Do you want to be a part of the largest single collection of human voices ever recorded?The StoryCorps MobileBooth cross country tour is coming to Chattanooga from March 19 through April 17th and Glass House Collective is a cultural partner and co-host for a day of field recordings in the neighborhood on March 30th.

StoryCorps is a public oral history archive founded in 2003 where individual conversations aka interviews are captured between two people using professional recording methods and equipment then preserved in the StoryCorps Archive in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, in Washington, DC.

In short, participants sign up for a recording time and bring along someone to interview. There are representatives who will work with everyone who reserves time to give pointers and help them prepare before they show up. Preparing might mean deciding a topic or specific story you want to talk about and with whom. Or for a Q+A session with a loved one, the types of questions to ask to encourage the best stories and conversations.

It’s all in support of StoryCorps’ mission to “preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.” Over the past 17 years, the project has received a long list of impressive awards. Their Griot Initiative is the largest collection of African American stories collected in history.

Founders believe “listening is an act of love” and they even wrote a book about it. Human connection created through conversation can remind us how much we really do have in common. It is wonderful to have this chance to work with StoryCorps on Glass Street so anyone who signs up can sit down, slow down and talk about your life in a way that creates understanding. We have so much to learn from each other. Sharing your experience and making a recording for this archive just might help someone who hears it down the road, and relates to it. You never know!

Chattanooga is one of only ten cities where the StoryCorps MobileBooth will make stops in 2019. Organizers are working with Chattanooga’s National Public Radio station, WUTC 88.1 and cultural partners like Glass House Collective to plan several opportunities and locations for Chattanooga residents to work in pairs and schedule recording time. The MobileBooth - a fully converted Airstream trailer, recording booth and rolling HQ - will stay parked in Miller Park as the main hub location through April 17. (Here’s a short video about the mobile booth to see what it’s all about.)

With such a tight schedule, we’re pretty excited that Glass Street is getting its own recording day while the tour is in Chattanooga! Glass Street field day will feature remote recording sessions coinciding with GHC’s Volunteer Banner Installation Day in the Glass Farm Historic District on March 30. We will let everyone know where the recording sessions for the neighborhood will take place. Mark Making will also host a second field/remote recording day in East Chattanooga that will focus on collecting conversations between area youth. That date has not been set.

Will you add your story to the national archive and help create “a culture of listening”? What story will you tell? Who in your family or circle of friends would you like to interview most?  There are some great interview question ideas here to get your own thoughts started.

If you have a story you think the world should hear please contact Glass House Collective: info@glasshousecollective.org