PHOENIX - Stories are an important component of the human experience. Tales passed from one generation to another, within families and among friends can be heartwarming and can teach valuable lessons.
Consider that when you see a silver Airstream trailer glimmering in the desert sun at the Phoenix Art Museum. The trailer belongs to Story Corps, a nonprofit organization that seeks to record, preserve and share stories told by average Americans from diverse backgrounds.
The team travels the country with their vintage trailer, the interior of which has been transformed into a recording studio.
A small table with bench seats on either side hosts a storyteller and an interviewer. Two microphones are articulating boom arms capture their voices. A third seating position houses audio equipment and a trained facilitator, who monitors the sessions and asks questions to jumpstart the sessions.
“All of the other aspects of recording fall away once they get started in the conversation,” said Lisa Polito, Site Supervisor with Story Corps.
Those who bring their stories to the trailer are from all walks of life.They can be family members, friends or colleagues.
Police officers, teachers, doctors and housewives have all contributed their experiences and perspectives over the years, and cities like Phoenix are rich with them.
“The stories of the Southwest are different stories,” said James Paluzzi, Vice President of the Division of Public Service at Rio Salado College, the parent organization of NPR affiliate KJZZ.
“People have many different experiences [here] than other people in the country,” Paluzzi continued.
Those experiences are recorded in the trailer, archived and stored forever in the American Folk Life Center in the Library of Congress. A copy is also provided to participants.
Those who wish to tell their stories can sign up here.
Select stories will be heard on the air during Morning Edition, Mondays on KJZZ.
Now for story that could unleash your inner geek.
Geek’s Night Out is an annual celebration in Tempe happening on Thursday, February 21st.
Feel free to dress in character for costume contests hosted by Comic Con.
Bands will play through the evening hours as will the hard hitting ladies of roller derby.
Geek’s Night Out begins at Tempe’s City Hall at 5p.m. on Thursday and will fill the rest of downtown through 10 p.m.