Return to In-Person Recording
StoryCorps is excited to welcome you back to our recording booths in-person starting in Fall of 2021. Here’s what you can expect after reserving your appointment.
Prior to your recording date StoryCorps staff will be in touch with you to confirm your in-person appointment and to brief you on our safety protocols. If you decide to record your interview virtually instead, that’s perfectly all right. We will continue to offer virtual appointments in addition to in-person appointments. If you would like to record in person, please review our safe community agreements below. If you are not willing to comply with these agreements, we will require you to record virtually.
StoryCorps Safe Community Agreements
- -All participants and StoryCorps staff will wear masks fastened snugly over their noses and mouths when interacting in the greeting area and while in the recording space. StoryCorps will provide masks if needed.
- -All non-household groups agree to maintain social distancing. Participants who choose not to distance, do so at their own risk. All StoryCorps staff will maintain a 6-foot distance from participants at all times.
- -Prior to their interview, all participants will be asked to complete a health acknowledgment form to screen for COVID-19 exposure and symptoms and sign an acknowledgment of risk form.
- -All participants agree to cancel their interview if they are feeling ill or have tested positive for COVID-19 within two (2) weeks of the Recording Day. If a participant is exhibiting symptoms upon arrival, StoryCorps staff will be required to cancel the interview appointment.
At any point in time, you can switch your in-person appointment to a virtual appointment. To do so, please contact your recording team. If you need to cancel your appointment for any reason, we invite you to sign up for a future virtual or in-person recording appointment if slots are available. If there are no appointment slots available, please join our waitlist, or we encourage you to record at your convenience using one of our free digital platforms: the StoryCorps App or StoryCorps Connect.
On your recording date, here’s what StoryCorps is doing to keep you safe:
- -StoryCorps staff will disinfect all surfaces and door handles in our greeting and recording areas, including all chairs and tables as well as all equipment and supplies such as pens and clipboards, with products that are at least 70% alcohol. The recording booth will be sanitized in between recordings.
- -StoryCorps will provide masks for anyone who needs one and will provide hand sanitizer for all participants.
- -StoryCorps will prioritize recording and greeting spaces that allow for social distancing, have HVAC systems that meet COVID-19 standards, and/or that allow for open windows.
- -StoryCorps will prioritize spaces with nearby bathroom facilities that allow facilitators and participants to wash their hands between engagements.
- -StoryCorps will ensure that the recording and greeting space are large enough for three (3) people to sit at least 6” apart from one another—including the facilitator. (StoryCorps recommends two (2) participants in each interview, but if there are three (3) participants, you should expect to share a microphone at your own risk.
- -We’ll prioritize surfaces (desks, chairs, etc.) which are solid (non-cloth/non-porous) so they can be properly sanitized.
- -StoryCorps will make sure that no external visitors or contractors are allowed in the recording space during the recording day, including family members, other staff members, and members of the press.
Please note that these recommended guidelines are subject to change at the discretion of StoryCorps, and in accordance with updates to local, state, and federal regulations and policies. If the requirements above are not met, StoryCorps staff will be able to end the recording. If health guidelines inhibit StoryCorps from recording interviews in-person, StoryCorps staff will reschedule in-person appointments to take place virtually.
Thank you for your interest in sharing your story. We look forward to seeing you soon!
A Daily Dose of Humanity
Whether you are new to StoryCorps or have been with us since the beginning, take a few minutes to explore some of our favorite uplifting, inspiring, and laugh-out-loud stories.
Laura Greenberg grew up as part of a gregarious family in Queens, New York. Her upbringing that couldn’t be more different than that of her husband, Carl. At StoryCorps, they told their daughter about those early days — terrible first kiss and all.
Read the full transcript here.
Celebrating the Stories of Chicago
Goodbyes are bittersweet. After more than eight years — and many wonderful interviews — in the region, StoryCorps is closing its operations and recording booth in Chicago in September 2021.
We’re proud to have had a booth and exhibition space at the Chicago Cultural Center and to have partnered with WBEZ 91.5 FM to preserve, share, and broadcast this city’s stories.
We want to especially thank our Chicago-based staff for their thoughtfulness, care, and excellence throughout the years.
Listen to the voices of Chicago
Since we first opened the recording booth, we’ve been bowled over by the heart of our Chicago storytellers. We’ve rounded up a few favorites below, but there are so many more to listen to in the Chicago Collection.
Jessica Valdivia and Jorge Valdivia
Jorge Valdivia and his sister Jessica Valdivia honor the memory of their older brother Mauricio Valdivia who died in Chicago of COVID-19. They reminisce about their favorite memories growing up with someone full of life who “went out of their way for their family.” They also discuss their experience with grief and loss during the pandemic. Read the full transcript here.
From the Archive: More Voices of Chicago
“A lot of kids don’t have a crazy dad to keep pushing them”Garry Scott Mitchell Junior, better known as Scottie, is currently attending Harvard for his doctorate in Education. His father, Garry Scott Mitchell Senior, was there every step of the way, guiding his son through his journey. Scottie and Garry sit down and reflect on the moments that forged his path today.
