StoryCorps opens in Veteran's Park


June 11, 2009
BERLIN — The StoryCorps mobile booth opened last Wednesday with free ice cream and a chance to meet and talk to the staff of StoryCorps and New Hampshire Public Radio, one of the sponsors.

StoryCorps is a project to record American oral history. The StoryCorps MobileBooth is an Airstream trailer outfitted as a recording studio. It will be at Veteran's Park until June 25.

Sara Esrick, the StoryCorp site supervisor, said Berlin this is the second smallest community they have visited and one of the most rural.

The staff is hoping to capture the stories of the North Country.

"It's not so much an interview as a conversation," said Betsy Gardella, president of New Hampshire Public Radio.

Interview time slots have filled slower than hoped thus far, but the staff is hoping interest will increase now that the mobile booth is at Veteran's Park.

They said everyone should come down with a loved one and interview them. The stories don't have to be about anything in particular, they said; they want to hear about people's lives.

The stories will be submitted to the Library of Congress, along with other stories from around the country. NHPR will also air some of the stories over the summer.

StoryCorps has collected 24,000 stories nationwide.

The StoryCorps staff can serve as a facilitator to help draw out interesting stories if people are unaccustomed to interviewing. They also take care of all the technical aspects of the recording.

An interview session lasts 40 minutes. StoryCorps gives the interviewing pair a copy of the interview on CD at the end of the session.

StoryCorps hopes to collect close to 120 interviews from North Country residents. The staff said there is still room to register for interviews.

People can register for interviews online, at http://www.storycorps.org/record-your-story/locations, or they can call NHPR to register at 228-8910.

The StoryCorps project in Berlin is sponsored by the Neil and Louise Tillotson Foundation.

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