Decade of StoryCorps chats inspires NPR and PBS specials, book and gala

By Dru Sefton

A former facilitator and two participants visit the StoryCorps mobile booth. The popular oral history project is celebrating its 10th anniversary. (Photo: StoryCorps)

A former StoryCorps facilitator and two participants pause in front of the mobile listening booth in Kansas. The popular oral history project is celebrating its 10th anniversary. (Photo: StoryCorps)

StoryCorps begins marking its 10-year anniversary this week with a special series airing on NPR’s Morning Edition.

The segments include an interview with StoryCorps founder and indie producer Dave Isay, and a series of features catching up with some of the most popular characters to share personal stories during the first decade of the oral history project.

StoryCorps will also be celebrating its accomplishments and longevity with a gala event hosted by comic Stephen Colbert, a new book and a Thanksgiving special presented on PBS. Attendees at the Oct. 30 fundraiser in New York City who reserve an entire table for $25,000 get an opportunity to record a StoryCorps interview in their own home.

Fans without deep pockets can pick up Ties that Bind: Stories of Love & Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps (Penguin Press), which hit bookstores Oct. 17.

And PBS will air a half-hour animated special “Listening Is an Act of Love” on Thanksgiving at 8 p.m. Eastern. The show compiles six animated shorts and a conversation between Isay and his 9-year-old nephew, Benji.

Over 10 years, StoryCorps has recorded some 50,000 interviews in more than 1,700 locations with almost 90,000 participants speaking 54 languages. Along the way, it won two Peabody Awards, a $1 million MacArthur Foundation prize for nonprofit excellence and archived in excess of 30,000 hours of audio.

This item was first published in Current, Oct. 21, 2013.

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