Since 2009, StoryCorps has partnered annually with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to celebrate and amplify the voices of their National Medal recipients. Throughout the years, we have visited countless communities, recording more than 1,700 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 2019 Medal recipients brought us to nine new communities across the country. Listen to some of the voices and stories we recorded below:
Archie Willis III and Constance Dyson at the National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, TN)
Archie Willis III tells his friend, Constance Dyson, about his family’s community activism and involvement in the civil rights movement. Archie’s father helped found the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, site of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jessica Mandujano and Rachel Harrington at the Meridian Public Library (Meridian, ID)
Friends Jessica Mandujano and Rachel Harrington talk about Jessica’s three-year-old son, Joaquin, who has a rare chromosomal disorder called Emanuel Syndrome. Rachel is a therapist assistant and photographer who works with children with autism and other developmental challenges. We hear first from Rachel.
Nancy Nagle and Pat Curo at the Barona Cultural Center and Museum (Lakeside, CA)
Cousins Nancy Nagle and Pat Curo talk about growing up on the Barona Indian Reservation near San Diego and their efforts now to preserve their ‘Iipay Aa language.
Marilyn Glover and Pearl Vanderhorst Ascue at the South Carolina Aquarium (Charleston, SC)
Friends and neighbors Pearl Vanderhorst Ascue and Marilyn Glover discuss the impacts that development and climate change have had on their neighborhood of Ten Mile, South Carolina. The two also talk about the positive changes they have made in the area as part of the Ten Mile Neighborhood Association and the role the South Carolina Aquarium has played in their conservation efforts.
Lani Bautista Cabanilla and Ed Gillison at the San Diego New Children’s Museum (San Diego, CA)
Lani Bautista Cabanilla, Senior Manager of Programs at The New Children’s Museum, speaks to board member Ed Gillison about the museum and the impact it has had on themselves, their families, and the greater San Diego community.
Jessica Lopez and Gina Bingham at the New Haven Free Public Library (New Haven, CT)
Jessica Lopez tells her friend Gina Bingham about her journey from homelessness to turning her life around and becoming a fixture at the New Haven Free Public Library.
Phyllis Rosenblum and Phyllis Plotnick at the Gulfport Public Library (Gulfport, FL)
Friends Phyllis Rosenblum and Phyllis Plotnick reflect on the start of The Circle of Friends group and the improvements it has brought to the Gulfport Public Library. We hear first from Phyllis Plotnick.
Joy Dickinson and Rick Kilby at the Orange County Regional History Center & Museum (Orlando, FL)
Friends and colleagues Rick Kilby and Joy Dickinson discuss their early and current connection with history and museums including the Orange County Regional History Center in Orlando, Florida, where they both work.
Mary Vardigan and Peter Granda at the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (Ann Arbor, MI)
Retired colleagues Mary Vardigan and Peter Granda look back at their time working at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan, doing data research and helping transition from analog to digital data.