Quincy, WA-July 17, 2022
Hello from Quincy Valley! We are in this lovely city for some field recordings. A field recording is when we pack up our equipment and set up at a nearby organization to record with their community members. In the past, we’ve gone to homeless shelters, women’s homes, and small community libraries. We will spend three days at the Quincy Valley Historical Society & Museum (QVHS&M) in partnership with the Initiative for Rural Innovation & Stewardship (IRIS). QVHS&M is the heritage and cultural hub of the Quincy Valley community and IRIS works to foster sustainable, rural communities by gathering and sharing success stories that enhance a sense of belonging, inspire action, and build community. We are excited to see these two organizations in collaboration with each other through these recordings.
Besides being in a new location, these recordings are really special because they have been coordinated by our partner organizations. So far, we have gotten lots of powerful stories about agriculture and immigration here at the museum. For me, field recordings are such a personally moving way to learn more about the communities we are spending time in.
Here are a few pictures of our sweet set-up:
We are thrilled to be here! Each field recording day brings new themes to the space and is rewarding in its own way. Maybe we’ll come visit you someday!
Quincy, WA-July 18, 2022
Today I wanted to introduce you to Harriet and Nancy, who are making these field recording days possible!
Left: Harriet Weber (director of operations Quincy Valley Historical Society & Museum); Right: Nancy Warner (IRIS Archive Program Manager.)
In addition to recruiting so many community members to come out and record, they’ve also been acting as fabulous interviewers for some of our participants. They were kind enough to let me interview them on the process in the midst of our recording days together.
S: So, IRIS is based in Wenatchee, WA and serves many communities. Why did you want StoryCorps to record voices from the Quincy community?
N: Well, a lot of people drive through towns like Quincy and it doesn’t look like that much until you know some of the stories. And then when you know some of the stories and you have some relationships with the people it looks completely different! You just see it with new eyes! I think we all need to be a little bit more cognizant of where we live and our connections with people.
S: I’ve definitely been feeling that as we hear the stories from this community! Before we finish up, I wanted to switch gears and ask you one of the StoryCorps Great Questions: What are you most proud of?
N: Well, I guess I would say that I’m proud of having had this idea in the 1980s…I’m proud that I actually helped turn the idea into reality and created an online archive. It’s been a lot of hard work!
Before we head into Harriet’s interview, here are a couple of visuals of the beautiful Quincy Valley Historical Society & Museum that she directs. Have I mentioned that we love recording here?
S: What made you want to form a community partnership between StoryCorps and the Quincy Valley Historical Society & Museum?
H: Well I think it’s been a multi-year mission of ours to collect oral histories, and I’ve been doing that on my own for probably 15 years…and a quote I’ve always loved is “in the end we’ll all be stories”.
S: I love that! I’ll have to look up who said it! (Update: it’s Margaret Atwood). So, what does having StoryCorps here in Quincy bring to you and your community?
H: It brings a level of professional recording here and nationwide archive of people’s stories, and people who are familiar with StoryCorps, that’s really special to them too because they’ve heard snippets on the radio and they understand the importance of it. This work is really close to my heart and so this has been wonderful because it’s allowed us to have some support and help in making this happen.
S: Before we head out, in the spirit of StoryCorps recordings, I’d love to ask you one question from the StoryCorps Great Questions List: What are you most proud of?
H: I’m most proud of the fine human beings my children turned out to be.
Quincy, WA-July 21, 2022
While Teriyana and I spend time on the ground with participants and the partner organizations we work with, our outreach manager, Lea Zikmund, coordinates with them from our Brooklyn office. Well, usually she does…she’s actually on the ground with us in Moses Lake right now for a surprise visit! I spoke to her about the value of partnering with organizations like Nancy and Harriet’s.
S: What is the purpose of outreach on the Mobile Team?
L: In order to ensure that we are connecting fully with each community we visit, we conduct community outreach. Prior to arriving in a location, we research local organizations that are doing good work in that area and ask them to be involved. Through this model, we bring in unique voices and stories that add to the fantastic mixture of voices in our archive. Our goal is to uplift all of the voices everywhere we go as much as we can.
S: What is the purpose of field recordings?
L: Sometimes when we form partnerships, it’s easier for a community partner to have us come to them. Rather than record at our regular location for the entirety of a stop, our team will take a day trip to another organization and set up there to record.
That’s all for this week, friends! I’ll catch you next week for more updates on our adventure!
Click here to read the first installment of the Mobile Tour series.
Click here to read the second installment of the Mobile Tour series.