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 that will be passed down for generations to come.
Having collected more than 65,000 interviews from Americans in all 50 states, StoryCorps has gathered one of the largest single collections of human voices ever recorded in an effort to celebrate and archive the stories of everyday Americans.
“StoryCorps tells the true American story — that we are a people defined by small acts of courage, kindness and heroism,” Isay said, describing how each interview reminds people that their lives matter and will not be forgotten. “By strengthening connections between people and building an archive that reflects the rich diversity of American voices, we hope to build StoryCorps into an enduring institution that will touch the lives of every American family.”
Thanks to its cross-country MobileBooth tour, StoryCorps’ MobileBooth — an Airstream trailer outfitted with a recording studio — will be parked on the Third Street Promenade at Wilshire Boulevard now through Feb. 7, and local residents are invited to stop by for an interview.
In StoryCorps’ MobileBooth, 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 while a trained StoryCorps facilitator guides them through the interview process, according to event organizers. At the end of each 40-minute recording session, participants receive a downloadable link to their conversation and with participant permission, a second copy is archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for future generations to hear.
“The power the Third Street Promenade has to bring people together to engage and learn from one another is what makes it such a special place for our residents and visitors from around the world,” said Kathleen Rawson, CEO of Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. “Downtowns and city centers have always been more about the people than the place,” and StoryCorps offers a unique opportunity to learn these peoples’ stories as they try to offer an enduring picture of what life was like in the local community.
Interview reservations can be made online at bit.ly/2syFEq5, event organizers said. This “stop” is made possible by a first-of-its-kind partnership between Santa Monica College and its Emeritus Program; the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; SMC’s NPR station KCRW and Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.
“Santa Monica College is tremendously delighted to be part of StoryCorps’ return to our beautiful city,” said Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery, SMC’s Superintendent and President. “The ethos behind this project — that every individual life matters — dovetails in a singular way with the mission of our college, which is to inspire and guide human beings towards fulfilling their greatest potential through higher education.”