Since 2009, StoryCorps has partnered annually with the Institute of Museum and Library Services to celebrate and amplify the voices of their National Medal recipients. Throughout the years, we have visited countless communities, recording more than 1,600 stories, meeting innovative museum and library staff members and their communities, and learning about the exceptional community service programs these institutions have implemented.
This year, our recordings with 2018 Medal recipients brought us to ten new communities across the country. Listen to some of the incredible stories we’ve recorded:
Nicole Ortiz and London Pollard at Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus in Denver, Colorado
Nicole Ortiz and her son London Pollard, 10, discuss the impact the museum has had on their lives. London talks about his favorite exhibits, what it’s like to have a mom who works in the museum, and how he sees the world as a child diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome.
Venita Thompkins and Brenda Bivins at Detroit Historical Society in Detroit, Michigan
Venita Thompkins and her family friend, Brenda Bivins, recall experiencing the Detroit 1967 rebellion as young children. Venita was part of the an oral history project about the ‘67 uprising curated by the Detroit Historical Society, and still lives in the same neighborhood as she did back then. We hear Venita first.
Gaspar Enriquez and Jesus “Cimi” Alvarado at El Paso Museum of Art in El Paso, Texas
Chicano artist Gaspar Enriquez and his friend and former student Jesus “Cimi” Alvarado talk about the impact Gaspar has had on Cimi, on the art community in El Paso, and on Chicano communities.
Kalena Powell and Michele Harber at Georgetown Public Library in Georgetown, Texas
Kalena Powell and Michele Harber talk about their respective paths that led them to work at the Georgetown Public Library in Georgetown, Texas. Michele, who is now retired, started the library’s community outreach program — including the Bookmobile — after becoming a librarian in her 60s.
Ron Dunlap and Sabrina Robins at History Museum at the Castle in Appleton, Wisconsin
Friends Ron Dunlap and Sabrina Robins share their respective experiences as African-Americans moving to Appleton in the Fox Valley at a time when it was a predominantly white community. Ron moved to Appleton in 1990 to become an elementary school principal and Sabrina moved to Appleton in 2000. The two met through African Heritage, Inc., a community organization for African-Americans in the Fox Cities area.
James Wantz and Karen Bennett at Museum of Natural and Cultural History in Eugene, Oregon
James Wantz and Karen Bennett talk about the crochet group that Karen led as a volunteer in an Oregon state prison where James was an inmate.
Craig Wilkins and Danielle King at Orange County Library System in Orlando, Florida
Craig Wilkins tells his coworker Danielle King about his long career as a librarian at the Orlando Public Library.
Jessi Ones, Paxton, and Everett Ones at Pueblo City-County Library District in Pueblo, New Mexico
Jessi Ones and her sons, 7-year-old Paxton and 4-year-old Everett, talk about their love of the Pueblo Library. We hear first from Paxton.
Hillary Saylor Schulze and Carolyn Holleran at Reading Public Library in Reading, Pennsylvania
Hillary Saylor Schulze and Carolyn Holleran talk about their love of libraries, particularly the public library in Reading, Pennsylvania, where Hillary grew up and still lives. We hear first from Hillary.
Danny and Teagan Solis at Rochester Public Library in Rochester, Minnesota
Danny Solis talks with his son Teagan, 11, about their family’s move to Rochester, and his efforts to bring Chicanx tradition and culture to their new hometown.