StoryCorps, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of people from all backgrounds and beliefs, will utilize a new virtual platform to record remote interviews in Montana from June 3 to July 3, 2020 as part of its Mobile Tour.
Now in its 15th anniversary year, the StoryCorps Mobile Tour has facilitated thousands of meaningful conversations between people who know and care about one another. To date, these face-to-face conversations have taken place in its MobileBooth: an Airstream trailer outfitted with a recording studio. For the first time, in response to the need for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, StoryCorps has moved to an online platform. While continuing to honor its mission to help people feel more connected and less alone, StoryCorps is piloting a Virtual Mobile Tour and offering the opportunity for Montana residents to participate online.
Reservations to record will be available beginning at 10 a.m. May 20 and can be made by calling StoryCorps’ 24-hour toll-free reservation line at 1-800-850-4406 or visiting storycorps.org or mtpr.org.
In a StoryCorps interview, two people are able to record a meaningful conversation with one another about who they are, what they’ve learned in life, and how they want to be remembered. A trained StoryCorps facilitator guides them through the interview process. After each 40-minute recording session, participants receive a digital 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.
During StoryCorps’ remote visit, the interview process and experience will be maintained using remote video conference technology, which allows both participants to see and hear one another during their conversation, and to be joined by a facilitator remotely.
Founded in 2003 by award-winning documentary producer and MacArthur Fellow Dave Isay, StoryCorps has traveled to every corner of the country to record interviews in the organization’s effort to create a world where we listen closely to each other and recognize the beauty, grace and poetry in the lives and stories we find all around us.
“StoryCorps tells an authentic 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. “During this pandemic, the value of preserving these stories, and of strengthening connections between people who may feel physically isolated, is more important than ever.”
In Montana, StoryCorps will partner with NPR affiliate Montana Public Radio. MTPR will air a selection of the local interviews and create special programs around the project. StoryCorps may also share excerpts of these stories with the world through the project’s popular weekly NPR broadcasts, animated shorts, digital platforms, and best-selling books.
“Storytelling is at the core of what Montana Public Radio is all about,” said MTPR station manager Ray Ekness. “We’re happy to partner with the Story Corps team to record stories from Montana and our listeners.”
StoryCorps is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.