StoryCorps, The National Oral History Project comes to Savannah

Georgia Public Broadcasting hosts StoryCorps during its 26-Day stay in Savannah as its tours the U.S. to capture stories of everyday Americans.

SAVANNAH – StoryCorps, a national initiative to document everyday history and the unique stories of Americans, will arrive January 26, 2009 in Savannah to collect the stories of the “First City” residents as part of its cross-country tour. StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit 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 on the west side of President Street off of Telfair Square, just outside of the Telfair Academy of Arts & Sciences from Tuesday, January 27 through Friday, February 21, 2009 and will be open everyday except Tuesdays and Wednesdays, by appointment. StoryCorps plans to collect approximately 120 interviews during its stay in Savannah. The first round of reservations open on January 13 at 10 AM and additional slots will open on January 28 at 10 AM. A waiting list will be available once all slots are filled for last minute cancellations. Reservations can be made by calling 800-850-4406 or online at

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’ mobile and stationary recording studios have collected interviews in over 100 towns in 48 states — over 20,000 stories in all.

In Savannah, StoryCorps is partnering with Georgia Public Broadcasting, Savannah’s NPR station, WSVH 91.1 FM, 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.

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.

“The Savannah community is filled with culturally rich and diverse stories that GPB and WSVH 91.1 FM are proud to bring to our loyal listeners and members,” said GPB Radio Program Director Rob Maynard. “We are delighted to encourage this dialogue and to showcase the city through our partnership with StoryCorps.”

“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.”

Major funding is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. StoryCorps also relies on the support from its participants and listeners.

StoryCorps Savannah is presented by the Telfair Museum of Art and the Georgia Historical Society.

Individuals can visit for more information.

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