KUNR Hosts StoryCorps National Oral History Project

3/9/2010 - By: Claudene Wharton

StoryCorps, a national initiative to record the stories of everyday Americans, arrives in Reno April 22 for a month-long stay to collect local stories as part of its cross-country tour.

Hosted by KUNR public radio and co-sponsored by the University of Nevada, Reno; the City of Reno and Nevada Humanities, StoryCorps invites northern Nevadans to preserve the stories of their everyday lives. Interviews are conducted between two people who know and care about each other in StoryCorps’ MobileBooth, an Airstream trailer outfitted with a recording studio. A trained facilitator guides participants through the interview process and handles technical aspects of the recording.

At the end of the 40-minute recording session, the participants walk away with a CD of their interview. With their permission, a second copy will be archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for future generations to hear. Up to 120 interviews will be recorded during StoryCorps’ Reno visit, which ends May 15.

“KUNR is actively working to build conversation, neighborhood and community,” 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.”

KUNR will air edited versions of a selection of the locally recorded stories and create special programs around the project. Selected interviews may also air nationally on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition.

“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,” Stipech said. “StoryCorps does a great job of pursuing stories we wouldn’t normally come across. Without StoryCorps, people wouldn’t necessarily have the opportunity to record these stories.”

StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit project in partnership with National Public Radio and the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. For more information, or to listen to stories online, visit kunr.org.

KUNR is licensed to the Nevada System of Higher Education and has broadcast from the University campus since 1963.


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