StoryCorps returns to the Gulf Coast

Home News StoryCorps returns to the Gulf Coast

ALEXA REED – The Corsair

November 24, 2010

StoryCorps, in connection with public radio station WUWF, will be returning to Pensacola for a week in mid December to record more stories from local residents. The project organizers are specifically looking for interviews on how the Deep Water Horizon oil spill has affected lives around the region.

StoryCorps is an independent, nonprofit organization whose goal is to provide ordianary Americans with the opportunity to record, share and preserve the stories that occur in everyday life.  Every conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and preserved at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is quickly becoming one of the largest oral history projects of its kind.

StoryCorps was first in Pensacola for five weeks during February and March 2010, where they collected over 130 stories.

“Overall, it was just a really great experience,” Sarah McCartan, 23, a participant in StoryCorp’s first visit said. “It’s a unique opportunity to interview someone, and find out details about their life you wouldn’t normally talk about.” McCartan interviewed her mother, on what life was like in the 1960s for women in college.

“I feel like it helped open a deeper line of communication,” McCartan said. “It was just really nice to get this little piece of my history on record.”

Starting Dec. 15 and running until Dec. 22, the StoryCorps MobileBooth will be recording oil spill stories from the Pensacola area.

“A 40 minute interview is a much more suitable period of time to hint at the complexity of how the oil spill has affected lives, businesses, and the environment of the place we have chosen as our home,” Lynne Marshall, director of promotions and outreach for WUWF said.

“We just happen to be in the middle of a historical, environmental, and economic event that needs to be preserved for the future,” Marshall said.

“Storytelling is possibly the most ancient art form of man,” Trish Allison, director of development at WUWF said. “These stories collected by StoryCorps are things happening in our community and they’re important, both for how to respond to each other now and also how to plan for our common future.”

Anyone who would like to participate in StoryCorps is invited to sign up when the first MobileBooth slots open at 10 a.m., Nov. 15, until the slots are filled, or by visiting or calling 1-800-850-4406.

Stories from StoryCorps’ spring visit are archived at the West Florida Genealogy Library on 9th Avenue, for listeners to hear in their original, unedited format.

When asked what she was looking forward to most with the second StoryCorps visit, Marshall said, “These stories are important. They deserve to be told and preserved for the future.”