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StoryCorps arrives in Grand Rapids

  • Ken Kolbe, assistant general manager, WGVU Public Media
  • Robin Sparkman, CEO of StoryCorps
  • StoryCorps mobile unit
  • StoryCorps in Grand Rapids through September 5

Posted on August 08, 2014

WGVU Public Media, in partnership with the Grand Rapids Art Museum and W. K. Kellogg Foundation, has helped bring StoryCorps to Grand Rapids for the next month.

The MobileBooth, an Airstream trailer outfitted with a recording studio, will be parked at the Grand Rapids Art Museum through September 5. Area residents can register to record their stories in 40-minute sessions.

StoryCorps is a national nonprofit organization that records, preserves and shares the stories of people from all backgrounds and beliefs. StoryCorps first came to Grand Rapids nine years ago.

“WGVU Public Media is proud to bring StoryCorps back to West Michigan,” said Ken Kolbe, assistant general manager of WGVU Public Media. “This national project is a great opportunity for friends and family to record, share and preserve their stories before they are gone forever.”

Robin Sparkman, CEO of StoryCorps, said: “We are thrilled to be in Grand Rapids and to have the support of WGVU and the Kellogg Foundation. Their sponsorship helped bring StoryCorps to areas we otherwise may not have visited. StoryCorps is a 10-year-old oral history project. We have conducted 50,000 interviews, helping 100,000 people preserve their stories.”

A trained StoryCorps facilitator will guide participants through the interview process. Interviews are conducted between two people who know and care about each other. At the end of each recording session, participants will receive a complimentary copy of their interview. With permission, a second copy will be archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

WGVU Public Media 88.5 FM and 95.3 FM will air a selection of local interviews and create special programs around the project. Segments of select interviews may also air nationally on NPR’s Morning Edition.

To record a story in Grand Rapids, call 1-800-850-4406 or visit


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