'StoryCorps' oral history project visits Tacoma in September

StoryCorps, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs, will record interviews in Tacoma from Sept. 8 to Oct. 3 as part of its cross-country MobileBooth tour. StoryCorps’ MobileBooth — an Airstream trailer outfitted with a recording studio — will be parked at the Museum of Glass, 1801 Dock Street, in Tacoma. Reservations will be available beginning at 10 a.m. on Aug. 25 and can be made by calling StoryCorps’ 24-hour toll-free reservation line at 1-800-850-4406 or visiting http://www.storycorps.org . Additional appointments will be made available on Sept. 9.

StoryCorps’ MobileBooth interviews are conducted between two people who know and care about each other. A trained StoryCorps facilitator guides participants through the interview process. At the end of each 40-minute recording session, participants receive a complimentary CD copy of their interview. With participant permission, a second copy is archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for future generations to hear.

In Tacoma, StoryCorps will partner with Northwest Public Radio and the Museum of Glass to collect more than 120 interviews. Northwest Public Radio will air a selection of the local interviews recorded in the StoryCorps MobileBooth during NWPR’s Morning Edition heard in the Tacoma / Seattle area on 90.9FM.

The recording experience is a great opportunity for friends and family to bond, according to NWPR Station Manager, Kerry Swanson. “We’ve all had the experience of listening to a loved one and wishing that we could record the conversation for posterity. StoryCorps enables us to share important life experiences with each other and future generations.” Founded in 2003 by award-winning documentary producer and MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient Dave Isay, StoryCorps aims to create a growing portrait of who we are as Americans. By traveling to every corner of the country, StoryCorps currently has one of the largest collections of American voices ever gathered, with interviews collected from more than 60,000 Americans in all 50 states. ”StoryCorps tells the true American story—that we are a people defined by small acts of courage, kindness and heroism. Each interview reminds people that their lives matter and will not be forgotten,” said Isay. “By strengthening connections between people and building an archive that reflects the rich diversity of American voices, we hope to build StoryCorps into an enduring institution that will touch the lives of every American family.”

“The Museum of Glass is thrilled to host StoryCorps,” states director/CEO Tim Close. “As an art museum, part of our mission is to engage our community members and inspire them to seek out new experiences. StoryCorps is about capturing and recording American stories. It’s a perfect collaboration.” To help offset its operating costs, StoryCorps suggests a donation of at least $25 for each MobileBooth interview. If participants cannot afford to meet the suggested donation, they may participate at no cost.

A VIP reception to welcome StoryCorps to Tacoma will be held on Thurs., Sept. 8 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. A short program will include remarks by local dignitaries, MobileBooth tours and the first interview session. A public StoryCorps celebration will be held on Thurs., Sept. 15 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The public is invited to meet the StoryCorps staff, tour the MobileBooth, learn more about the program and sign up for interviews.