Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Don't Miss Recording Those Holiday Stories

The holidays are a wonderful time for families and friends to get together and share stories--about the good times . . . and the bad.  About growing up, love found and love lost.  About what it was like when Grandma was a little girl, and why Grandpa served during the war.  The holidays are perfect for sharing stories over a cup of hot chocolate and Mom's cookies.  It's a time for sharing our oldest memories with our youngest generation.

These are the stories--our precious memories--that we know so well, yet we look forward to hearing them retold each year during the holiday season as we gather around each other. 

This December, as our families and friends talk about the passing year and eagerly await 2012, let's take a moment to appreciate the voices of our loved ones, especially our older generation.  Let's ask to hear those stories again; for this may be the last time. 

And while we're at it, please press "record" on the video camera or audio recorder.  You won't regret it.  Ever. 

If you would like to know more about capturing, preserving, and sharing your own precious life stories or those of a loved one, please contact us at The Social Voice Project. 

A story not told is a story not heard.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Celebrate the National Day of Listening!

"Many years ago at New Mexico Highlands University, Dr. Mike Carroll always took the time to talk with me; he made me feel as though I was his most important and brilliant English student. Eventually I believed him, in part because he was a dedicated teacher who spent endless hours commenting on my term papers; his madly scribbled annotations in the margins were equal parts Socratic dialogue and Far Side observation.

"Although he didn't always agree with my ideas, Dr. Carroll always told me why. He was a rigorous scholar and critical mentor. When the time came, he was never too far away from where I stood in my own classroom.  And for that I had the rare but sorrowful honor to thank him at his funeral. When we lost Dr. Carroll to suicide a few years ago, I wanted the world to know that he was my most important and brilliant teacher."

--Kevin Farkas, founder and director of The social Voice Project

 Frequently Asked Questions

What is the National Day of Listening?
The National Day of Listening is a new national holiday started by StoryCorps in 2008. On the day after Thanksgiving, StoryCorps asks all Americans to take an hour to record an interview with a loved one, using recording equipment that is readily available in most homes, such as computers, iPhones, and tape recorders, along with StoryCorps’ free Do-It-Yourself Instruction Guide.

Who should I interview?
The National Day of Listening is a time to tell people that their lives matter and that they won’t ever be forgotten. Interview a loved one or a community member whom you would like to honor—your grandfather, your aunt, a neighbor, a mentor, a veteran, or an old friend.

How should I prepare for my interview?
Before you get started, speak with your interview partner about what to expect. It’s also a good idea to create a list of interview questions. StoryCorps’ Question Generator suggests a variety of questions.

It’s helpful to practice with your recording equipment and to prepare a quiet, comfortable recording space. We suggest you spend about 30 minutes getting ready and about 40 minutes conducting your interview. If you wish to spend more time recording, be sure to take breaks and make sure your recording equipment is still working.

Can I do my National Day of Listening interview on another day?
Yes! Every day can be your own day of listening. We hope that our free materials will inspire you to conduct interviews throughout the year.

What kind of equipment should I use?
There is recording equipment to fit all kinds of budgets and levels of technical proficiency. Download the Do-It-Yourself Instruction Guide for equipment recommendations and tips.
You can also use pen and paper to document your interview, or borrow recording equipment from a friend, community organization, school, or library.

How can I preserve my interview?
No matter what recording device you choose, StoryCorps suggests that you handle your interview recordings with care. Label your recordings clearly and completely, including the names of all participants, the date, and interview location. Make multiple copies of your interviews and store them in a safe place that’s easy to remember—among scrapbooks or other mementos, in a filing cabinet, or in a safe deposit box.

Will Do-It-Yourself interviews be archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress?
No. Only interviews recorded with StoryCorps’ professional equipment will be archived in the StoryCorps collection at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. To make a reservation to record your story with StoryCorps, visit storycorps.org.

Where can I share my interviews?
Tell us about your experience on the Wall of Listening. You can also upload and distribute your interviews via email or social networks, or give copies of the interview to your friends and family as gifts.

Can I make a contribution to support StoryCorps’ National Day of Listening?
StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit organization and all contributions are 100% tax-deductible. Your donation helps StoryCorps record, preserve, and share even more stories from communities like yours throughout the United States. Make a secure online donation at storycorps.org/donate.

Where can I listen to StoryCorps stories?
Listen to stories at storycorps.org, subscribe to our free podcast, sign-up for our newsletter, and tune into our weekly broadcast every Friday on NPR’s Morning Edition.
You can also read our New York Times bestselling books, Listening Is an Act of Love and Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

National Day of Listening 2011

Take part in the 2011 National Day of Listening!

The Social Voice Project is pleased to be an official state partner of the acclaimed oral history project StoryCorps in celebrating the third annual National Day of Listening on Friday, November 25, 2011.

On the day after Thanksgiving every year, The Social Voice Project and StoryCorps are asking all Americans to start a new holiday tradition: set aside an hour to interview a friend, a loved one, or someone in their community about his or her life.

The Social Voice Project will be taking part in the 2011 National Day of Listening by recording interviews with local residents. To record your own National Day of Listening interview:

  1. Find someone you’d like to interview
  2. Create your question list
  3. Sit down to record your conversation
StoryCorps has created a free Do-It-Yourself (DIY) interview guide with step-by-step interview instructions, equipment recommendations, and sample questions that is available online at www.nationaldayoflistening.org. You can record your interview using equipment that is readily available in most homes—from cell phones to tape recorders to computers or even pen and paper.

The National Day of Listening was started by StoryCorps in 2008 as a way to provide an alternative to "Black Friday" shopping sprees. By participating in this year’s National Day of Listening, we hope you’ll find that taking the time out to interview someone about his or her life is the least expensive but most meaningful gift that we can give.

StoryCorps’ mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, preserve, and share their stories. Each week, millions of Americans listen to StoryCorps’ award-winning broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition. StoryCorps has published two best-selling books: Listening Is an Act of Love in 2007 and Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps in 2010.