Arts & Humanities

Groundbreaking Oral History Organization StoryCorps Visits Uintah Basin

The StoryCorp recording trailer and facilitators from the 2007 stop in Logan.

StoryCorps is partnering with Utah State University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Utah Public Radio (UPR) to record the stories of area residents in the Uintah Basin. As part of its cross-country MobileBooth tour, StoryCorps will be in Vernal July 2-29. At 60,000 interviews, StoryCorps houses the largest single collection of human voices ever recorded.

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.

StoryCorps’ MobileBooth — an Airstream trailer outfitted with a recording studio — will be parked for four weeks at the Uintah County Library. Reservations to record interviews will be available beginning at 10 a.m. June 18. To make a reservation call StoryCorps’ 24-hour toll-free reservation line at 1-800-850-4406 or see Utah Public Radio’s website.

UPR will air a selection of the local interviews recorded in the StoryCorps MobileBooth and create special programs around the project. UPR is heard throughout the Uintah Basin at 88.5 FM. Other frequencies include Vernal at 91.5 FM and Roosevelt at 100.1 FM. Segments of select interviews may also air nationally on NPR’s “Morning Edition.”

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 has one of the largest collections of American voices ever gathered, with interviews collected from nearly 80,000 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.”

UPR General Manager Peg Arnold worked hard to bring the StoryCorps project to the area.

 “Utah Public Radio is delighted to partner with StoryCorps,” Arnold said. “This important initiative will ensure the unique voices and perspectives of individuals in Uintah Basin are represented and preserved in the national collection. It is also an opportunity for UPR to share Uintah Basin stories with listeners throughout the state via UPR’s statewide broadcast network and online offerings.”

In addition to a traveling MobileBooth, StoryCorps currently operates stationary recording booths in Atlanta, Ga., in partnership with the Atlanta History Center; public radio station WABE-FM, in Chicago, Ill., in partnership with the Chicago Cultural Center and public radio station WBEZ 91.5; and at the San Francisco Public Library in San Francisco, Calif.

To ensure the diversity of participants, StoryCorps sponsors major initiatives: StoryCorps Historias collects the stories of Latinos throughout the United States and Puerto Rico; StoryCorps Griot preserves the voices and experiences of African Americans; the Military Voices Initiative honors the voices of post-9/11 veterans, service members and their families; StoryCorps Legacy provides people with serious illnesses and their families with the opportunity to record, preserve, and share their stories; and the September 11 Initiative honors and remembers the stories of those personally affected by the events of September 11, 2001.

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 to ensure that StoryCorps remains a free public service.

About StoryCorps

StoryCorps’ mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, preserve, and share their stories. Each week, millions of Americans listen to StoryCorps’ award-winning broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition. StoryCorps has published three books: Listening Is an Act of Love and Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps, and All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps—all of which are New York Times bestsellers. For more information, or to listen to stories online, visit storycorps.org.

About Utah Public Radio

Utah Public Radio (UPR) is a service of Utah State University, broadcasting a mix of information, public affairs, and fine arts programming 24 hours a day. Based in Logan, UPR is heard by listeners across Utah and portions of surrounding states via a network of six full-power HD-enhanced stations, and 30 translators.

UPR is Utah’s oldest public radio service, commencing operation in 1953. It is a member of National Public Radio (NPR) and an affiliate of Public Radio International (PRI) and American

Public Media (APM).  Additional information about UPR can be found at www.upr.org.

Writer: Bryan Earl, Utah Public Radio, (435) 757-5102, bryan.earl@usu.edu

Contact: Nora Zambreno, Utah Public Radio, (435) 797-9507, Nora.zambreno@usu.edu

Post your Comment

We welcome your comments but your submission will NOT be published online. Your comment or question will be forwarded to the appropriate person. Thank you.

Post your Comment

Next Story in Arts & Humanities

See Also