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Celebrating 10 Years of StoryCorps


StoryCorps is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a new book out next week - and a visit to St. Petersburg early next year.

Credit StoryCorps
David Isay, creator of StoryCorps

David Isay, creator of the oral history project, spoke to WUSF about Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps. It's the fourth collection of tales collected by the independent nonprofit organization, which lets people record, share, and preserve the stories of their lives.

David Isay on what StoryCorps has taught him

"Listening to so many of the 50,000 stories that we've recorded, it gives me hope. With all the discord in Washington and the craziness going on, I think StoryCorps shows us that really, when you get down to it, we have a lot more in common than divides us, and if we spent more time listening to each other and less time screaming at each other, we'd be a better and stronger country."

The creation of StoryCorps 10 years ago

"I was a public radio producer for many years and had this kind of crazy idea to open up a booth in (New York City's) Grand Central Terminal, and give pairs of people - family members, a grandparent and a grandkid, two friends, whoever wants to - make a reservation, come to the booth, you're met by a facilitator,  and you have this 40-minute conversation inside this kind of 'sacred space.'"

"And it's a way to kind of distill your life in 40 minutes as best that's possible - a very powerful experience, because...the microphone gives you the license to have conversations you don't normally get to have, ask questions you don't normally get to ask."

Credit StoryCorps
The StoryCorps MobileBooth that's coming to USF St. Petersburg in January 2014.

You can share your story when StoryCorps comes to USF St. Petersburg next January

"What you want to do is dial (1-800-850-4406) or get on the web very, very quickly when the reservations open up." (NOTE: reservations are NOT open yet, WUSF will announce the dates of StoryCorps' visit soon)

"If you can't (make an appointment) through StoryCorps, then do it yourself... you can go on our website and figure out how to recrod these yourself."

"What you want to do is have these conversations with the people who mean something to you, to tell them by listening to them how much they matter and that they won't be forgotten."

StoryCorps can be heard during Morning Edition on WUSF 89.7 every Friday morning around 6:25 and 8:25 a.m.

Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.
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