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Finding Community in La Crosse, WI

Posted on Thursday, September 2nd, 2010.

In our last week in La Crosse, Wisconsin Public Radio hosted a Listening Event and reception at the Pump House, to celebrate everyone who came and shared their stories with StoryCorps. It was a wonderful event that gave us all a chance to connect with others in the community over tasty treats graciously provided by the People’s Food Co-Op.

John Gaddo of WPR played a few locally edited excerpts from interviews highlighting the range of stories in the La Crosse community. Over the past month we heard from teachers, nuns, veterans, soldiers, activists, new parents, grandparents, immigrants, Peace Corps volunteers, doctors, and more. People shared their stories of trips, journeys, and discovery; leaving home and finding home; growing up on the farm and growing up in the city; first meetings, first loves, and first partners; finding strength in family and friends in difficult times, and their hopes for the future.

During the event it became clear that the conversations started in the StoryCorps MobileBooth didn’t stop when the recording ended. Participants spoke about sharing their CD and starting new conversations with their loved ones about one another. Library Director Kelly Kreig-Sigman also announced that the La Crosse Public Library will be receiving a full archive of all the stories recorded in La Crosse in the coming months so residents will be able to listen to each others stories whenever they want to.

As a thank you from the Mobile team, we’ve created a Flickr album of participants from La Crosse! Feel free to download and print your portrait, or email your link to anyone you’d like.

From the StoryCorps team, thank you! It has been a pleasure and an honor to hear your stories.

PS – We’d also like to extend a special thanks to our wonderful hosts, WPR and the La Crosse Public Library, as well as to our many community partners: Hmong Mutual Assistance Association, Hmong Elder Caregivers Network, African-American Mutual Assistance Network, African-American Cultural Alliance, Bluff County Family Resources, Operation Homefront, Catholic Charities of La Crosse, YES Americorps, UW-La Crosse Oral History Program, La Crosse County Aging Care Unit, and ARC La Crosse.

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