StoryCorps, a program featured on KUNR and other National Public Radio stations, arrives in Reno on Thursday, April 22 for a month-long stay to collect local stories as part of its cross-country tour. This is the first time StoryCorps, a national initiative to record the stories of everyday Americans, has visited northern Nevada. Media and the public are invited to stop by the opening-day kick-off 10:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. on Thursday, at StoryCorps’ MobileBooth, an Airstream trailer with a recording studio that will be parked in the “ice rink” plaza at North Center Street and East First Street during its stay in Reno.
Conversations featuring pairs of people from our area — up to 120 total interviews — will be captured in the MobileBooth during its Reno visit. A facilitator will guide participants through the interview process and handle the technical aspects. At the end of the 40-minute recording session, participants will receive a CD of their interview. With their permission, a copy will also be archived at the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center for future generations to hear. KUNR will air edited versions of some interviews, and some interviews may be selected to air nationally on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition.
The StoryCorps visit kicks off at 10:30 a.m. next Thursday at the StoryCorps’ MobileBooth, with two special opening-day interviews.
Local media host Lise Mousel-Martini will interview student advocate and University faculty member Rita Laden at 10:30 a.m., followed by opening remarks by KUNR station manager David Stipech, a City of Reno Proclamation and brief remarks from StoryCorps’ Anna Walters at 11:15 a.m. Attendees will then have the opportunity to tour the MobileBooth until the second opening-day interview begins at noon. Sue Coleman, respected elder of the Washo Nation famous for her artful basket weaving, will be interviewed by her daughter, Cynthia Lynn Kannan.
While some people may know those participating in the two special opening-day interviews, StoryCorps and KUNR want the community to know that anyone who would like to preserve their stories at StoryCorps’ MobileBooth is encouraged to sign up to do so beginning 10 a.m., April 23, by calling 1-800-850-4406 or going to StoryCorps Locations and Reservations. Appointments are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
“Today’s society is very enamored with celebrities and the movers and shakers, but some of the most powerful stories come from the people just down the street,” David Stipech, general manager of KUNR, said. “That’s the beauty of what StoryCorps is going to do – facilitate the conversation to get stories told that wouldn’t be told otherwise.”
When all appointments are booked, interested parties can put their names on a waiting list. Participants are asked to make a donation to support the program, but donations are not required. A credit card must be given to reserve a spot, however, to try to prevent no-shows. No-shows will be charged $25 if they do not cancel their reservations at least 24 hours prior to their appointment.
Hosted by KUNR public radio and sponsored by the University of Nevada, Reno; the City of Reno; Plaza On The River; and Nevada Humanities, Nevadans are invited to take advantage of this rare opportunity to preserve their stories and have them archived in the Library of Congress. StoryCorps’ Reno visit ends May 15. For more information or to listen to stories online, visit kunr.org.