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

Show Your Cry Face on #crydayFriday

jesseblog_280

It’s happened to the best of us. Minding your own business, headed to work or school or wherever, and then BAM! “Time for another StoryCorps…” The tear ducts didn’t even see it coming.

Photo credit: Deidre Schoo

Photo credit: Deidre Schoo

We can’t make up for the morning mascara smudge, or the accidental public crying, or that time your co-worker saw you listening to our broadcast in the parking lot before work, sobbing into your thermos…BUT we can thank you for being such loyal listeners! Beginning this Friday, StoryCorps wants you to have a little fun with all those feels.

Every Friday, show us your best StoryCorps cry face using #crydayFriday. We’ll be re-sharing some of our favorite faces as we go!

You might be wondering right about now…what is a cry face? We’re glad you asked.

No real tears are required for this one. Goofy cry, ugly cry, real cry, whatever you want.

It could be something like…

This:

Or maybe a little bit of this:

Sad Selfies Are Welcome!

Even this:

Embrace the emotions...

And definitely this:

StoryCorps Issue Tissues

(Cry face re-enactments courtesy of the brave members of our StoryCorps Team).

We hope you get the picture. Long story short, we didn’t mean to make you cry, but we are truly thankful for all the tears over the years. We know it means that you’re listening (which is an act of love we’ve heard).

So get your best cry face ready for Friday and thanks again for being such amazing fans! Let the #crydayFriday festivities begin!

Inside the Historias Archive: An Interview with Christian Kelleher

Benson_280

Did you know it’s National Hispanic Heritage Month AND National Archives Month? To celebrate, we want to let you in on the inner workings of our incredible Historias collection.

Our Historias archive is one of the largest collections of contemporary Latino and Latina voices ever gathered! With participants’ permission, we send all interviews with individuals who identify as Latino/a to the Nettie Lee Benson Collection at the University of Texas at Austin, the premiere archive of Latin American materials in the United States. Christian Kelleher, the head archivist at the Benson Collection, was kind enough to chat with us about what happens to these interviews once they’re Texas-bound, as well as some of the other treasures this library and archive holds.

Christian Kelleher at the Benson Collection with an antiphonary (a liturgical book) from Mexico City from 1589--one of the first books printed in the Americas. Credit: University of Texas Libraries.

Christian Kelleher at the Benson Collection with an antiphonary (a liturgical book) from Mexico City from 1589–one of the first books printed in the Americas. Credit: University of Texas Libraries.

Can you tell us a little bit about the Nettie Lee Benson Collection, and your specific role there? How long have you been at UT Libraries?

“The Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection is the special collection library and archive on the UT Austin campus that specializes in materials from and about Latin America, the Caribbean, and Latino/as in the U.S. Among the premier collections in the world, the Benson holds over one million volumes in its library along with a significant body of original manuscript materials, photographs, maps, audio and video recordings, artworks, and cultural artifacts. I’ve been at the Benson Collection nearly 12 years now as the head archivist, leading the rare books and manuscripts division. It’s an honor and a thrill to work with the materials and individuals that I interact with every day. In our holdings we have some of the first books printed in North America–from Mexico City beginning nearly a hundred years before the first book printed up in New England–and beautiful original pintura maps from the Relaciones Geograficás, the first survey of New Spain done by the Spanish Crown in 1577.”

A map of Guaxtepec, Mexico from 1580 from the Relaciones Geográficas collection, a key primary source about the Spanish conquest of the Americas. Credit: University of Texas Libraries

A map of Guaxtepec, Mexico from 1580 from the Relaciones Geográficas collection, a key primary source about the Spanish conquest of the Americas. Credit: University of Texas Libraries

“We have the original literary manuscript of Argentine author Julio Cortazar’s Rayuela that is a genuinely interactive experience to page through. There is correspondence from Mexican-American activists working to desegregate schools in the Southwest, which provides unique insight into the processes and personalities of heroes in the civil rights movement. Students and scholars come to the Benson from all over the world. The individuals and organizations whose archives we preserve are endlessly fascinating: political figures, authors, activists, intellectuals, and regular people who witnessed, participated in, and lead in the making of history.”

Have any researchers already used StoryCorps materials? Have you used them to engage the university community or the general public?

“The StoryCorps archive is something that I feature when I talk with students in classes all the time because it’s a resource for so many of their research interests. Mexican American Studies, Latin American Studies, History, Anthropology, Media Studies, Sociology, Education, Women’s and Gender Studies, Art, Medicine–you name the discipline and it’s represented in StoryCorps. All I have to do is turn them on to the archive and let them go.”

