How does your organization commemorate its anniversary? At StoryCorps Studios, we’ve had the privilege of partnering with a wide range of diverse organizations to celebrate their important milestones. Discover a few ways we’ve leveraged the power of storytelling to create unforgettable anniversary moments.
1. Host a meaningful community engagement event
Featuring the City of New Orleans, Tricentennial Commission, 2018
In honor of New Orleans’ 300th Anniversary, the City of New Orleans Tricentennial Commission wanted to generate civic pride by bringing their community together to celebrate their rich cultural heritage. Their goal was to create an archive of community stories that represented the wide range of voices and perspectives that make up the fabric of the city.
At the beginning of the anniversary year, StoryCorps Studios created an exciting PR moment and brought our Mobile Booth to town to record more than 60 stories with residents about the culture and spirit of New Orleans. Participants included local business leaders, organizers, artists, and local celebrities like Leah Chase, Archie & Cooper Manning etc.
Participants told stories about the arts, food, sports, activism, and everyday moments that shape life in the city.
Studios produced 25 audio stories which are available on the New Orleans Tricentennial Commission’s website.
2. Archive the voices and stories of your organization before it’s too late
Featuring UT Austin: McCombs School of Business, 2022
UT Austin: McCombs School of Business wanted to mark its 100th anniversary with a community engagement & storytelling campaign that uplifted the school’s diverse and unsung voices, and showcased how Mccombs’ human-centered approach sets it apart from other business schools. By providing a special reflection experience for the campus community, they hoped to not only celebrate the milestone, but to surface stories that would add new depth and dimension to comms materials for prospective students, donors, and alumni.
To meet the moment, StoryCorps Studios visited campus during two fall events — September Homecoming and the November Dean’s Advisory Board Meeting — recording 20 conversations between students, alumni, faculty and staff about McCombs’ influence on their lives.
One of the recording participants was activist Shudde Fath, the oldest surviving alumni. She was 106 at the time of the recording and passed away about a month after the interview. McCombs was thrilled they got to record her before her passing, saying “her life story will remain an inspiration for generations.”
The conversation between Charles & Caroline Enriquez is one of our favorite Studios pieces.
3. Invite your entire community to contribute to a lasting archive
Featuring Office of Trafficking in Persons, 2021
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, the US Office on Trafficking in Persons (OTIP), wanted to create a public awareness campaign featuring the voices of trafficking survivors and their allies. Their goal was to contribute to our collective understanding and create a safe space where participants could feel comfortable sharing stories around sensitive topics on their own terms.
OTIP launched the project under the title “Voices of Freedom” and facilitated dozens of interviews between survivors of human trafficking and those working in policy and programming to end it.
Then, OTIP invited all members of their community to use StoryCorps’ digital tools to record their own interviews and add them to a dedicated archive of community voices. Over the course of the next year, 100 participants recorded using StoryCorps self-directed tools.
4. Bring together a range of perspectives
Featuring KIPP Northern California Public Schools, 2022
KIPP NorCal, a network of free, charter schools in northern California, wanted to mark their 20th anniversary with a campaign that celebrated their achievements and illustrated how their holistic approach to education sets them apart from other schools. Their goal was to feature a broad range of community voices that could speak to KIPP’s impact and engage both donors and prospective students.
Ahead of their anniversary celebrations, StoryCorps Studios facilitated 25 interviews with alumni, students, faculty, and staff about the effect KIPP had on their lives. StoryCorps produced five audio pieces with illustrated audio cards, five teaser clips, and an Audio-Visual Montage that KIPP featured on their website, at their gala, on social media, and as part of their impact report.
5. Give the gift of StoryCorps
Featuring the Russell Berrie Foundation, 2021
To celebrate the 25th Annual Making a Difference Awards, the Russell Berrie Foundation wanted to gift their award winners a unique and meaningful experience that honored their achievements and documented the substantial impact they have made on the lives of others. Their goal was to use the foundation’s platform and resources to shine a spotlight on smaller organizations and amplify their work.
Ahead of the awards, StoryCorps Studios recorded 15 conversations between award winners and their friends, family, and colleagues. StoryCorps Studios edited these conversations into a series of illustrated audio cards which the foundation featured on their website, social media, and at their awards.