July 13, 2015
Berkshire Community College (BCC) is working in partnership with the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center and the Great Barrington Fairgrounds on upcoming StoryCorps community recordings to be held at BCC’s South County Center located at 343 Main St. in Great Barrington.
StoryCorps’ mission is to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve their stories. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 50,000 interviews with some 90,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Millions listen to StoryCorps’ broadcasts on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition.
StoryCorps Recordings at BCC’s South County Center
The recording sessions are slated for Fri., Aug. 7 to Sun., Aug. 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Community members are invited to record their own conversations with a family member, friend, or colleague. A trained team of StoryCorps facilitators will be in Great Barrington to formally record up to 18 stories over the three day period. In addition, teams of locally-trained volunteers will conduct additional recordings using the newly launched StoryCorps mobile app.
Several BCC classrooms will be utilized for the recordings, during which participants will have 40 minutes of uninterrupted time to talk to each other about preservation and change, about leaving and staying, about secret and public spaces, and the places that make the Berkshires unique, along with anything else that is meaningful to them.
BCC’s Director of Off-Campus Sites Julie Hannum said, “BCC’s South County Center is pleased to be a part of this opportunity that will allow Berkshire County residents to share their stories. BCC is actively involved in other oral history projects and this is a wonderful opportunity to build on those efforts. Learning goes beyond the classroom – and telling and sharing stories are an important way of gaining knowledge while preserving history. We look forward to having BCC students and alumni as well as faculty and staff participate in this unique project.”
StoryCorps, after receiving permission from each participant, will archive the recordings at the Library of Congress so they will be preserved for future generations. Each person who participates in an interview will be given a copy of their conversation.
To participate in the recording project, fill out a form posted online. Formal recording reservations are limited and will be confirmed via email.
An Evening with Dave Isay
The Mahaiwe will present an evening with StoryCorps founder Dave Isay on Wed., Aug. 5 at 7 p.m.
“We’re really excited to celebrate the power of personal stories with Dave Isay’s talk and the community recordings,” said Mahaiwe Executive Director Beryl Jolly. “This program offers opportunities for friends and family members to share and preserve conversations around meaningful experiences and the places that make the Berkshire unique.”
For more information or to purchase tickets, click here or call 413-528-0100.
About Dave Isay
Dave Isay is the founder of StoryCorps and the recipient of numerous honors, including six Peabody Awards, a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, and the 2015 $1 million TED prize.
Isay is the author/editor of numerous books that grew out of his public radio documentary work, including three StoryCorps books: Listening Is an Act of Love (2007), Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps, and All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps (2012)–all New York Times bestsellers. StoryCorps’ fourth and latest book, Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude From the First Ten Years of StoryCorps, was released in the fall of 2013 to coincide with the organization’s 10th anniversary. Isay’s books will be available for sale in the lobby and there will be a book signing after this event.