By Tom Travis
Let the stories begin: StoryCorps has arrived in Flint. As part of a year-long nationwide tour with stops in 10 cities and a plan to record more than 1,000 conversations, the recording studio on wheels is parked at the Flint Institute of Arts until Sept. 4.
What is StoryCorps?
StoryCorps is a non-profit organization that has been recording people having meaningful conversations since 2003. They are now on their 2019 tour of cities across the country. The recordings happen in a mobile booth – a recording studio on wheels. The conversations recorded are between people who know each other or who they would like to know better.
Why should you participate?
StoryCorps is based on the premise that the best way to get to know anyone is to ask them questions. The program offers people a place to sit in a professional recording studio and ask those questions of each other–questions they’ve been dying to ask. Or maybe you have a story about your life you’ve been longing to share–or you could even honor the story of a treasured person in your life.
What happens when you participate?
As the StoryCorps organizers describe it, you are greeted by one of the trained facilitators of StoryCorps. The facilitator guides you through the process of making the recording. You will have up to 40 minutes to tell your story. Your story is recorded and your photo is taken for the archives. Each participant gets a copy of the recorded conversation and, if you give permission, it is preserved in the largest single collection of human voices at the Library of Congress.
Ava Ahmadbeigi, site manager of the Mobile Tour StoryCorps, stated at a press conference this week in front of The Flint Institute of Arts that StoryCorps offers a space where people can talk about their own stories. If you think you’d get stuck or nervous while recording Lea Zikmund, facilitator, Mobile Tour StoryCorps, said a list of 50-100 “great questions” is available to help people get started in the conversation.
Michigan Radio NPR Marketing Director Steve Chrypinski, shared in the press conference that, “we all recall compelling stories that we hear on the radio as we’re driving. And when we get to our destination we just can’t get out of the car, we have to listen to the rest of the story. That’s what these StoryCorps dialogues are like.”
How do you participate?
Go to storycorps.org/participate and select Flint to book a recording appointment or call 800-850-4406. StoryCorps also can be reached on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube at #StoryCorpsMobileTour.
EVM Staff Writer Tom Travis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.