Story last updated at 12/10/2008 - 11:30 am
JUNEAU - How often does one get to ask a loved one, "What was the happiest moment of your life?" or "What are you most proud of?" or "How do you want to be remembered?" Occasions rarely arise for shared reflection in everyday life, but StoryCorps - the most ambitious oral history project in American history - is recording these meaningful conversations and ensuring that personal stories live on for generations to come.
StoryCorp will be in Juneau Jan. 5-30 , in partnership with the Alaska Public Radio Network and KTOO, the Alaska State Library, Sealaska Heritage Institute and other organizations. The downtown Juneau Public Library will be one of the recording sites for the interviews.
A StoryCorps interview is a 40-minute conversation between people who know each other. It is also a conversation in which the participants choose what they want to talk about.A trained facilitator is present throughout the interview process to help guide participants and to record the conversation.
At the end of the interview, participants will receive a free broadcast-quality CD to take home and share, and a copy of the interview will be archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Rasmuson Library, and a copy will be kept by the Juneau Public Library.
Excepts from StoryCorps interviews from other locations can be heard at www.storycorps.net. The Juneau Public Libraries have fliers about Story Corps and list of "Great Questions" to help you prepare for the interview process.
StoryCorps, together with the Alaska Public Radio Network, launched this new Alaska initiative in October to collect the diverse voices and life experiences of Alaskans. StoryCorps will record over 500 personal interviews that will be preserved at Alaska institutions and organizations, and at the oral history project's growing archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
StoryCorps has visited all of the lower 48 states since beginning operation in 2003 and will venture to Alaska just as the state moves towards its fiftieth anniversary of statehood in January 2009. For the Alaska Initiative, StoryCorps will facilitate interviews, hosted by community-based organizations, local radio stations, educational institutions and membership organizations from Oct. 15, 2008, through April 30, 2009, in Fairbanks, Nome, Barrow, Dillingham, Unalaska and Juneau. StoryCorps will also be helping people who live in other parts of Alaska record their own stories.
"StoryCorps looks forward to capturing and preserving real life stories from the people who experienced them," said Dave Isay, the founder of StoryCorps. "Sharing these stories honors our history, encourages appreciation of our Elders and our traditions, and captures the true spirit of our community."
The Alaska Public Radio Network will be broadcasting 13 local stories statewide. Select stories from StoryCorps' national archive are also aired every Friday on National Public Radio's Morning Edition.
"By celebrating our shared humanity and collective identity, our partnership with StoryCorps will help ensure the rich heritage of Alaskans will be presented and preserved with dignity," said Duncan Moon, managing editor of APRN.
For more information about the StoryCorps Alaska project or to schedule an interview, call toll-free 1-888-723-7020 or visit www.storycorpsalaska.net.