Campus News

WUKY to Host Oral History Project StoryCorps in Lexington

photo of StoryCorps recording booth in Lexington in 2006
StoryCorps first visited Lexington in 2006, parking its mobile recording studio outside the old Fayette County Courthouse.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 8, 2017) StoryCorps, a renowned nonprofit organization celebrating the stories of everyday Americans, will record interviews in Lexington from March 16 to April 14 as part of its cross-country MobileBooth tour. StoryCorps is partnering with WUKY, Lexington’s and the University of Kentucky's NPR station.

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.

StoryCorps’ MobileBooth — an Airstream trailer outfitted with a recording studio — will be parked at Phoenix Park next to the downtown library. Reservations are available now and can be made by calling StoryCorps’ 24-hour toll-free reservation line at 1-800-850-4406 or visiting www.storycorps.org. Additional appointments will be available on March 17. Parking for participants will be available in the Lexington Public Library parking garage. Participants can validate parking at the Central Library front desk.

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. A trained StoryCorps facilitator guides them through the interview process. At the end of each 40-minute recording session, participants receive a complimentary CD copy of their interview. With participant permission, a second copy is archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for future generations to hear.

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 in the organization’s effort to create a world where we listen closely to each other and recognize the beauty, grace and poetry in the lives and stories we find all around us.

“StoryCorps tells the true American story — that we are a people defined by small acts of courage, kindness and heroism. Each interview reminds people that their lives matter and will not be forgotten,” Isay said. “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.”

WUKY will air a selection of the local interviews recorded in the StoryCorps MobileBooth and create special programs around the project. StoryCorps may also share excerpts of these stories with the world through the project’s popular weekly NPR broadcasts, animated shorts, digital platforms and best-selling books.

“It is an honor to bring StoryCorps back to Lexington, thanks to the help of VisitLex, for their first visit since 2006. StoryCorps’ mission to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world is shared by 91.3 WUKY,” said the station’s General Manager Tom Godell. “Everyone has a story, and we encourage you to share yours with us and with future generations. Imagine how thrilled your grandchildren — and great-grandchildren — will be to hear your voice and learn about your life in your own words.”

About StoryCorps

Founded in 2003 by MacArthur Fellow Dave Isay, the nonprofit organization StoryCorps has given more than 100,000 Americans the chance to record interviews about their lives, pass wisdom from one generation to the next, and leave a legacy for the future. It is the largest single collection of human voices ever gathered. In the coming years StoryCorps hopes to touch the lives of every American family.

Participating in StoryCorps couldn’t be easier: You invite a loved one, or anyone else you choose, to one of the StoryCorps recording sites. There you’re met by a trained facilitator, who greets you and explains the interview process. You’re then brought into a quiet recording room and seated across from your interview partner, each of you in front of a microphone. The facilitator hits "record," and you share a 40-minute conversation. At the end of the session, you walk away with a CD, and a digital file goes to the Library of Congress, where it will be preserved for generations to come. Someday your great-great-great-grandchildren will be able to meet your grandfather, your mother, your best friend, or whomever it is you chose to honor with a StoryCorps interview. 

StoryCorps shares edited excerpts of these stories with the world through popular weekly NPR broadcasts, animated shorts, digital platforms and best-selling books. These powerful stories illustrate our shared humanity and show how much more we share in common than divides us. 

StoryCorps has also launched a series of successful national initiatives, including:

  • The September 11th Initiative, helping families memorialize the stories of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001, in partnership with the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center;
  • The Griot Initiative, now the largest collection of African-American voices ever gathered, in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture;
  • StoryCorps OutLoud, which documents the powerful, varied experiences of LGBTQ people across America; and
  • StoryCorpsU (SCU), an interactive, standards-based college-readiness curriculum for high-needs schools uses StoryCorps content and interviewing techniques to engage the hearts and minds of young people and promote positive student outcomes.

With the 2015 TED Prize awarded to Dave Isay, StoryCorps has launched an app that puts the StoryCorps experience entirely in the hands of users and enables anyone, anywhere to record meaningful conversations with one another. These interviews are preserved at the U.S. Library of Congress and on the https://StoryCorps.me website, a growing, global archive of the wisdom of humanity.

StoryCorps aims to be an enduring institution that celebrates the dignity, power and grace that can be heard in the stories we find all around us, and helps us recognize that every life and every story matter equally.

About WUKY

91.3 WUKY is a community-supported service of the University of Kentucky which provides high-quality news, cultural and entertainment content through the use of existing and emerging media to create a more informed and engaged community.

Originally known as WBKY in Beattyville, Kentucky, the station began broadcasting over 75 years ago, on Oct. 17, 1940, becoming the country’s first university-owned noncommercial educational radio station. Soon after, the transmitter moved to the University of Kentucky campus where in 1989 the station became WUKY.

WUKY helped create National Public Radio and was one of the first stations to broadcast NPR's "All Things Considered" in 1971. In 2007, WUKY became the first Lexington radio station to broadcast in HD — high definition digital radio. Today the radio station offers three distinct program services via HD, WUKY.org, and free iPhone and Android apps. Programming consists of an eclectic schedule of NPR and award-winning local news, Rock & Roots music, humor, and much more. WUKY is powered by over 3,000 listener-members across Central Kentucky.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue