From our Archive: Americans Living with Disabilities

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2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, promoting civil rights for Americans living with mental and physical conditions. In honor of the anniversary and in celebration of the powerful and varied experiences of people across America, StoryCorps recommends these Animated Shorts and Audio selections from our archive.

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Josh & Sarah

 

 

Young Josh, who has Asperger’s syndrome, came to StoryCorps with his mother, Sarah Littman and sat down for a one of a kind conversation. Josh questions his mom on an array of topics, from motherhood and parenting to her feelings about cockroaches.

>> Watch Q&A, the StoryCorps classic Animated Short here.

 

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Gweneviere & Yasir

 

After surgery to remove a brain tumor, Gweneviere Mann lost her short-term memory. She was faced with many new obstacles, but she wasn’t alone. Her boyfriend, Yasir Salem was there with support and help to tackle all the new challenges thrown her way.

>> Watch Marking the Distance, this inspirational animation here.

 

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Bonnie & Myra

 

 

Bonnie Brown was born with an intellectual disability, she has a low IQ. At StoryCorps, she talked with her then-teenage daughter, Myra. Her daughter ensures her mom, “Even though our situation is unique, I’m happy that I’m in it, because I’m happy that I’m with you.” Myra attends gifted and talented classes in her high school, she hopes to attend Cambridge University when she graduates.

>> Listen to more of this heartfelt interview right here.

 

 

 

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Meaghan & Colleen

 

 

 

“This was a man who I could stand with and love. He was a man among men. Your dad was a giant.”

Max Starkloff was in a near-fatal car accident that left him quadriplegic. Max was living in a nursing home when he came across a woman working there, Colleen. After two years of dating, Colleen and Max got married. In partnership with the Disability Visibility Project, their daughter, Meaghan and Colleen came to StoryCorps to remember Max.

>> Listen to their interview here.

 

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Leo, Nick, Steven & Ollie

 

 

“I didn’t know there were other blind people except me and my brothers.”

Triplets, Leo, Nick and Steven Angel have been blind since birth. Their mother had a difficult time rasing them alone, rarely would they go outside. After meeting, Ollie Cantos, another blind from the community, their lives changed. Ollie is in the process of formally adopting the brothers.

>> Listen to their conversation here.

 

 

 

 

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Keith & Tim Harris

 

 

“I wanted to own a restaurant ever since I was a kid.”

In 2010, Tim’s Place first opened their doors, this small family style restaurant in, Albuquerque is known as “the world’s friendliest restaurant.” Tim Harris who lives with Down Syndrome, helped start this business with his father, Keith. At StoryCorps, they talked about life’s challenges and Tim’s role in the restaurant.

>> Listen to their interview right here.

 

 

 

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Jenny & Sean

 

 

“You gave up your life to give me a life.”

Sean Carter was a college student in Texas when he got into a car with a friend who had been drinking. They got into a serious car accident and Sean sustained a tramatic brain injury in the crash. Sean is now able to communicate with the aid of a computer, he is unable to walk and his mother, Jenny has become his full time caretaker. At StoryCorps, Sean let his mom know he loves her to the moon and back.

>> Listen to their conversation here.

 

 

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Patrick & Michelle Kreifels

 

“What made you decide you were going to be gay?”

Michelle Kreifels was born with an intellectual disability. She grew up on a farm in rural Nebraska with six other siblings, who all treated her the same. Michelle was a little closer to her brother, Patrick. They felt their differences brought them closer together.

>> Listen to their conversation here .

 

 

A PRIDE Playlist from StoryCorps Outloud

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In honor of Pride month, StoryCorps is celebrating OutLoud stories all month long. StoryCorps OutLoud is dedicated to recording and preserving LGBTQ stories across America – we recognize the profound historical importance of capturing the stories of the LGBTQ community and the urgent need for this work to happen now.

Enjoy this playlist of great stories from the LGBTQ community, across the country, and across generations.

“He dropped me off in the middle of the night with a 5 dollar bill.”

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Bryan & Michael

Bryan Wilmoth grew up in a strict religious household, after his father found out he was gay, Bryan was kicked out of the house. Eventually, all of seven of his siblings estranged from home. On StoryCorps, Bryan talks with his young brother, Michael about reuniting all of their brothers and sisters. Watch A Good Man here.

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Patrick in a 4-H Drag Show 1959

 

“When I saw him coming, I ducked around the hall and hid from him.”

