UT Knoxville’s WUOT to Host Renowned Oral History Organization

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KNOXVILLE — StoryCorps, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving and sharing the stories of Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs, will visit Knoxville from Oct. 7 to Nov. 13 as part of its cross-country MobileBooth tour.

Partnering with WUOT 91.9 FM, UT Knoxville’s NPR station, StoryCorps’ MobileBooth — an Airstream trailer outfitted with a recording studio — will be parked in Market Square to record 180 interviews with Knoxville residents. The organization , will kick off its visit in Knoxville with a media event and its first two interviews on Thursday, Oct. 7, at 11:45 a.m. ET.

StoryCorps’ MobileBooth interviews are conducted between two people who know and care about each other. A trained StoryCorps facilitator guides participants through the interview process. At the end of each 40-minute recording session, participants will receive a complimentary audio copy of their interview, and, with participant permission, a second copy will be archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Locally, WUOT will air segments from the interviews recorded in the StoryCorps MobileBooth in Market Square. Segments of select interviews may also air nationally on NPR’s “Morning Edition.”

After short remarks at 11:45 a.m., the media will have the opportunity to interview StoryCorps and WUOT staff, as well as the people who have been selected for the first two interview slots.

Patricia Robledo will talk with her husband, John Craig. Robledo, who owns Robledo Translations, LLC, moved to Knoxville from Columbia in 1981 and can discuss her experiences as a Latina in this community. Craig can discuss his involvement in downtown Knoxville redevelopment efforts. Both own Segundo Properties, LLC, a firm specializing in historic building renovation.

Kate Shattuck will talk with her father, Jerry Shattuck, who attended Clinton High School during its desegregation in 1956. As president of his high school class, he arranged to have the high school football team escort the “Clinton 12” into the school. The school was bombed after it desegregated.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be able to bring StoryCorps to Knoxville as part of WUOT’s 60th anniversary celebrations,” WUOT Director Regina Dean said. “StoryCorps is a true community outreach project. I hope people in Knoxville and surrounding counties will take advantage of this opportunity and try to find a way to participate.”

Reservations will be available at 10 a.m. ET on Oct. 8 and can be made by calling StoryCorps’ 24-hour toll-free reservation line at 800-850-4406 or by visiting http://www.storycorps.org.

StoryCorps’ MobileBooth interview slots tend to fill quickly, but East Tennessee residents who don’t get a slot still can participate. StoryCorps offers rental kits that feature broadcast-quality recording equipment with instructions. People also can create their own story archives using their own recording equipment and StoryCorps’ Do-It-Yourself Guide. For more information, visit http://storycorps.org/record-your-story/cant-come-to-us.

Founded in 2003 by award-winning documentary producer and MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient Dave Isay, StoryCorps currently has one of the largest collections of American voices ever gathered, with interviews collected from more than 60,000 Americans in all 50 states.

“StoryCorps tells the true American story: that we are a people defined by small acts of courage, kindness and heroism. Each interview reminds people that their lives matter and will not be forgotten,” Isay said. “By strengthening connections between people and building an archive that reflects the rich diversity of American voices, we hope to build StoryCorps into an enduring institution that will touch the lives of every American family.”

In addition to its two traveling MobileBooths, StoryCorps currently operates stationary recording booths at Foley Square in New York City, at Atlanta’s public radio station WABE-FM and at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco.

To ensure the diversity of its participants, StoryCorps sponsors four major initiatives: “Historias” collects the stories of Latinos throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, “Griot” preserves the voices and experiences of African Americans, the “Memory Loss Initiative” reaches out to people affected by various forms of memory loss, and the “September 11 Initiative” honors and remembers the stories of those most personally affected by the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

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 New York Times bestselling books: “Listening Is an Act of Love” in 2007 and “Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps” in 2010. StoryCorps’ major funders include the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Atlantic Philanthropies, the Ford Foundation, the Annenberg Foundation, the Kaplen Foundation and Joe and Carol Reich. StoryCorps also relies on the support from its participants and listeners. For more information or to listen to stories online, visit http://www.storycorps.org.

Listener-supported WUOT 91.9 FM is licensed to the University of Tennessee. WUOT is a member of NPR and a Public Radio International affiliate. The station’s primary format is classical and jazz music, news and public affairs. WUOT serves listeners throughout East Tennessee and parts of Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia. The station broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and streams on the web at wuot.org. WUOT’s second audio channel, WUOT-2, is available on HD Radio™, Internet radio and on the Web.

Major funding for StoryCorps is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. StoryCorps’ visit to Knoxville is sponsored by the City of Knoxville, Jupiter Entertainment and Pilot Corporation.

C O N T A C T :

Abbey Taylor (865-974-9409, ataylo30@utk.edu)

Cindy Hassil (865-974-6167, chassil@utk.edu)

Sacha Evans, StoryCorps (646-723-7020 x75, sevans@storycorps.org)

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