The StoryCorps MobileBooth arrived yesterday, late in the afternoon, and is parked at its Fort Wayne home in the ACPL lot at the corner of Washington and Webster. It’s not as visible as I’d like it to be, but the power hook up is an issue. (Yes, I had the driver drop it in one place and then he had to back it up – he wasn’t the happiest boy in the world.)
There will be easy parking and easy entrance and it’s just pretty gratifying to think about the stories that are going to be told inside that shiny bullet. It’s smaller than I thought it would be and sort of cute. It is, thank you, founder Dave Isay, a brilliant idea.
If you go to the StoryCorps online scheduling tool, you’ll see that, as of this morning, there are two spots open in which to schedule an interview, so there’s still room. I also know that a few other spots will open up as we get closer and people have to cancel for one reason or another and there is a waiting list, so please, if you and a partner want to participate in this, put yourself on the waiting list and keep checking in.
The booth arrived early, to spend the holiday week-end here, and the staff members will arrive next week. Our responsibility is to find housing for three staff members for the month that they are here and we give a big shout out to Katie Pruitt and Andy Welfle for putting us in contact with their generous landlord, Jeff Burdek, an NIPR member, who is allowing us to use the other side of the Welfle’s duplex for the month. The NIPR staff will “furnish” the duplex for our guests (I’m thinking the style will be eclectic, to say the least) and we are so pleased to be able to provide a comfortable, spacious “home” for them.
When the coordinator was here earlier this spring, Lea asked Jenna what was the worst living arrangement the team had ever found. Worst ever? – when the team was housed in an apartment on the backside of a heavy metal music venue and the had free concerts all night. We’re striving to provide a calmer atmosphere for our facilitators!
We’re grateful that the local press has already taken an interest and we expect to see some good articles about this effort. We are becoming part of something bigger than ourselves with each story that is going to be told.
As we’ve said from the beginning, one of the main thrusts of StoryCorps is to capture the stories of those who might not normally take part in such a project. We have had marvelous cooperation from so many in the community to make certain we reach that objective. To present a complete picture of our community, many organizations and individuals, including the following groups, will be represented, not in stories of their organizations, but in the individual, personal stories of their constituencies. We’re grateful to have had such committed participation.
- Northeast Indiana Diversity Library
- Fort Wayne Women’s Bureau
- Combat veterans from WWII through present day
- YWCA: Burmese refugees, Latinos, victims of domestic violence
- NeighborLink: single parents, elderly, disabled
- Fort Wayne Philharmonic: educational programs
- Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities
- Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana
- Three Rivers Institute of Afrikan Art and Culture: African-Americans, youth, musicians
- African/African American Historical Museum: African Americans & diaspora communities
- Fort Wayne Urban League: African-Americans, youth, programs that serve people from a wide economic and educational backgrounds
We can hardly wait to begin airing segments of these interviews – and of yours. These are the stories of our community.
If you aren’t familiar with how StoryCorps sounds on the air, you can hear what’s come from other communities by listening to Morning Edition on Fridays on WBOI 89.1, usually between 6:20 – 6:30 and again between 8:20 -8:30.