Patrick Haggerty grew up in rural Washington during the 1950s on a dairy farm. As a young teenager, Patrick started to discover he was gay but thought he kept it hidden. On StoryCorps, he recalls a day when his father, Charles Haggerty came to school during a school assembly to have a serious talk. Listen to Patrick tell his daughter about that talk here.

 

 

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Jackie Miller and her son Scott

 

“I couldn’t be happier if you’re happy with your life. Plus, you help me with my hair sometimes.”

In a StoryCorps Animated Short Me & You, Jackie Miller shares a secret that she held from her son, Scott for many years. Together they reminisce over the time Scott came out. Hear the profound love they have for one another and watch Me & You right here.

 

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Alexis & Lesley

“I went as macho as I could be to mask what I was underneath.”

Alexis Martinez grew up in a rough housing project on Chicago’s southside in the early 1960s. Back then her name was Arthur. When Alexis first came out to her mom as transgender at 13 or 14 years old, her mother called the police.

Lesley reassures her that she is loved. “You don’t have to apologize. You don’t have to tiptoe. You know, we’re not going to cut you off. And that is something that I’ve always wanted you to, you know, just know-that you’re loved.”

Listen to their heartfelt conversation here.

 

 

“Do you remember when we were 19, totally in love and couldn’t tell anyone?”

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Bobbi & Sandi

Bobbi Cote-Whitacre and her wife, Sandi were together for 33 years before they stood up in front of their friends and family and declared their love for each other. Before their beautiful wedding ceremony, they overcame a lot of discrimination. They talk about their journey. Listen here.

Behind the Scenes of A More Perfect Union

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In less than two weeks, POV will present the national broadcast of our newest short, A More Perfect Union. It features Theresa Burroughs, who recalls her struggle to register to vote during the Jim Crow era in rural Alabama. She perseveres despite persistent and flagrant discrimination, unwilling to rest until she can exercise her Constitutional right.
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“We did vote in the next election. It was a joy, but the thing about it is I didn’t feel it should have been this hard. I knew it shouldn’t have been this hard.” – Theresa Burroughs

A More Perfect Union will air on POV on Monday, June 29th. Check your local PBS station for air times in your area. The short will be released on the web and digital platforms the following day, June 30th. You can find the short on StoryCorps.org, YouTube, and Vimeo.

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While you eagerly await its release, please take a look behind the scenes as animation team the Rauch Brothers meet the real live Theresa Burroughs.

You can find more StoryCorps animations here.

Questions for Dad

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Father's Day slider

For Father’s Day, sit down with your own dad or the father figure in your life and capture their story. Here are some questions to ask your father:

 

What was I like as a baby?

 

What do you remember about the day I was born?

 

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Always a Family

What were your thoughts and feelings the moment you first saw me?

 

What part of being a dad makes you happiest?

 

What did your dad teach you about being a parent?

 

What did your parents say or do to you that you said you would never say or do to your child that you now find yourself saying or doing?

 

What is the toughest part of being a dad?

 

How do you know if you’re doing a good job raising me?

 

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A Family Man

What surprises you most about who I am today?

 

Was being a father ever a struggle for you?

 

What makes me a great kid?

 

How did you feel when you found out you were going to be a father?

 

If you could start over and raise me again what would you do differently?

 

Do you do anything that makes you think you’re turning into your parents?

 

What were some of your proudest moments as a father?

 

Which qualities of mine do you think will help make me a good parent?

 

If you somehow still do not have the StoryCorps app download it and share your stories on www.storycorps.me

And don’t forget to tag ThanksDad!

 

Father’s Day Playlist

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Father’s Day is Sunday, June 21, and we’re digging into our archive to share some of our best father stories with all of you. StoryCorps has traveled the country collecting American stories from all walks of life. Over the last 12 years, we have collected and archived some very inspiring fathers, whose wisdom needs to be heard and shared.

Family Man_1In our Animated Short A Family Man, Samuel remembers his dedicated father, John L. Black Sr. He worked for the Cincinnati public schools for 30 years and usually worked 16-hour days, to provide for his family of 11 children. Samuel recalls an incident as a kid when his father caught him attempting to steal a pop bottle from a store and the power of his father’s look. Watch our Animated Short here.

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Albert & Aiden Sykes

 

StoryCorps is probably the only place you’ll hear a nine-year-old conduct an interview on a national radio program. Young Aiden Sykes, who is only in the fourth grade at the time of the interview, interviews his father, Albert, all about fatherhood. Albert answers some tough questions from his son like, “What was going through your head when you first saw me?” and “So dad, why do you take me to protests so much?”
Albert runs an education nonprofit and mentors kids who are struggling in school. This interview was recorded in 2015 during the MobileBooth visit to Jackson, Mississippi. Listen here.

