NPR's StoryCorps Collects Stories in Tampa
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12/11/08 Mitch E. Perry
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Beginning Friday and for the next month, NPR’s acclaimed StoryCorps program will record conversations between citizens in the Tampa Bay area.

The series has run on NPR’s Friday Morning Edition broadcasts for five years now and has collected more than 20,000 stories.

Whitney Henry Lester is with StoryCorps. She said her program will record 40-minute conversations between two people who know each other well, such as a parent and child or a teacher and student. Afterward, the participants receive a CD of the conversation and, with their permission, a copy is sent to the Library of Congress.

"We're an oral history project dedicated to collecting the stories of everyday people," she said.

StoryCorps in Ybor City is being sponsored by the Ybor City Museum Society, the Ybor City Development Corporation, the advertising firm ChappellRoberts, and WMNF radio. Its mobile recording booth will be parked behind the Tre Amici coffeehouse on 19th Street between 8th and 9th avenues in the heart of Ybor City

StoryCorps begins taping conversations on Friday and will then break for the holidays after Monday, Dec. 22. They will resume recordings from Jan. 5 to 17.

Anna Walters is one of the facilitators with StoryCorps. She said recording times in December are already booked. People interested in being recorded in January can sign up via the Web site, storycorps.net, beginning Friday at 10 a.m.

Walters said it’s probably good that those participating have a general idea of where they might want their 40 minute conversation to lead but said it’s also good to be open to improvisation.

If you’re interested in signing up to record with StoryCorps, go to their Web site at storycorps.net, or call 1-800-850-4406. They will begin taking signups for recordings in January beginning at 10 a.m. Friday.

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