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The StoryCorps Mobile Tour is partnering with WUSF Public Media to record and preserve the stories of Tampa residents and preserve them in the Library of Congress. For 16 years, the StoryCorps Mobile Tour has brought loved ones together for thousands of meaningful conversations about the things that matter most.

WUSF welcomes StoryCorps to Tampa for a month of storytelling across the region

The iconic AirStream trailer and mobile tour will be in Tampa through Feb. 12. It is an opportunity for residents to tell their stories and be heard by a national audience.

StoryCorps kicked off a month-long visit to Tampa on Wednesday with a celebration at Lyke's Gaslight Park.

Through Feb. 12, WUSF will host the first of 10 stops nationwide this year for StoryCorps and will be sharing some highlights of these Tampa Bay area conversations starting in February. Some might even be heard nationally as part of the regular StoryCorps feature that runs every Friday during Morning Edition.

"WUSF Public Media is proud that Tampa is the kickoff site for the 2022 StoryCorps tour," WUSF Public Media general manager JoAnn Urofsky said. "StoryCorps is an integral part of WUSF and an example of the content we want to bring to our community; people sharing their stories about life and their experiences."

Mayor Jane Castor was among those welcoming the mobile tour that travels the country, collecting the stories of people living in the United States.

Jane Castor speaking into a microphone
Mary Shedden
WUSF Public Media
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor welcomes StoryCorps during an event at Lykes Gaslight Park in Tampa on Jan. 5, 2022.

"We have such diversity here in our community and the stories really are endless," Castor said. "You could keep the AirStream trailer here for years and there would be a different, compelling story about how Tampa was created and how we have grown as one of the most inclusive and diverse communities throughout the United States.

"So I am very, very proud to welcome you to this wonderful city of Tampa, one that I believe in my heart is the greatest city in the nation."

The iconic Airstream trailer has been on the road recording conversations for 16 years, and if the subjects in the conversation choose to do so, each one is preserved at the Library of Congress.

In a StoryCorps interview, 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.

After each 40-minute recording session, participants receive a digital 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.

Anyone interested in making a reservation to record an interview can do sign up starting Thursday at 10 a.m. n the StoryCorps website.

StoryCorps will also be featured in a segment on CBS' "60 Minutes" on Jan. 9.

Close-up of StoryCorps AirStream w/ palm tree in the background
Leslie Laney
WUSF Public Media
StoryCorps will be in Tampa from Jan. 5 through Feb. 12, 2022.

I wasn't always a morning person. After spending years as a nighttime sports copy editor and page designer, I made the move to digital editing in 2000. Turns out, it was one of the best moves I've ever made.
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