This August, Michigan Radio will welcome StoryCorps’ renowned Airstream-trailer-turned-recording-booth to Flint, Michigan to collect the stories of local residents. StoryCorps, a renowned nonprofit organization celebrating the stories of everyday Americans, will record interviews in Flint as part of its cross-country MobileBooth tour.
Beginning August 6, the StoryCorps MobileBooth will make its stop in front of the Flint Institute of Arts for community members to record their personal stories. The stories will be added to the StoryCorps Archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and become part of the national historical record. The visit is part of the 2019 MobileBooth tour across the U.S. to collect and preserve the meaningful stories and memories of regular Americans and underrepresented communities. From the start of its journey, January 5 in Orlando, Florida, through the tour’s conclusion in Yuma, Arizona, on December 21, the MobileBooth will travel thousands of miles through the U.S., visiting assorted cities for a month each. The MobileBooth will remain in Flint until Sept. 4.
“As our MobileBooth criss-crosses the country, recording one conversation at a time, we are building an archive that reflects the rich diversity of American voices and tells the true story of this nation — and reminds us of the poetry, wisdom, and grace that can be found in the words of the people all around us when we take the time to listen,” said Dave Isay, founder and president of StoryCorps.
Michigan Radio is partnering with the Flint Institute of Arts and StoryCorps to invite local residents to bring a friend or loved one to participate in a recorded conversation in the booth. Conversations will be facilitated by the StoryCorps staff to help guests record meaningful conversations with a special person in their lives. The StoryCorps team will be recruiting guests who would like to be recorded. Reservations, which are free and available to the public, will be available beginning July 23 and can be booked online at storycorps.org. Participants must register and will be assigned a date and time for their recording appointment in the MobileBooth.
Later this year, Michigan Radio plans to air a selection of the interviews recorded in Flint. The station will also host several special events in the city in conjunction with the MobileBooth visit. StoryCorps may also share edited versions of select interviews collected throughout the tour via its weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition, or via StoryCorps’ digital platforms or best-selling books.
Founded in 2003 by award-winning documentary producer and MacArthur Fellow Dave Isay, StoryCorps gives people of various backgrounds the rare opportunity to sit down and listen to one another, and have that experience recorded into collective American memory. Participants have come to total over 500,000 since StoryCorps’ founding, making it both the largest single collection of human voices ever gathered and a priceless repository of wisdom for future generations.
Major support for the MobileBooth Tour is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.