If you’re a frequent listener, you know what to expect from a StoryCorps interview — two people, usually family members or close friends, come together for a conversation, which is recorded and preserved for future generations. But what if the person you want to record, or the story that you want to share, for your StoryCorps interview sits outside of this format?
At the heart of StoryCorps is our mission: “Listen. Honor. Share.” The StoryCorps App, launched in 2015, allows users to spread this mission and stretch the limits of what a traditional StoryCorps interview might allow. The accessibility of the app gives way to boundless creative freedom and the opportunity to experiment with, and innovate, the culture of listening. Participants are able to preserve their recording on the StoryCorps Archive, where it will live amongst a rapidly growing collection of diverse voices from across the country.
Looking for inspiration? We’ve compiled a list of ways for you to record and share your story — no matter how unconventional it is — with the StoryCorps universe.
THE GREAT THANKSGIVING LISTEN
StoryCorps’ The Great Thanksgiving Listen is a national movement that encourages young people — and people of all ages — to contribute to the oral history of our country by recording an interview with an elder during Thanksgiving using the StoryCorps App. Add some spice to your family’s meal this year and participate by interviewing a family member. Or, if you would rather participate with your chosen family, record during a Friendsgiving get-together.
The classic wedding video is a long-standing tradition, but the StoryCorps App can help launch your event into the 21st century — and you don’t have to pay for a videographer. On the big day, record salutations for the newlyweds (and embarrassing stories, of course). Create a digital keepsake of a bar or bat mitzvah, graduation party, or quinceañera by asking guests to download the app and record congratulatory messages.
Take inspiration from fellow StoryCorps participants who have used the app to commemorate family reunions, holidays, and birthday parties. Get to know someone besides your favorite cousin (it’s okay, we all have one) by asking guests to write their names on a piece of paper. Place all of the papers in a bowl, and each person can pick out somebody’s name to interview.
RECIPES AND FAMILY TRADITIONS
For so many families, beloved recipes are passed down through generations and countless memories are shared over meals. Next time you visit your Grandmother for her famous matzoh ball soup, or Dad makes your favorite lasagna, take out your phone and record the cooking process. The recording can serve as not only an heirloom, but a cure for homesickness if you ever feel like being transported back to the family kitchen.
END OF LIFE AND REMEMBRANCE
You may be familiar with StoryCorps’ Legacy Project, which partners with hospitals and hospices to provide people with serious illnesses the opportunity record and preserve their stories. If you have a loved one nearing end of life, record a conversation between the two of you with the app and preserve their voice for generations to come.
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND AWARENESS
The StoryCorps App offers numerous ways to raise awareness. You can record and share stories to garner attention for smaller-scale, local projects. If your community was affected by a natural disaster or any other type of tragedy, collect interviews from victims. Personal stories can be a powerful tool to mobilize others to help or offer relief donations.
HOW WILL YOU SHARE YOUR STORY?
Browse the StoryCorps Archive for more ideas, and take a look at our user guides for tips and resources on how to enhance your recording. Or, if you’re already feeling inspired, download the StoryCorps App and record your story today!