For Immediate Release                                                                                   
Contact: Kristin Tutino, (585) 258-0253

STORYCORPS, THE NATIONAL ORAL HISTORY PROJECT,
COMES TO ROCHESTER
 WXXI Hosts StoryCorps in Celebration of Rochester’s 175 Anniversary

(Rochester, New York) June 4, 2009 – StoryCorps, a national initiative to document everyday history and the unique stories of Americans, will arrive in Rochester on July 2, 2009. WXXI invited StoryCorps to Rochester to capture the stories of Rochesterians as part of the celebration of the City’s 175 Anniversary. StoryCorps is an independent, non-profit project in partnership with NPR and the American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress.

The StoryCorps MobileBooth -- an Airstream trailer outfitted with a recording studio -- will be parked outside the Rundel Library at the corner of Broad Street and South Avenue from July 2 until July 25, and will be open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and weekends from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Rochester Public Library has graciously donated this space for StoryCorps to utilize as it collects at least 120 interviews during its stay in Rochester.

Reservations are required to record your story. On Thursday, June 18 beginning at 10 a.m. StoryCorps will be taking reservations for its stay in Rochester. To make a reservation call 1-800-850-4406 or log on to <www.WXXI.org/storycorps>. A second call for reservations will be made on Friday, July 3 beginning at 10 a.m.

StoryCorps was created by award-winning documentary producer and MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient Dave Isay. This unprecedented project has traveled to every corner of America, instructing and inspiring individuals to record their stories in sound.   StoryCorps is the largest multi-year oral history project ever undertaken.  Since its launch in October 2003, StoryCorps has collected interviews in all 50 states -- over 254,000 stories in all. 

StoryCorps is partnering with WXXI, Rochester’s NPR station, which will air a selection of the local stories and create special programs around the project. Selected segments may also air nationally on NPR’s Morning Edition.

“WXXI is proud to bring StoryCorps to Rochester during the City’s 175 Anniversary celebration,” said WXXI President Norm Silverstein. “As a station that has been dedicated to recording Rochester’s rich history through the production of many documentaries, we know the importance of preserving the stories of our neighbors.”

At the MobileBooth, interviews are conducted between two people who know and care about each other. A trained facilitator guides the participants through the interview process and handles the technical aspects of the recording.  At the end of a 40-minute session, the participants walk away with a CD of their interview. With their permission, a second copy becomes part of an archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for future generations to hear.

“As StoryCorps has traveled across the country, we’ve seen the profound effect it has had not only on the lives of those who have participated in the project, but also on the millions who have heard them each week on NPR,” said Isay.  “We are so proud to continue our mission to teach people to become better listeners, foster intergenerational communication among families and communities, and help Americans appreciate the strength in the stories of everyday people they find all around them.”

StoryCorps currently operates a freestanding soundproof recording booth at Foley Square in New York’s Lower Manhattan and at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. In 2006, StoryCorps launched an initiative to reach out to people affected by memory loss. StoryCorps Griot is an ongoing initiative to ensure that the voices, experiences, and life stories of African Americans will be preserved and presented with dignity. All interviews recorded as part of the Griot Initiative will be archived at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture in addition to the Library of Congress.

Individuals can visit <www.WXXI.org/storycorps> or <www.StoryCorps.org> to make interview reservations, listen to stories, and learn how they can support StoryCorps’ mission to honor and celebrate one another’s lives through listening.

You can hear StoryCorps on AM 1370/HD91.5-2 and WRUR-FM 88.5 during Morning Edition at 6:25 and 8:25 a.m.

Major funding is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. StoryCorps also relies on the support from its participants and listeners. StoryCorps' Rochester visit is being supported by Valley Manor Custom Apartment Homes, a Seniorsfirst Community.

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