“I believe if you don’t tell your family history, or document it somehow, you lose it.” That’s the sentiment of one son who interviewed his father for the ongoing StoryCorps oral history project, as quoted in a Chicago Tribune article. Certainly here at Write My Memoirs, we agree with that!
The decade-old StoryCorps project records ordinary people being interviewed by a friend or relative about their life stories. Excerpts air Friday mornings on local radio station WBEZ-FM 91.5. Funded by nonprofit groups and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the project is open to everyone and has recorded more than 45,000 life stories, which are archived at the Library of Congress.
To open the project to as many people as possible, this month the Chicago Cultural Center set up a StoryCorps booth containing a desk, a few chairs, a pair of microphones and a box of tissues that, according to the Tribune report, gets used up quickly. A StoryCorps facilitator sits in on the hour-long interview session to work the audio equipment and ask an occasional clarifying question. Participants receive a free audio recording of their interviews on a CD.
“The idea of StoryCorps is that the act of people interviewing each other could change their lives, make their lives better and tell them that they matter,” StoryCorps founder Dave Isay told the Trib reporter. If you would like to make an appointment to participate, call 800-850-4406 or go to chicago.storycorps.org.