Press Release – StoryCorps

Press Release: The Great Thanksgiving Listen 2022

STORYCORPS’ 2022 GREAT THANKSGIVING LISTEN ENCOURAGES PEOPLE NATIONWIDE TO RECORD CONVERSATIONS OVER THE HOLIDAY USING THE NEW STORYCORPS MOBILE APP

Recordings Become Part of American History at the Library of Congress

Brooklyn, New York, November 1, 2022—This Thanksgiving, StoryCorps, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of people of all backgrounds and beliefs, invites people nationwide to use the organization’s new, free mobile app or its remote recording platform, StoryCorps Connect, to record a conversation with an elder, mentor, friend, or someone they admire. With permission, each interview is saved in the online, publicly-accessible StoryCorps Archive and in the special StoryCorps collection at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, the world’s single largest collection of human voices. Launched in 2015, when StoryCorps created its first mobile app, the annual Great Thanksgiving Listen is the organization’s most important public engagement event, generating approximately 13,000 recordings each year. 

While everyone is encouraged to participate in The Great Thanksgiving Listen this holiday season, teachers nationwide have adopted the program as part of  their curriculum, and thousands of students (age 13 and over)—from middle school to college—are participating. In particular, The Great Thanksgiving Listen allows students to engage in intergenerational conversations, asking elders about who they are, what they’ve learned in life, and how they want to be remembered. To foster participation among people of all backgrounds, StoryCorps has created a free toolkit, available at thegreatlisten.org. It includes everything families and students need to know about how to record a StoryCorps interview and archive it for the Library of Congress. For classrooms, specific activities within the toolkit align with Common Core Standards.

Dave Isay, Founder and President of StoryCorps, said, “The Great Thanksgiving Listen invites people nationwide to honor someone in their lives by recording their story for future generations. The new app makes the experience more accessible and seamless. We hope the country will join us in recording the wisdom of humanity while reminding those they love and admire how much their lives and stories matter.”   

Recording the Great Thanksgiving Listen Interviews with the StoryCorps App

This year, StoryCorps launched major updates to the StoryCorps App, available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. The app allows anyone, anywhere, to conveniently prepare for, record, and archive a high-quality, in-person StoryCorps interview. Updates to the new version build on StoryCorps’ first app’s platform and reliability, with an enhanced user experience that includes more of StoryCorps’ rich content: its weekly broadcasts, animations, podcast seasons, and more. The app also seamlessly enables users to explore StoryCorps’ rich content, curate personalized interview collections, and share StoryCorps stories on social media. In addition, users now have access to StoryCorps Communities, enabling them to add their interview to a community they’ve joined, as well as see content from other community members.

People who are interested in participating in the Great Thanksgiving Listen, but are not in the same room, can use StoryCorps’ video-based remote recording platform, StoryCorps Connect. 

Since 2015, the Great Thanksgiving Listen has encouraged people across the country to use the StoryCorps App, which the organization created with the $1M TED Prize awarded that year to StoryCorps Founder and President Dave Isay. StoryCorps had already gathered more than 50,000 recordings in its traditional recording booths. Yet StoryCorps has a much bigger aspiration: to become an institution that touches the life of every American. The 2015 pilot version of The Great Thanksgiving Listen revealed the initiative’s potential to help StoryCorps reach that ultimate goal. Over the 2015 Thanksgiving holiday, StoryCorps recorded more interviews than it had in its 12-year history to date. The Wall Street Journal wrote, “Imagine it: During the holidays, instead of using gadgets to ignore each other, we might use them as an excuse to look each other in the eye and listen.” 

The Great Thanksgiving Listen 2022 is made possible by Fetzer Institute and the Gruber Family Foundation. 

About StoryCorps

Founded in 2003, StoryCorps has given over 600,000 people, in all 50 states, the chance to record interviews about their lives. The award-winning organization preserves the recordings in its archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, the largest single collection of human voices ever gathered, and shares select stories with the public through StoryCorps’ podcast, NPR broadcasts, animated shorts, digital platforms, and best-selling books. These powerful human stories reflect the vast range of American experiences, engender empathy and connection, and remind us how much more we have in common than what divides us. StoryCorps is especially committed to capturing and amplifying voices least heard in the media. The StoryCorps MobileBooth, an Airstream trailer that has been transformed into a traveling recording booth, crisscrosses the country year-round gathering the stories of people nationwide. Learn more at storycorps.org.