KWGS Brings StoryCorps to Tulsa

Monday, October 20, 2008

StoryCorps, a national initiative to document everyday history and the unique stories of Americans, will arrive October 23 in Tulsa to collect the stories of Tulsa's residents as part of its cross-country tour.

Fall foliage around campus

StoryCorps, a national initiative to document everyday history and the unique stories of Americans, will arrive October 23 in Tulsa to collect the stories of Tulsa's residents as part of its cross-country tour. StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit project in partnership with NPR and the American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress.

The StoryCorps mobile StoryBooth — an Airstream trailer outfitted with a recording studio — will be parked in downtown Tulsa at the Performing Arts Center Green (3rd & Boston) for six weeks and will be open from 10:30 am - 5:30 pm Thursday through Monday. StoryCorps plans to collect 220 interviews during its stay in Tulsa.

StoryCorps was created by award-winning documentary producer and MacArthur "Genius" Grant recipient Dave Isay. This unprecedented project has traveled to every corner of America, instructing and inspiring individuals to record their stories in sound. StoryCorps is the largest multi-year oral history project ever undertaken. Since its launch in October 2003, StoryCorps' mobile and stationary recording studios have collected interviews in 78 towns in 46 states — over 18,000 stories in all.

In Tulsa, StoryCorps is partnering with Public Radio 89.5, Tulsa's NPR station, which will air a selection of the local stories and create special programs around the project. Selected segments may also air nationally on NPR's Morning Edition.

At the MobileBooth, interviews are conducted between two people who know and care about each other. A trained facilitator guides the participants through the interview process and handles the technical aspects of the recording. At the end of a 40-minute session, the participants walk away with a CD of their interview. With their permission, a second copy becomes part of an archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for future generations to hear.

"It's taken three years to bring StoryCorps to Tulsa." said Frank Christel, Public Radio Tulsa's Director of Broadcast Services. "We're excited that 220 people from throughout northeastern Oklahoma will have an opportunity for their unique stories to be heard over National Public Radio. The University of Tulsa is interested in preserving the oral history of the region."

"As StoryCorps has traveled across the country, visiting 78 towns in 46 states, we've seen the profound effect it has had not only on the lives of those who have participated in the project, but also on the millions who have heard them each week on NPR," said Isay. "We are so proud to continue our mission to teach people to become better listeners, foster intergenerational communication among families and communities, and help Americans appreciate the strength in the stories of everyday people they find all around them."

StoryCorps currently operates a freestanding soundproof recording booth at Foley Square in New York's Lower Manhattan. In 2006, StoryCorps launched an initiative to reach out to people affected by memory loss. StoryCorps Griot is an ongoing initiative to ensure that the voices, experiences, and life stories of African Americans will be preserved and presented with dignity.

All interviews recorded as part of the Griot Initiative will be archived at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History & Culture in addition to the Library of Congress.

Major funding is provided by State Farm Insurance and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

StoryCorps also relies on the support from its participants and listeners. Individuals can visit www.StoryCorps.net to make interview reservations, listen to stories, and learn how they can support StoryCorps' mission to honor and celebrate one another's lives through listening.

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About Public Radio Tulsa

Public Radio 89.5 KWGS, a listener-supported radio service of The University of Tulsa, was the first non-commercial FM station in Oklahoma. Following its dedication on October 19, 1947, KWGS — whose call letters honor its benefactor, oilman William Grove Skelly, became one of America's first universities of the air.

In 1978, KWGS became a National Public Radio affilliate. Classical 88.7 KWTU, a sister station, is northeastern Oklahoma's only full-time classical radio station. It was the first HD Radio station in Oklahoma when it signed on in October, 2004. Public Radio Tulsa is funded through listener contributions, including support from The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and The University of Tulsa. More information is online, including current program schedules, at www.publicradiotulsa.org.

About StoryCorps

StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit project whose mission is to honor and celebrate one another's lives through listening. Since 2003, tens of thousands of everyday people have interviewed family and friends through StoryCorps. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to take home and share, and is archived for generations to come at the Library of Congress. Millions listen to the award-winning broadcasts on public radio and the Internet. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, creating a growing portrait of who we really are as Americans. Major funding is provided by State Farm Insurance and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Visit www.storycorps.net for more information.

Contact:
Amethyst Cavallaro
(918) 631-2656