 

 

 

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Priya, Ken, Bhavani

Priya and Bhavani brought their father, Ken Morganstern to StoryCorps. “It’s a wonderful life. I get up in the morning. Go to sleep at night. And in between – three meals,” says Ken who was 81-years-old at the time of the interview and living with Alzheimer’s disease. Ken passed away in 2007 and his two daughters came back to StoryCorps to remember him. Listen here.

 

 

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Delalb Walcott Jr.& Dekalb Walcott III

 

 

 

 

 

“Everyone wanted to be like Mike, but you were my Michael Jordan.” Dekalb Walcott III explained to his father. Since the young age of 8-years-old, Dekalb he was eager to follow in his dad’s footprints. His father, Dekalb Walcott Jr., was a firefighter for the Chicago Fire Department for 30 years. After retiring from a long passionate career, Dekalb sat down with his son to talk about their family legacy. Listen to their story here.

 

There are many more great fathers, sharing incredible wisdom with their loved ones in our archive. Listen to some more great fathers stories here.

 

Just Released: New Collection of Stories from OutLoud

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Just in time for Pride Month, StoryCorps has released a new collection of stories from the LGBTQ community across the country and across generations.

Hosted by NPR’s Ari Shapiro, the 2-CD collection presents 15 stories from our OutLoud initiative, including Patrick and Robin Haggerty, MJ Seide and Genna Alperin, and Clela Rorex and Sue Larson, to name a few. The second disc includes Dave Isay’s 1988 radio documentary, Remembering Stonewall.

The CD is available for purchase in selected stores, and is also available for digital download on iTunes, Amazon and Barnes and Noble, among others.

Launched in 2014, StoryCorps OutLoud is dedicated to recording and preserving LGBTQ stories across America. StoryCorps recognizes the profound historical importance of capturing the stories of the LGBTQ community and the need for this work to happen now.

Upcoming National Broadcast of StoryCorps Short “The Last Viewing”

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StoryCorps Animated Short The Last Viewing will be broadcasted nationally on PBS’ POV on June 29th (10pm Eastern/9pm Central). POV is the premiere showcase for independent documentary work in the United States and is in its 28th season.
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In The Last Viewing, Vietnam veteran Allen Hoe honors the memory of his son, Nainoa, who was killed while serving in Iraq in 2005. Directed by the Rauch Brothers, the short originally premiered as a part of StoryCorps’ commemoration of Veterans Day 2014, which shared some of the most powerful stories from our Military Voices Initiative. The initiative provides a platform for veterans, military members, and their families to share their stories. It also provides a wonderful way for civilians to gain a deeper understanding of their service and sacrifice. The Last Viewing, along with 1st Squad, 3rd Platoon, The Nature of War, and Germans in the Woods represent just a few of the experiences recalled during the 1,000 plus hours of interviews recorded by Military Voice Initiative.

At the end of May, The Last Viewing was also honored with a screening at the GI Film Festival during their “Best of the Fest” awards show in Fairfax, Virginia. Both the festival screening and the upcoming national broadcast are meaningful acknowledgments of the work of the Military Voices Initiative, the animation team, and everyone at StoryCorps.

GI Film Festival 2015

GI Film Festival 2015

We couldn’t be prouder that this short continues to connect with viewers because the need for these stories to reach wide audiences is clear. For civilians. For veterans. For military families. Sylvie Lubow, Program Manager of MVI, comments, “There’s not a lot of space when you are in active duty to reflect on what’s happening to you. You are reacting. Whether you are listening or telling your own stories it’s a different way to process what has happened. It can be hard, but it’s powerful.”

We hope that The Last Viewing will encourage people to listen more to our veterans and their families- and that it will encourage other military families to share their own stories, too. And we hope all who view it will honor Allen Hoe’s sacrifice and dedication, whether they recognize his experience in their own lives, a loved one’s service, or simply as a compassionate civilian.

Allen Hoe & Paula Couglin

Allen Hoe & Paula Couglin

POV has long been a broadcast partner of StoryCorps and we encourage you to enjoy the diverse and compelling lineup they are presenting this summer and fall. Find your local PBS broadcast schedule here.

From Our Archive: Stories of Older Adults & Their Families

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In conjunction with the 2015 White House Conference on Aging, StoryCorps is pleased to recommend these Animated Shorts and Audio selections from our archive that celebrate and capture the unique stories and experiences of older Americans and their families.

