On The Road – StoryCorps
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Announcing the 2017 StoryCorps MobileBooth Tour

With the new year, we are on a new journey across the United States. In 2017, StoryCorps’ MobileBooth will travel more than 4,000 miles from the Gulf Coast of Florida to Michigan’s Great Lakes, then down the Mississippi River finishing the year in Southern Texas along the Gulf of Mexico.

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StoryCorps MobileBooth Tour 2017

We are excited to work with the following NPR affiliated radio stations to bring the iconic Airstream trailer to their communities…

January 5 – February 3, Fort Myers, FL, in partnership with WGCU

February 9 – March 10, Mobile, AL, in partnership with Alabama Public Radio

March 16 – April 14, Lexington, KY, in partnership with WUKY

April 20 – May 19, Cincinnati, OH, in partnership with Cincinnati Public Radio

May 25 – June 23, Bloomington, IN, in partnership with WFIU

June 29 – July 28, Detroit, MI, in partnership with WDET

August 3 – September 1, Des Moines, IA, in partnership with Iowa Public Radio

September 7 – October 6, Minneapolis–Saint Paul, MN, in partnership with Minnesota Public Radio

October 12 – November 10, Shreveport, LA, in partnership with Red River Radio

November 16 – December 20, Corpus Christi, TX, in partnership with KEDT

Along the way, our iconic Airstream trailer and a crew of facilitators will stop in 10 cities for a month at a time each, recording meaningful conversations and preserving them in the StoryCorps archive in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

Since 2005, the StoryCorps MobileBooth Tour has visited more than 200 cities and traveled nearly 100,000 miles. In each city StoryCorps works with station partners, cultural institutions, and community based organizations to help spread the word, and encourage people to record a conversation with someone they love to be preserved for future generations.

As StoryCorps works to become an enduring institution that touches the lives of every American, the MobileBooth Tour continues to provide an authentic StoryCorps experience to individuals across the country who may not otherwise have access to one of our permanent StoryBooths in Chicago and Atlanta.

StoryCorps’ MobileBooth Tour is made possible, in part, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

StoryCorps: 10 Years on the Road

For the last decade, our Airstream trailer, outfitted with a recording studio, has been partnering with local public radio stations across the country to give people in local communities the chance to record an interview with a loved one that will be archived for future generations in the Library of Congress.

The tour, which began in May 2005 and shows no signs of slowing down, has already visited over 200 cities and traveled over 80,000 miles.

Where We Go

Our Mobile staff considers several key factors before choosing a location for our MobileBooth to visit:

photo 11. Weather

While all recordings for our Mobile Tour take place inside our MobileBooth, complications in weather can make it difficult for visitors to reach us. In addition to weather complications, the MobileBooth can only reach temperatures inside of 20 degrees above or below the outdoor temperature, making warmer climates ideal.

2. Demographics

StoryCorps’ mission is to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of their lives. When deciding where to travel, our Mobile team takes diversity into account.

3. Past Visits

Over a 10-year span, our MobileBooth has traveled all over the continental United States (and Hawaii). Some cities we return to, although usually at least three to five years after the initial visit. Regional diversity is also important to us. Although we’ve made visits to major cities such as NYC and L.A., we’ve also visited smaller cities such as our recent stop in Vernal, Utah.

Dearborn_1 (1)4. Partnerships

Partners for our Mobile Tour include local public radio stations, community-based organizations, and cultural institutions. Overall, we choose a location that is iconic, comfortable, and accessible to all members of the community. Finding a spot large enough to park an Airstream trailer can be difficult so we work with our local partners to locate a great temporary home for the MobileBooth.

5. Accessibility

Participant accessibility is very important. The MobileBooth is equipped with a wheelchair lift but does not have a bathroom so we make sure that all our stops are in close proximity to bathrooms. Participants are also able to record their interview in any language they wish.

Field Recording

For one or two days of each stop, our interviews are conducted at a field location. This makes it easier for some participants to reach us. We work hard to maintain a StoryCorps feel at each field location and provide the same experience a participant would receive recording in the MobileBooth.

Some Questions Our Mobile Facilitators Are Asked…

IMG_1807Where Do the Facilitators Sleep?

Yes, we know this might sound like a wacky question, but we get it all the time. No, our facilitators do not sleep in the MobileBooth. Accommodations are handled by local partners ensuring that our staff have a comfortable place to stay when they are not recording amazing interviews.

Did Obama Record in the Airstream Trailer?

President Barack Obama and Noah McQueen recorded an interview with StoryCorps earlier this year. The interview was recorded in the White House, although many people guess that the MobileBooth was the actual location.

2016 Mobile Tour Announced

Here are a few of the stops and partnerships scheduled for next year’s MobileBooth Tour. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional locations and updates on when and how to register to record your story:

Las Cruces, New Mexico (in partnership with KRWG)

San Antonio, Texas (in partnership with Texas Public Radio)

Nashville, Tennessee (in partnership with Nashville Public Radio-WPLN)

Washington, DC (in partnership with WAMU)

Baltimore, Maryland (in partnership with WYPR)

Providence, Rhode Island (in partnership with Rhode Island Public Radio)

Colchester, Vermont (in partnership with Vermont Public Radio)

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (in partnership with WESA)

Columbia, South Carolina (in partnership with South Carolina Public Radio)

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