“Being able to forgive makes more life possible”Lisa Daniels’ son Darren was killed in a drug deal gone wrong. Lisa sits down with her friend Sherri Allen-Reaves to discuss the violent circumstances of her son’s death. She revisits the events of the night when she lost her son in hopes of redefining his legacy.
“We hope we do a good job”Meg and Bobby Hart met in the Peace Corps when they both were serving in West Africa. They fell in love and got married. Bobby and Meg come to StoryCorps as they share their journey of becoming parents. They discuss their hopes and fears of their unfolding future.
“Nobody else does what you do”Ellen Hughes feared for the life of her son Walker, who has autism, after he had an adverse reaction to a new medication. Then they met Public Safety Sergeant Keith Miller in the ER, who helped Ellen’s son — and herself — get the care they needed.
“Know that they are seen”Sonia Wang was a child of immigrants who had hopes of their daughter living the American dream as a doctor or a lawyer. Instead, she became a teacher on the south side of Chicago. Through her passions and dedication to work that supported a community she loved, Sonia was able to share the joy that her work brought her with her parents. She comes to StoryCorps to share how her parents handled her career choice.
“My disabled body is my happy ending”Anja Herman spends most of her time playing piano, taking Chinese classes, and doing ballet. On top of an already hectic schedule for a nine-year-old, Anja has another hurdle that most kids her age do not face—a physical disability. She opens up to her aunt Andrea Korovesis as they discuss the difficulties of juggling these challenges.
“I can’t wait to build a future with you”Arianna Hermosillo is a journalist who was covering a protest about the anti-immigration legislation when she met Irakere Picon, an undocumented immigration lawyer. The pair hit it off and went on their first date a few months later. Arianna and Irakere came to the Chicago booth to discuss their fears around Irakere’s work but left with their future in mind.
“Coming out at age 12”Carter Wagner knew he was gay from a young age but did not come out to his parents. When he was twelve years old, Carter decided that he could no longer keep such a large part of his life a secret. He and his mother Nicole sat down with StoryCorps to discuss the feelings and emotions leading up to coming out.
How a Streets and San man saved the day when the Chicago River flooded the LoopJohn Wahlfedt played an important role in a dramatic piece of Chicago history—the devastating flooding of underground tunnels in the Loop. His love for trains led him to learn about a forgotten train tunnel system beneath downtown Chicago. Knowing the underground tunnel, John was able to limit the damage caused by the flood. He came to StoryCorps to share his side of the story.
“You believed in me when you didn’t know me”Tiffany Baker was a troubled youth when she met Terri Treiman. Terri was one of the many social workers assigned to Tiffany. Unlike the other adults in Tiffany’s life, Terri remained patient and compassionate with the difficulties that came with their relationship. Years later, the impact of Terri’s approach inspired Tiffany to pay the kindness forward to kids in a similar position as her. They sat down with StoryCorps to reflect on the blessings that leap of faith brought them.
Our booth in Chicago may be closed, but it’s never been easier to record a StoryCorps interview with the important people in your life. Find out how to record your conversations remotely with Storycorps Connect.
Teacher Appreciation Week #GoogleDoodle Featuring StoryCorps Stories
We are kicking off Teacher Appreciation Week 2021 in partnership with Google to honor educators and highlight the voices of teachers and students.
You can find five StoryCorps stories in an interactive, animated Google Doodle here. These stories feature voices from across the country, and touch on everything from the struggles a young man faced as one of the first Black students to integrate his high school to two teachers reflecting on how COVID-19 has affected their work. The common thread across all of them is the incredible and lasting impact that these educators have had on their students’ lives.
Listen to all five original stories below.
From the first roll call of the 1964 school year, Dr. William Lynn Weaver was targeted and harassed by the faculty of his previously all-white high school. Then a former teacher stepped in and saved his life. Read the full transcript here.
#ThankAnEducator this May and June
This Doodle kicks off our #ThankAnEducator effort. This May and June, StoryCorps wants to spark a moment of gratitude for the educators who have been working tirelessly to adapt to our collective new normal while supporting and teaching students of all ages and needs.
It hasn’t been easy, but educators have continued to change millions of lives every day in virtual and in-person classrooms. Honor an educator in your life with a StoryCorps interview and show them just how much they mean to you. You can record a conversation remotely using StoryCorps Connect, or record in person with the free StoryCorps App. Find out more about our Thank an Educator effort here.
To discover more stories featuring teachers and students, explore a collection of interviews from the 2021 State Teachers of the Year. You can also read reflections on recording by Tabatha Rosproy, 2020 National Teacher of the Year, and listen to her conversation with her best friend about one of their favorite teachers here.
Thank you to the participants for sharing your stories with us, and thank you to teachers across the country for the tireless work and support over the past year.
Thank you to our partners at Google for celebrating teachers during a time when their work and dedication has never been more important.
StoryCorps is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.