Chautauqua Institution - StoryCorps
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We’re Building an Audio Archive of Chautauqua

To celebrate the 150th season, Chautauqua is partnering with StoryCorps to record and uplift stories of education, community, and the magic of the Chautauqua experience. You’re invited to take part!


StoryCorps is a national nonprofit that helps us believe in each other by illuminating the humanity and possibility in us all – one story at a time. Since 2003, StoryCorps has given over half a million Americans the chance to record interviews about their lives. StoryCorps preserves the recordings at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. 

If you are a part of the Chautauqua community, we invite you to choose someone you care about and interview each other about your Chautauqua experience.

Ask and answer questions like: 

  • What is your favorite Chautauqua memory?
  • How do you describe Chautauqua to people who have never been there?
  • What do you wish more people knew about Chautauqua?
  • What makes Chautauqua different from other places?

There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to have a StoryCorps conversation. But, if you need an example to get started, listen to the conversation in the video on the right-hand column. You can use the free StoryCorps Connect online platform to record in the comfort of your own home. All you need is a strong internet connection, access to a laptop or desktop computer with a microphone, and an open heart.

How recording works

You’ll use the StoryCorps Virtual Recording Booth (powered by StoryCorps Connect) to record your conversation. 

Step 1

Decide if you and your partner want to record in the same room or record from different locations.

Step 2

When you’re ready to record, create a free StoryCorps online account, then you’ll enter the StoryCorps Virtual Recording Booth. 

Step 3

Hit “Start Recording Audio“, follow the prompts to introduce yourself, and dig into your conversation!

Step 4

When you’ve finished, you’ll be prompted to save your recording as part of the Chautauqua Institution Collection in the Archive.

Recording faq


Everyone! The goal is to create an archive that represents our community as much as possible. Your stories, and the stories of your loved ones, are an important piece of this story. That’s why they will be archived at the Library of Congress.
Choose someone you care about – a loved one, a friend, a mentor, a neighbor, etc – whose experiences or wisdom you want to document and celebrate.
StoryCorps conversations are meant to be spontaneous, authentic, and unscripted. We’ve developed a list of great questions to inspire your conversation, but ultimately what you talk about during your recording is entirely up to you. Follow your curiosity, and use this as an opportunity to ask the questions you’ve always wanted to ask, or document special stories you want to preserve.
When you complete your interview, it will automatically be saved in the StoryCorps archive as part of the Chautauqua Institute Collection. You’ll have the ability to control the privacy settings for your interview in the archive – with the option to either make your interview public, or to make it accessible only to other StoryCorps online archive users. (You can also delete recordings, and record new interviews, if you need to.) You can adjust your privacy settings at any time.
The Chautauqua Institution will be celebrating and sharing this interview archive locally as part of the various Chautauqua community engagement projects, education projects, and research purposes. It will not be used for any commercial or advertising purposes. We’re excited to share these projects as they come together! For more information, please contact Emily Morris.

Why should i participate?

Recording with StoryCorps is an opportunity to:

Honor your experience.

Take time to talk about the things that matter most with someone who has played an important role in your life. 

Reflect on the importance of education.

Your recording will help students, researchers, & more understanding the experience at Chautauqua.

Create a legacy for the future.

You’ll be part of history, with your story preserved in the Library of Congress and the Chautauqua Institution Collection. 

Mark this milestone.

Use this occasion to reflect on the past, think about the future, and take stock of what’s important.