Oral History Project StoryCorps to Visit Santa Monica's Famed Third Street Promenade
December 16, 2019
Oral History Project StoryCorps to Visit Santa Monica's Famed Third Street Promenade

SANTA MONICA, CA – StoryCorps, a renowned nonprofit organization celebrating the stories of everyday Americans, will record interviews in Santa Monica, Calif. from Jan. 5 – Feb. 7, 2020 as part of its cross-country MobileBooth tour. 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 on the Third Street Promenade at Wilshire Boulevard. Reservations will be available beginning 10 a.m. PST Tuesday, Dec. 17 and may be made at storycorps.org/stops/mobile-stop-santa-monica-ca. Additional appointments will be available on Jan. 7, 2020.


This "stop" is made possible by a first-of-its-kind partnership between Santa Monica College (SMC) and its Emeritus Program; the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; SMC's NPR station KCRW (89.9 FM); and Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. Sponsorship is provided by The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows Santa Monica.


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 downloadable link to their conversation. 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," said Isay. "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."


In Santa Monica, StoryCorps will partner with KCRW 89.9 FM, the NPR station licensed to Santa Monica College. KCRW 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.


"Santa Monica College is tremendously delighted to be part of StoryCorps' return to our beautiful city," said Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery, SMC Superintendent/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."


"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; as stewards of our neighborhood, Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. strives to provide moments that spark conversation and connection. StoryCorps offers a unique opportunity for individuals to share their stories and to create an enduring picture of what life was like in our community for generations to come."


"The stories we each carry and tell each other are among the most powerful and overlooked," said Jennifer Ferro, KCRW President. "KCRW is proud to once again sponsor StoryCorps' West Coast arrival to bring to light those stories that have the power to touch and transform hearts and minds. 



For more information on StoryCorps, visit storycorps.org.

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About StoryCorps


Founded in 2003 by Dave Isay, the nonprofit organization StoryCorps has given more than 350,000 people 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. 


Recording a StoryCorps interview couldn't be easier: You invite a loved one, or anyone else you chose, 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 copy of the interview, 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.  


With the 2015 TED Prize awarded to Dave Isay, StoryCorps has also launched an app that puts the StoryCorps experience entirely in the hands of users and enables anyone, anywhere to record meaningful conversations with another person. The app guides users through the interview experience, from recording to archiving to sharing their stories with the world. It provides easy-to-use tools to help people prepare interview questions; record high-quality conversations on their mobile devices; and upload the audio to the Library of Congress and StoryCorps.me website, which serves as a home for these recordings and also provides interview and editing resources.


StoryCorps shares edited excerpts of the stories we record through its weekly podcast, 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 launched a series of national recording initiatives including:

• The Justice Project, an effort to preserve and amplify the voices of people affected by incarceration, their families and communities;

• The September 11th Initiative, helping families memorialize the stories of lives lost on September 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;

• Historias, the largest collection of Latino stories ever gathered;

• StoryCorps OutLoud, which documents the powerful, varied experiences of LGBTQ people across America, with a focus on lives lived before Stonewall; and

• The Military Voices Initiative, honoring the stories of post-9/11 service members, veterans and their families.


StoryCorps is working to grow into an enduring national 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. In the coming years, StoryCorps hopes to touch the lives of every American family.


About Santa Monica College


Founded in 1929, Santa Monica College is a California Community College accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). In addition to being California's leader in transfers to the University of California system, the University of Southern California, and Loyola Marymount University, SMC also offers more than 110 career training degrees and certificates. SMC provides news and cultural enrichment through its NPR radio station KCRW (89.9 FM) and The Broad Stage at the SMC Performing Arts Center as well as lifelong learning through distinctive programs such as its Emeritus Program for older adults. Find Santa Monica College on the web at smc.edu and on social media: Facebook (facebook.com/SantaMonicaCollegeOfficial); Instagram (@smcedu); and on Twitter (@SMC_edu).


About KCRW


KCRW creates and curates a unique mix of content centered around music discovery, NPR news, cultural exploration and informed public affairs. KCRW is driven by the spirit of Los Angeles and delivers in innovative ways—on the radio, digitally and in person—to diverse, curious communities around the corner and around the world. A community service of Santa Monica College, KCRW can be found on the air in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Mojave, Palm Springs, San Luis Obispo, via the KCRW app, and at KCRW.com.


About Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.


Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. is a private non-profit 501c(3) that works with the City of Santa Monica to manage services and operations in Downtown Santa Monica that promote economic stability, growth and community life within Downtown Santa Monica. DTSM, Inc. manages the Property-based Business Assessment District (PBAD) that encompasses the area bounded by Ocean Avenue (W), Wilshire Boulevard (N), Lincoln Boulevard (E) and the Santa Monica Freeway (S). For more info, please visit DowntownSM.com or follow us on Instagram and Twitter @dtsantamonica or Facebook at DowntownSantaMonica.