documentary series, POV. This new special will present 6 stories from military veterans, set within a frame narration with a host. The content comes from StoryCorps’ archive, and particularly its Military Voices Initiative, which provides post-9/11 veterans, service members, and their families the opportunity to record and share their stories with the public to help bridge the gap in understanding between veterans and civilians.

For more information about the project and how to apply, please email Rachel Hartman at rhartman@storycorps.org. Applications are due no later than October 29, 2014.

Shortlisted candidates will be notified on November 7, 2014, and asked to submit further materials. A final decision will be made by December 1, 2014.

The 2014 StoryCorps Gala!

gala2_stephencolbert

Last week, October 9, 2014, was our 2nd Annual StoryCorps Gala–celebrating our Military Voices Initiative and hosted by the brilliant Stephen Colbert!

The night was set in the beautiful Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. With entertainment from Mr. Colbert, a selection of MVI stories and animated shorts, the evening was an amazing success. Thanks to all who came out for such a fun event and for supporting StoryCorps’ work!

Enjoy a recap of our 2014 Gala with some choice pictures of the fun-filled evening!
 

Photo Credit: Deidre Schoo
 

Photo Credit: Erin Patrice O’Brien