 

1. Danny & Annie (Animated Short)perasa_lg

“If we’re going anywhere, we’re going down the aisle, because I’m too tired, too sick, and too sore to do any other damn thing.” This remarkable couple personifies the eloquence, grace, and poetry that can be found in the voices of every day people if we take the time to listen.

Pictured: Annie and Danny Perasa.

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2. “What’s your life like now, Dad?”morganstern_lg

Priya Morganstern and Bhavani Jaroff interview their father, Ken Morganstern, who has Alzheimer’s disease.

Pictured: Priya Morganstern (left), Ken Morganstern and Bhavani Jaroff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. “Do you remember when we were 19, cote_whitacre_lg
totally in love, and couldn’t tell anyone?”

Bobbi Cote-Whitacre and her wife, Sandi, talk about their relationship.

Pictured: Bobbi Cote-Whitacre (left) and her wife, Sandi Whiteacre.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Me & You (Animated Short)millerj_325NL

On May 25, 1971, Jackie Miller and her husband brought home their son, Scott, whom they adopted. 37 years later, Scott brought his mother to StoryCorps, where they shared a conversation about Jackie’s decision to adopt him, their profound love for one another, and Scott’s trepidation at what the future holds.

Pictured: Scott Miller (left) with his late mother, Jackie Miller.

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jenkins_lg5. “She bought me a bra that you blow up…”

94-year-old Betty Jenkins remembers a gift from her mother.

Pictured: Betty Jenkins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

curre_lg6. “What happened on that day is tattooed on your soul.”

On December 7, 1941, thousands were killed when the Japanese bombed the U.S. military base at Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii. Frank Curre was still a teenager then. He had enlisted just the year before and ended up at Pearl Harbor aboard the U.S.S. Tennessee. At StoryCorps, Frank remembered how he got from his Texas hometown to an island in the Pacific Ocean.

Pictured: Frank Curre.

 

 

 

 

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7. “You and your sister couldn’t tell us apart. And we couldn’t tell you two apart.”

Elliot Reiken remembers how he and his identical twin brother, Danny, met and married another set of identical twins, Hunny and Bunny Feller.

Pictured: Hunny Reiken (left) with her husband, Elliot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

williamsth8. “He wasn’t the biggest guy, but people reacted to him like he was a giant.”

Thompson Williams grew up in Oklahoma as one of eight children. His father, Melford Williams, was a tribal leader of the Caddo Nation and a World War II veteran who had a big impact on Thompson’s life. At StoryCorps, Thompson’s son, Kiamichi-tet, sat down with his dad to learn more about his grandfather.

Pictured: Thompson Williams (left) with his son, Kiamichi-tet.

 

 

 

 

 

9. “She was one of these women who would grab a rattlesnake by the tail and snap its head off.”

On a fall day in 1981, Ricardo Ramirez accepted an offer to become a bishop in San Antonio, Texas.
At StoryCorps, he remembered the dozens of phone calls he made that day. One of the first was to his grandmother Panchita Espitia.

ramirez_lgPictured: Ricardo Ramirez.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. No More Questions! (Animated Short)

wang_lgKay Wang was a strong-willed grandmother who was brought to StoryCorps by her son and granddaughter. Though Kay was reluctant at first, she still had stories to tell.

Pictured: Kay Wang (center) with her granddaughter, Chen, and her son, Chang.
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Mother’s Day Playlist

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All week long, leading up to Mother’s Day, we will be sharing stories from inspiring Moms across the country and generations, from our archive.
We love it when we see you share a story with a friend by tagging them in the comments. This week, we invite you to share a story with your mom, to say #thanksmom.

Enjoy this collection of funny, heartfelt, sensational stories with your mom!

1. Icing on the Cake
In StoryCorps’ animation “Icing on the Cake,” Blanca Alvarez, tells her daughter she wishes she could have spent more time with her. But her daughter Connie reveals, her mother was her biggest inspiration. Watch here:
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2.Barbra Moore & Olivia Fite
Olivia talks with her strong mother, Barbara Moore, who was a bricklayer in #Baltimore for more than 40 years. She remembers telling boys bullying on her, “You better watch out my mom is a bricklayer and she’ll come beat you up if you mess with me.” #thanksmom
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3. “That was one of the most important moments in my life, I was 10 feet tall.”
Mom Mary, recalls the overwhelming pride of watching her son graduate with a doctorate. William reveals his mother was his greatest influence. In a post script, William and his sister Valerie return to StoryCorps, to remember their mother.
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4. “I told everybody and anybody who would listen to me, that I had a gay son, and that I was very proud.”
90-year-old Rita recalls a conversation with her son, Jay, back in the 1980s, when he first came out. Listen to her remember bursting with pride during her son’s wedding. #thanksmom
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5. Me & You
In one of StoryCorps’ most iconic animated shorts, Jackie Miller and her son Scott thought they knew everything about each other until a conversation they recorded at at StoryCorps revealed surprises from both of them. Watch “Me and You” to celebrate Mother’s Day.
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Animated Short “Clean Streets” Q&A with the Rauch Brothers

