StoryCorps Historias Comes to Discovery Green

October 9, 2009
by Claudia Morlan

StoryCorps, a national initiative to document the unique stories of Americans, will arrive November 19, 2009 to collect stories of Houston’s Latino and Hispanic residents as part of its Historias Initiative. Historias, which means ‘story’ in Spanish, is an ongoing initiative to celebrate the diversity of Latino lives and culture. 
The StoryCorps MobileBooth – an Airstream trailer outfitted with a recording studio – will be parked at Discovery Green for five weeks. Reservations become available on [November 5 at 10 am CST] and can be made through StoryCorps’ 24-hour reservation line, 1-800-850-4406, or at StoryCorps was created by award-winning documentary producer and MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient Dave Isay. This unprecedented project has traveled to every corner of America, instructing and inspiring individuals to record their stories in sound. StoryCorps is the largest professionally-collected archive of American voices ever gathered. Since its launch in October 2003, StoryCorps has collected interviews from more than 50,000 participants in all 50 states.
At the MobileBooth, interviews are conducted between two people who know and care about each other. A trained facilitator guides the pair of participants through the interview process and handles the technical aspects of the recording. At the end of each 40-minute session, the participants receive a free CD copy of their interview. With their permission, a second copy becomes part of an archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for future generations to hear.
During the first year of Historias, StoryCorps will visit cities across the nation, partnering with local radio stations, cultural institutions and community-based organizations to collect nearly 1,000 stories throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. In Houston, StoryCorps is partnering with Discovery Green, the 12-acre park in downtown Houston. 
“StoryCorps reminds us of our shared humanity – by  listening to our stories, we walk in the shoes of others and recognize how much we have  in common,” says StoryCorps Founder and President Dave Isay. “We are proud to work with Discovery Green, Univision 45 and Univision Radio, and KUHF in our ongoing efforts to create a diverse portrait of a  rapidly growing nation.”
“Welcoming the prestigious StoryCorps to Discovery Green is an honor,” said Discovery Green President Guy Hagstette. “Houston has long been known as a melting pot of cultures – we see it every day in the people who visit the park – so capturing these diverse stories is an opportunity we wanted to be part of.”
In addition to Historias, StoryCorps currently has three other initiatives: StoryCorps Griot preserves the voices, experiences, and life stories of African Americans; StoryCorps’ Memory Loss Initiative reaches out to people affected by memory loss; StoryCorps’ 9/11 Initiative honors and remembers the stories of survivors, rescue workers, and others most personally affected by September 11.
StoryCorps Historias is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Community partners involved in this national initiative include the Latino Public Radio Consortium, Latino USA and the U.S. Latino and Latina World War II Oral History Project.
StoryCorps Historias at Discovery Green is funded by Bank of America and in part by a grant from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance. Special thanks to our media partners KUHF Public Radio, Univision Radio and Univision 45; and also Hilton Americas Hotel Houston.