How do you think researchers will make use of these interviews in the future?

“You might have to bear with me on this one. I’ve been reading a book on the history of the Chaos Theory, and am in a section on fractals. I’m definitely no physicist or mathematician, but if I understand correctly fractals are patterns that appear similar when examined at different scales. So, for example, when you look at a coastline from space you see this rough demarcation between land and water. Then, if you zoom in to, like, airplane height, you still see the same rough boundary, just on a different, closer scale. And again, standing on the rocky shoreline. But for each view while the shoreline looks random or chaotic, there is actually an underlying pattern.

I think an archive like StoryCorps’ will be studied in a similar way. If you look at the whole archive of more than 50,000 interviews you might see chaos with so many different personal histories. When we look at the 2,500 Historias interviews at the Benson Collection, there is still a huge diversity of human experience within that population. Even down to a single interview–with the interviewer and interviewee talking back and forth, over one another, with their life stories moving through time, in different geographic locations, and adding and losing family members, changing jobs, etc.–researchers will see patterns and meaning underlying that apparent chaos, and it will be relevant for the big population and the individual alike.”

Are there any topics, people, or communities that you’d like to see StoryCorps address or work with in the future?

“I love it. That’s always the right question for an archive: who is not being represented that needs to be? You know, one segment of the population that I don’t think we listen to enough is kids. They have insights that are shrewd, alternately hilarious or heartbreaking, and often surprising, though maybe everyone would be better off if kids didn’t surprise adults quite so much. I know that there would be legal and ethical concerns about such a project–and rightly so–but like everyone else, kids definitely have something valuable to add to the conversation.”

What are some of the other oral history collections you hold at the Benson Collection?

“Oral histories are an important part of many archival repositories. At the Benson Collection, we have a number of significant oral history collections like the Voces Project of nearly 1,000 interviews with Latinos and Latinas involved in World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam wars, including soldiers, doctors, nurses, and people on the home front. Many of those were done by students here at the University, as a way to engage them in understanding their family, community, and national history beginning on the level of an individual’s experiences and contributions. Our own librarians have done oral histories with civil rights activists in such organizations as the American G.I. Forum and the League of United Latin American Citizens, and we have collections from scholars and activists on human rights and political movements as well.”

Do you have a favorite collection at the Benson? One that you’re particularly excited to work with, or one with a subject matter that particularly strikes your fancy?

“A collection that I think demonstrates the power of an archive, and will promote new discoveries in research and scholarship for many, many years is the Gloria Anzaldúa papers. Anzaldúa was a Chicana feminist theorist poet who pioneered fields like Borderlands Theory and Queer Studies. Her archive documents so many aspects of her professional life and her personal life that were intricately connected. Anzaldúa was central to a historical moment recognizing that individuals and peoples aren’t on one side or the other of a boundary–whether that’s a national border, sexual identity, religious definition, language group, or ethnic identity, and many others–but that they cross those borders, move between them, or, Schrodinger’s Cat-style, inhabit both sides at the same time.

Cover page of a manuscript draft of Borderlands by Gloria Anzaldúa, 1986. Credit: University of Texas Libraries,

Cover page of a manuscript draft of Borderlands by Gloria Anzaldúa, 1986. Credit: University of Texas Libraries and the Gloria Anzaldúa Literary Trust.

Her archive illustrates how she grappled with such ideas intellectually and personally in her correspondence, published and unpublished written works, interactions with students and artists, and in her own wide-ranging reading. A European filmmaker made a documentary about the importance of visual arts to Anzaldúa’s work, and described Anzaldúa’s archive as an altar to her impact on the world around her. Anzaldúa scholar AnaLouise Keating described her archive as her “final and most complex text” and I think that really captures what an archive can be: complex, beautiful, and rewarding to inquiry.”

Finally, what are three favorite places that you’d recommend to a visitor to Austin?

“Wow, there’s so much great stuff in Austin that there’s something for anyone’s particular (and even peculiar) interests! I’ve been really enjoying seeing film screenings from the Austin Film Society at their new Marchesa Theatre. I recommend to everyone to see the world’s first photograph on exhibit at UT’s Harry Ransom Center–there’s only one, it’s the first ever, and it’s right here on campus. And on the right nights at the right time of year, seeing the bats fly out of the Congress Avenue bridge at dusk before a good dinner and night listening to live music is a very cool thing to experience.”

 

Big thanks to Christian Kelleher for answering these questions, and to StoryCorps’ own Archive Manager, Talya Cooper, for putting this interview together!