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Mike & Tim Rauch (1)

Mike and Tim Rauch

In honor of May Day we bring you our latest animated short, “Clean Streets.” This animation features two longtime New York City sanitation workers, Angelo Bruno and Eddie Nieves, who worked together for almost 10 years.

This animation came to life with the help of Rauch Bros. Animation. They worked behind the scenes sketching away for months, from initial sketches to building the animation frame by frame. Here you can learn all about their process behind the creation of this sweet animated short, in our quick Q&A:

 
What is the first step in your process once you get the story?

The first thing we do is listen to the interview several times until we have a strong internal sense of it’s timing, the visual possibilities, and what research we might want to gather.

 
In the course of making the animation, how many times do you listen to the interview? What are you listening for?

By the time we finish the cartoon, we’ve listened to the story an uncountable number of times. You’re always listening for something different as you go through the process from start to finish. At the outset though, during the story selection process, we’re always listening to evaluate the animation potential inherent in the story.
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How do you come up with the design for the characters? What about people you don’t get to meet?

The character designs come from our understanding of the personality of the people in the story, their relationships to one another, and basic principles of appealing and functional animation design. We work with whatever we have to inform our ideas photographs, in-person visits, video, historical research, verbal descriptions, and our own personal reference points and tastes. The character design is also a product of a process between our team and StoryCorps. That tends to start with us working loose, cartooned, and expressive. We’re trying to capture some essential quality of the person. Not necessarily just “what they look like in real life.” Otherwise, it would be a lot easier to just go get a camera.

 

This story is set in the West Village in New York City. Did you visit the area for inspiration?

We lived in New York City until recently, so we had a very good idea of the setting. However, anybody who knows the city knows that it’s constantly changing and has many faces. So it was important to get a better understanding of the particular time and place, especially as Eddie and Angelo saw it and experienced it. Their perspective was the most valuable thing in forming our ideas of how to depict the setting. We were aiming for a version of New York that was both real and optimistic. That seemed to echo the way Eddie and Angelo see it and live it.

 

What was it like meeting Angelo and Eddie? What did you learn about their work that surprised you?

Tasty! We all had lunch together at Junior’s in Times Square. We had a great time getting to know them. Even in just a couple hours, you feel you’ve made a new friend and gotten to know them very well.

It was interesting to learn how much their profession has changed since Angelo first began his career. It seems that over time, the job has become more regulated, structured, and less personal. That’s part of what makes Eddie and Angelo so unique. Their eagerness to go beyond the job description people might imagine, and form personal relationships with the people they serve is part of what creates the fabric of a truly special city. The personal relationships that develop on a New York city block are some of the most vibrant, special, and meaningful connections people make.
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The Real Angelo Bruno and Eddie Nieves.
 

StoryCorps: What inspired the recurring bird/pigeon?

We did several difficult StoryCorps shorts last year – heavy subjects, heavy workloads. When we got to Eddie and Angelo’s story, we wanted to let loose and have some fun. The pigeons were a good tool for that. Thankfully, they also helped add some entertainment value and worked with our idea for a simultaneously real and optimistic take on New York City.

Pigeons also happen to be a recurring character in many of our projects, going all the way back to very early comics and animation that Tim was doing as he graduated college. There’s a good chance they’ll keep popping up in our work.
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StoryCorps: What artists worked on this animation in addition to you two? What did they bring to the table?

Rafael Rosado did the storyboard, Bill Wray painted the backgrounds, and Brandon Denmark was Tim’s animation assistant. Sal Elvezio helped with character color.

They all have a foundation in solid design and drawing skills, visual storytelling, and share our passion for doing the best work possible within the possibilities allowed by the story, our resources to bring it to the screen, and any other creative limitations of the project

 

How long did the process take? What was the most fun?

The production of this short ran something like 2-3 months. For us, the fun was finding ways to really introduce some strong personality and cartooning in the design and animation. Eddie and Angelo have personality in spades, so that gave us a great place to start from.

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Manhattan’s West Village.

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ep330_x04_roughanimationTimRauch

Early Clean Streets Sketches

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Watch “Clean Streets” on our site, here